Thursday, 9 December 2021

My Social Media Officer role for the ITI Western Regional Group (WRG) and general thoughts on social media


What’s in social media, especially for those of us who run small businesses? And for those of us who are in charge of the social media accounts for our professional or other associations?


Learning effective, targeted social media use as WRG Social Media Officer

I recently stepped down from my volunteer role as Joint Social Media Officer for my local translators’ and interpreters’ association, the ITI Western Regional Group (WRG), after one year. I’d been mainly responsible for the WRG's Twitter account and was sharing the role with Mariana Roccia, who taught me a lot and was an absolute delight to work with!

My Joint Social Media Officer role involved posting about WRG-related events, news and updates on the WRG social media platforms, and also included several other general committee responsibilities. It provided an excellent opportunity to learn what effective, targeted social media use is all about. I’d also been keen to give back to the WRG, which I feel proud to be a member of.



My Social Media Officer role for the ITI WRG provided an excellent opportunity
to learn what effective, targeted social media use is all about



I couldn’t help feeling at times, though, that the WRG with its small and eclectic membership would be able to function perfectly well without a social media presence, but instead just with its internal forum, especially for announcements directed at members. As for posts directed at potential clients, my hunch is that translation buyers are generally far too busy to follow social media updates. But that’s just my twopence worth.


Social media for knowledge workers and small business owners

My reasons for stepping down were both family- and work-related, but I also felt I wasn’t the right person for a social media role in the end. Social media, after all, has never been (and probably never will be) my cup of tea. While I’ve heard good things about LinkedIn and would like to use it more once time allows, I am otherwise not keen on social media.

When it comes to social media, I’m biased: I’ve read the bestselling (and thought-provoking) books “Digital Minimalism” and “Deep Work” by Georgetown University computer science professor Cal Newport. And I strongly agree with the well-researched and highly convincing propositions and views about social media use for knowledge workers.

 

What’s in social media, especially for those of us who run small businesses?


Whether you love or hate social media or simply are curious about it, I highly recommend the books “Digital Minimalism” and “Deep Work” by Cal Newport: they provide a gripping insight into the mechanics and underlying psychology of social media.

 

Why social media abstinence is a good idea

Social media is said to be a highly effective and low-cost means to increase awareness of your brand, but, if done properly, social media marketing is also very time-consuming. Bear in mind that your potential clients are probably very busy and therefore unlikely to hang out on social media. Add to this the proven damaging effects that social media has on humans in general, and social media will quickly lose its appeal.

If you’re a small business owner, you risk wasting precious time on social media, which could be spent more fruitfully otherwise. There are, inarguably, lots of other effective and less time-consuming ways in which freelancers and business owners can market themselves and their services (more on this perhaps in a future blog post). 

 

If you’re a small business owner, you risk wasting precious time on social media,
which could be spent more fruitfully otherwise

 

These are harsh and perhaps uncomfortable views on social media marketing, and I know most of you will strongly disagree. I rarely blog about social media, and felt this blog post has finally provided me with an opportunity to air a few personal thoughts about social media use in general.



Having said all that, I thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the team on the ITI Western Regional Group’s committee in the past year and (while I won’t miss the social media itself) am definitely going to miss the social interaction and fruitful collaboration with my WRG committee co-members. Thanks, guys!