Social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. We know that ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ are important to our brands, but as an end goal they can leave us feeling flat! There’s something shiny and seductive about the validation you get in social media, but as you know, these metrics alone are not equivalent to a meaningful, successful marketing strategy.
As a heart-centred business, looking good online is one thing, being of service for your customers is another. Like me, you’ve probably noticed when your ego lusts for likes, and how this differs from the satisfaction of genuine connection with your people. Research has confirmed that the desire to be liked on social media is a universal phenomenon. The likes we get on social media temporarily satisfy the human need for love and belonging, in a distorted way.
So where’s the sweet the spot?
How do you manage your own personal balance between being ‘out there’ in business and practicing a strategy that fulfils you with integrity?
While I’m figuring out what works for Amora Creative, I’ve seen the same pattern happening with clients. Some weeks we feel extroverted and bubbly. We love connecting with people online, posting our hearts out and enjoying all the positives of networking. Then there are times when we need to go deep within our process, and social media becomes a major distraction, stopping us from working towards our meaningful business goals.
During those introverted weeks, there are practical tools for planning and scheduling posts, helping you to be consistent and present for your customers. But I’m not talking about the logistics of a consistent social media strategy. I’m talking about the level of satisfaction you take away from your interaction with our social media culture.
How do you navigate the challenges of a culture that values productivity and busyness (#hustlehard #getshitdone #beboss), and at the same time encourages us to be vulnerable, and prioritise self-care? While you’re at it, where does community and helping others fit in?
Pondering these questions helped me discover where I need to focus to stay in my own rhythm for this modern dance –
1) Know your body
It’s incredible how much we can learn about our ideal communications strategy by paying attention to our physical and emotional bodies before making any decisions with our minds.
Are you, for this particular day/week/season, feeling that communication comes easily? Are you feeling empowered, strong, open, confident? Let that shine through in your marketing content – it’s the time to be bold.
In contrast, when you’re in a more introspective phase and need a breather, take notice and respect that. I promise you won’t be missing out on anything. When we learn to work with that internal clock rather than simply ignoring it, everything becomes a lot easier to manage.
When you respect your personal rhythm, your work becomes more genuine and truth comes through. Truth is where engaging communication stems from.
Ladies, Claire Baker has an awesome e-book about feminine cycles and how each week of the month can impact your energy levels and tone your interactions with the inner and outer worlds. It’s a quite fascinating insight and I recommend having a read!
2) Make it beautiful!
Beauty is es-sen-tial. When I discovered why Beauty was one of my top values I took a sigh of relief: “of course it is!”. When I see beauty (or lack of beauty) around me, that’s when I know my choices in life are in or out of tune.
Taste is subjective, but our need for beauty is universal. You might relate to it by another name: order, art, gorgeous design, lusciousness, joy. Although it emerges from forms and aesthetics, beauty evokes more than what the eyes can see. Beauty pleases the brain, creating clarity and fulfilling unconscious desires. What is beautiful has the power to transcend the mind and touch the soul, and that’s why beauty is a fundamental part of heart-centred work.
So whenever you’re putting together a piece of content for your business, ask yourself how you can make it more beautiful. And then more beautiful again. (Consider what you can remove, and leave the beauty of what’s necessary).
Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue wrote:
“Beauty is not an extra luxury, an accidental experience that we happen to have if we’re lucky. Beauty dwells at the heart of life”.
4) The S equation
This is something I’ve recently started to unpack: Self-expression + Service = Soul Work
Being of service is one of the main reasons you are in business, right? I don’t mean grandiose, Madre Teresa type of service. But every business exists to offer something of value to a specific group of people – your offering should be making the lives of your people better, whatever that looks like for them.
Now add to this premise the context of Western culture in 2017. For better or for worse, we are no longer satisfied with the life our parents and grandparents had. This generation is here to self-express, we want to stay passionate, we want to harness our creative talents, we want to make a good living by doing what we love – and there’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to do that, especially if we can also be of service in the process.
Service is the antidote to narcissism in the culture of mediatic self-expression.
In my experience, if we intentionally combine Service + Self-Expression we will be doing Soul Work. Big or small – if you’re expressing yourself and improving the lives of others, you are feeding your soul, and when the soul is nourished… well, we have even more to give and to receive. What a cool little cycle.
So what’s your S equation looking like? And what’s your beauty guideline, are you beautifying your brand’s content?
I’d love to hear about your experience balancing heart-centred work with social media culture. Leave a comment below!