For most of us entrepreneurs there really are few things worse than social media. You think it’s helpful to you, but in reality it’s just a parasite that slowly sucks the life out of you and your business.
The big social media platforms have spent millions and millions of dollars to try to persuade us that they’re indispensable for our businesses.
If you don’t exist on social media, you don’t exist at all, right?
Nah! What a bloody joke that is.
We all know that social media can be bad for individuals’ mental health. But it’s properly poisonous for business too, and you may be better off as an entrepreneur without it.
Not everyone will agree with this post and that’s okay. This post is about showing a little bit of a counter argument to most mainstream advice. It’s not the ultimate truth, though. I’m not saying everyone has to avoid social media in business at all costs.
Note: by social media I mean Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. I don’t consider YouTube as social media (because it’s a search engine) or Reddit (because it’s just a giant forum with various sub-forums).
Here are ten reasons why social media absolutely destroys entrepreneurs and their businesses:
1. You’re Putting More Effort Building Somebody Else’s Business Than Yours
How to waste your valuable time – Post ten times a day on Facebook (don’t forget about Facebook stories). Twenty times a day on Instagram (but thirty stories and forty reels).
Upload ten videos on TikTok and don’t forget to tweet thirty times a day (and retweet another twenty tweets). It almost seems as if marketing today equals social media marketing.
Do it all AGAIN over and over again because the next day nobody sees your posts from the day before anyway. And if you EVER figure out a way to crack the algorithm, it will soon change anyway and you’ll be left behind again.
When you add it all up, you donate more of your time to social media platforms than spending it on your business.
How ridiculous is that?
Few entrepreneurs ever calculate how much time, money, and effort they invest on social media. They don’t even know if they get a positive return from their investment at all. More often than not they’ll just get abuse.
That’s insanity. Not only are you dedicating most of your business life to tasks that may not even give a return, you’re also putting more effort building other people’s companies rather than your own.
Let me reiterate it because I find it incredible: did you start your OWN business to spend more time building somebody else’s?
How much do you enjoy being an unpaid Meta, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter employee?
Is this what entrepreneurship comes down to these days? Filling the pockets of big, censor-happy corporations who don’t give two shiny shits about you, just so you can brag about your follower count?
2. You’re Only Getting The Scraps
Even if you do everything right, according to current thinking, at most maybe a few percent of your followers will see your posts on any given day. Out of them, only a few percent will take any action or pay any real attention. Out of them, a few percent will do what you want them to do—buy your stuff. However, it’s going to be a very, very small few.
In other words, you’re only getting the scraps thrown at you by the social media platforms. And the more the platform grows, the less you get. It’s a natural growth cycle of every social media company. You can always count on the fact that they will grow at your expense. They will also pepper you with adverts from others, based on your browsing history.
You’re like that poor dog begging for food underneath the table. Only as time goes by, there are even more hungry dogs and less food on the table. Most goes into the mouths of the obese owners sitting on top, stuffing their faces.
Moreover, social media platforms have a relatively short lifespan, so all your efforts are eventually for nothing. Ask anyone who has built a big following on Facebook how useful it is today. Meanwhile, a high-quality article on your own site (like this) can provide value for years.
3. You’re on a Never-Ending Content Hamster-wheel
Social media gurus get on my nerves because their solution to any marketing problem is to post more and more stuff. More, more, more, until you can’t do it anymore but you can’t stop because you’re afraid that if you stop, your business will end. The quality of your posts will get lower and lower as you run out of things to write about.
You become trapped on the content treadmill, posting endless amounts of content, begging to get some attention like an old wrinkly in flashy clothes.
The more you post, the faster the treadmill goes. Since you can’t stop, you never have time and energy to reconsider what you’re doing and whether it’s the best strategy for your business at all.
Strategic thinking drowns in the sea of content you’re forced to produce every day just to stay afloat.
And the worst thing is that whatever you produce, it’s often unsearchable and irrelevant the next day.
4. You Fail to Build What’s Most Important
The ONLY really valuable asset in every business is a customer list. Yet, if you focus on social media, you fool yourself that your follower count is what defines your business.
You either spend time building your own platform or you build time spending other people’s platforms. It’s Facebook that gets the Big Data, not you.
This blog is a great example of a platform standing on its own. I didn’t start it because I saw anyone on social media. I started it because I read books and learned about my subject matter. I kept it going because it’s an independent platform owned by a person who cares.
Would your clients say the same about your business? Would they still work with you if you had no presence on social media?
Would you rather have 100,000 followers on social media or 1,000 loyal customers? (If you chose the former, sorry but there really is no hope for you.)
5. You Judge the Value of the Business by the Number of Followers You Have
My good friend has a podcast. She had a call with a potential guest today. The woman told her that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be featured in my friend’s podcast because “nothing happens on her Instagram profile.”
