4 Ways to Fight the Social Media Blues

Here's the truth.

Comparison is a real thing.

As much as we'd all like to think we are more mature, more intelligent and too focused on our own business to care what someone else is doing, WE DO.

As the only BookTruck business owner in my province, and one of three (that I know of) in all of Canada, it can be a lonely job and social media can add a little boost of engagement between booktruck events. Now, it is snowy and cold here in Edmonton, and my sweet booktruck is parked for the time being, so almost all of my interaction with my Reading community happens online.

It can be a difficult thing to feel like you are making any headway, that your business has a genuine impact or that you even matter in the marketplace. I tend not to scroll through other businesses post numbers because I can feel the green demon of Jealousy sneak up on me. After all, that's what comparison is anyway, isn't it? We compare something with someone else to either make us feel superior or make us feel inferior - this is the slippery slope of jealousy and nothing good comes from it.

The other day I was scrolling through my feed and I clicked on the number of followers for various businesses I was intrigued by. Before long, I felt the unmistakable funk that comes over you when you have fed upon the slimy, sour feast of comparison. I found myself thinking things like "How do they have twice as many Followers as I have? There's nothing special about what they do." I kid you not. As soon as I heard those thoughts in my head, I put my phone down and closed my eyes. Then I felt guilt - the little sister of jealousy.

Here are the 4 things I now do instead of looking at their numbers, and they have been a GAME CHANGER for how I feel as a Businesswoman.

Remember That Numbers are Not Real
We can get so wrapped up in our analytics, data points, ROIs, Followers, Likes and so on that we forget what it's all about: real-life humans experiencing your business. For example, I have 1173 Followers on Instagram. Now, based on Instagram's algorithms, only about 5-10% of your followers are actually seeing your posts and about 1/4 of those will actually engage with your posts on a regular basis. WTH? So, basically, the number posted under our profile looks great, but it is not an accurate representation of your impact or your client base. Numbers are important in business, but Girl, do NOT start comparing one girl's numbers with your own. We know that comparing age, dress size or IQ doesn't make us better, it only makes us bitter - so don't get caught up in the trap of thinking that someone else's social media number means they are more accomplished than you. Followers can be purchased, traded and padded by teams who want to give the optics of success. Your metrics are your own, and so are hers.

Women in Business Need Cheerleaders, Not Trolls
There is enough in the media about women being catty, "mean girls", bitchy chasers of glory as we step over our sisters while we put our high heels in their backs. BE DIFFERENT. I believe the Golden Rule applies here - treat other BossBabes as you would want to be treated. The world is keen to build people up and then knock them off the pedestal bit by bit for entertainment. We have a chance to re-write the script about how women in business talk about each other. When it comes to Social Media, use your platform to comment, Like and Comment on each other's posts. If someone does something you like, TELL THEM SO. I discovered that there is always something I admire about another woman's posts... So instead of feeling badly that they are doing something that makes me feel inferior, I support them instead of whining. I'm not a toddler, for goodness' sake.

Social Media is Just a Tool
My business is a bookstore. I sell books to Readers. It's that simple. I just happen to do it out of a truck instead of a brick & mortar building. Social media is a beautifully free way to promote my unique business and connect with people. It is a wickedly awesome way to show what I can do and get insight into the lives of the people I want to serve. I have an email list that I will be using more effectively in the upcoming year because if all of a sudden there was a cost for Instagram or Facebook, or if (heaven forbid) those platforms shut down, I would lose all those contacts. My business is not solely based on social media, so neither should my attention be. If social media is just a tool, then I refuse to let it make me feel bad by getting sucked up into the jealousy vortex it can create.

I Am Blessed to Be Running This Race 
There are so many women stuck in jobs that don't satisfy them. They "trade hours for dollars", as Cathy Heller puts it, and they fight to keep their head above water. Not me. I am blessed to do this wildly cool job on my terms, and each woman that creates a post is trying to put herself out there and make a difference in the marketplace of ideas and inspiration in her own special way. I cannot be both blessed and jealous at the same time. It's impossible. So, I choose to remember that if I am comparing myself to them, I am forgetting about how grateful I am to run a Bookshop on Wheels the way I want to do it. Business is hard. It's exhausting and expensive. It's a race. If I get distracted by other women running in their lanes, I will lose momentum and dishonor my own race. No way! By running alongside each other, we push each other to be better, and THAT is the kind of businesswoman I want to be.


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