6 Valuable Lessons from a Social Media Failure

Should you go on Twitter?

How about Facebook?

Or Instagram?

If you are thinking about promoting your business, these are questions you need to consider.

You’ve probably heard A LOT about how social media can revolutionise your business. And certainly there are some people who seem to be very good at using social media to grow their network and their influence.

So is it right for you?

As the headline suggests, I am someone who has failed completely at social media.

I know that it’s good to hear what successful people have to say, and see if you can replicate their actions. But there is also value in seeing what people who have failed did. So you can avoid their mistakes.

So here’s my take on social media:

1. Don’t go for everything.

I’ve signed up for Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and Medium.

I thought I had to be on everything, but this is a waste of time. I’ve not been able to devote sufficient energy to build them up properly.

2. Pick one that suits you

I hate Facebook. I briefly had a personal Facebook account in 2004. But I don’t like it and so this has obviously made it very hard to succeed at Facebook.

I could have saved a lot of time by not wasting my time trying to master something I hated, just because I heard it was good.

3. The people who succeed at social media GO ALL IN

I know you hear that you can succeed on social media in a couple of minutes a day, but from what I have seen, the people who succeed at it, are fully involved. They post often. They post about everything.

Spending a few minutes three times a week is a waste of time. This goes back to Point #2, that you must enjoy using it or you won’t want to spend enough time on it to make it worthwhile.

4. Be social

I have previously used Twitter to just post links to my articles. I didn’t have time for interaction.

This doesn’t work unless you have an existing audience. Simply tweeting your content and hoping for some miracle is part of the “build it and they will come” mentality. It’s doomed.

You have to go out and engage with others to build a proper following.

5. Have a few motives

If you’re just going on social media to promote your business, you’re probably going to struggle and feel it’s a waste of time. But if you have other reasons (e.g. finding interesting articles, hearing what experts in your field are saying / doing) then you will have more reason to devote time to it.

6. There’s one for you

I had given up on social media until I discovered Medium.com.

Medium suits me because it’s articles-based. There are some great writers on there now and it’s getting better every day.

It’s a place where I find interesting ideas which is something I cherish. The social aspect of it is a bonus.

I’ve been on Medium for a month and I can see long-term value to engaging with it even more.


The best advice I wish I was given before I wasted time with social media was:

Only do it if you have the drive and motivation to go all in on it (learn everything about it and spend a good amount of time engaging with it). Otherwise save your energy and do something else.