My friend only posts images with new episodes on her Instagram profile. But if you checked the podcast’s archives, you’d see over 75 episodes posted religiously every week, featuring dozens of niche guests.
That poor guest is so brainwashed. She thinks that an Instagram profile counts more than your real-world track record. To make matters worse, she was totally shocked how my friend got podcast listeners through something else than Instagram.
My friend is not an Instagrammer. She owns a podcast. That’s her business, not posting daily vlogs or other bullshit from her everyday life. She doesn’t even want Instagram followers who spend a tenth of a second liking her random images. She wants real listeners who invest hours listening to her episodes.
There are so many businesses that have few, if any, social media followers, yet kill it WAY, WAY more than brands that obsess about social media.
Do you help people through selling your products or do you chase your status through posting meaningless social media posts?
6. You Waste Time and Mental Energy on all the Drama and Addiction
Social media thrives because it appeals to our most basic instincts.
Everything is designed in such a way to get you hooked and keep you there for as long as possible. Notifications, real-time updates, live stories. Then there’s inevitable drama and bullshit politics that’s impossible to opt out of. You are continually blocking endless content.
Instagram will always pester you with profiles of plastic surgery enhanced half naked models of both genders, rammed into your face every time you log on.
Twitter will always pester you with annoying politics no matter who you follow (but if you stay focused Twitter will become useful).
Both Facebook and TikTok will always steal your attention through idiotic short clips designed to captivate your brain whether you want it or not. They eat into your soul.
“Having a terrible day, but can’t talk about it”.
Why the hell have you put it on Facebook for then, you attention seeking piece of crap!
Even if you’re strong-willed, there’s NO WAY you won’t waste your life each time you visit any of the social media platforms for “business” purposes.
Is this how you want to spend your valuable business time?
7. You’re Contributing to Producing Mountains of Rubbish
Most content on social media is rubbish.
Twitter sometimes relies on bullshit, supposedly clever, one-liners that say nothing. Yet, our brains like these empty platitudes. So, like idiots, we retweet them. Long form, well though-out content is rare these days because it’s too hard for most people to read something longer than 280 characters.
Instagram relies on even more bullshit soft porn pictures or other depictions of a “perfect” life along with even more idiotic empty quotes. Yet, we fall for this, too. It’s in our genes. There’s no way a healthy male is able to look away from a perfect pair of photoshopped boobs.
TikTok relies on cringeworthy, self-absorbed, completely retarded videos of teenagers thinking they do something meaningful in life. Yet, in their stupidity, they’re so captivating you find yourself watching one video after another. Later, you feel disgusted with yourself only to do it again the next time you “work” on TikTok.
Can you find valuable content on social media? Yes, you can. Not everything is garbage, but it doesn’t change the fact that most of social media content is utter junk. These platforms don’t reward in-depth content. They reward simplistic, controversial or straight up idiotic posts and videos.
Since most people are so addicted to social media today, their attention spans are so short you have to transmit your message in a few seconds. What valuable things can you say in a few seconds? By default, you’re forced to contribute to this mountain of rubbish every single day.
8. You’re Building an Unsellable Asset
It’s rare for most small businesses to succeed on social media. So, instead, most founders post under their own names. Their business becomes them. Yes, a personal brand may be valuable, but a personal brand, as the name implies, is unsellable.
If this doesn’t bother you, then this point doesn’t apply to you. Yet, I’d urge every entrepreneur to think about a potential exit strategy. If you’re building your business through promoting yourself, then most likely you won’t be able to sell it in the future.
No-one will buy your business if it’s JohnDoe.com
A good business can be sold for many times turnover, but that will shrink massively if it’s too personalised.
9. You Fail to See Other Opportunities
People new to business, particularly those who don’t remember what the world was like before social media, assume that EVERY business needs to be on social media. They focus only on those business ideas that have a social media presence, ignoring the wealth of other possible opportunities that are out there.
Boring, but essential B2B businesses? Nah, where will I get my followers from?
Offline businesses without an online presence other than a simple website? No way, how will I brag about my business?
Low-key business models that rely on joint ventures and deal-making rather than social media content? No thanks, I’m too busy building my “credibility” on social media.
10. You Are Doing What Everyone Else Is Doing
Being an entrepreneur means taking full responsibility for your decisions, but also complete freedom over how you want to run your business.
Unfortunately, most people let the prevailing narrative dictate how they’ll approach their ventures.
If the “only” way to succeed is through fifty social media posts a day, let’s do it.
If the “only” way to succeed is through showing your boobs to horny teenagers (who will not buy your products anyway), let’s do it, although my moobs won’t sell much at all.
If the “only” way to succeed is through being a complete idiot dancing like a drunken cow, let’s do it.
Don’t be a sheep.
Use your brain.
Create YOUR business on YOUR OWN terms rather than letting big social media corporations bully you into using their toxic platforms.
There, I said it.
Any thoughts, love, hate—all welcome.
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