You put great effort in to marketing your business. You design logos, websites and establish social media platforms. You spend time blogging and tweeting, in the hope of developing a loyal fan following. Blood, sweat and sometimes even tears, are shed getting your business off the ground.
And then it happens. Browsing through your feed a business page catches your eye. You click on it, maybe to check out the competition or gain some inspiration. Immediately your good mood disappears. Their logo is designed at epic levels, their products are trendy and fun, they have a million followers (or at least it feels that way compared to your 200) and fans are raving about how wonderful they are.
Dont pretend it hasnt happened to you. In an instant, youve lost your social media identity.
Peer Pressure and Social Media
What you felt may not have been envy, but inadequacy. Left unchecked its just not healthy. Experts call it yardsticking, Name Tag – Peer Pressure & Social Mediathe impulse to privately pit yourself against peers in order to determine your social standing or self worth. In high school we called it peer pressure.
Social media is like one gigantic, international high school. Twenty years ago, small businesses only had to compete with their neighbors. Now the ubiquity of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram means thousands of companies adding to the relentless yardsticking of Im so smart and Im one big success story. Who wouldnt feel insecure?
A recent study by Rebtel shows youre not the only one Facebooks taking on an emotional roller coaster. The survey concluded that Facebook elicits the most powerful effect on our moods, closely followed by Twitter.
Using Peer Pressure to Your Advantage
First off, if you are going to benefit from peer pressure, you need to stop taking cues from social media posts as to what defines success. Remember, you are only seeing a snapshot of the business, a moment in time. When was the last time you saw an update that said I lost 20 followers today, Two people gave me negative feedback last quarter, or my business may be succeeding but my personal life is failing? Never. That doesnt mean it didnt happen.
Every successful business owner has worked their tail off to get where they are. Yes, they may be in a different place than you are currently, but thats not an indication of your success or lack thereof.
Peer pressure can be used for self-improvement. Getting feedback from people sharing the same interests is valuable. Its healthy even to have that intrinsic feeling I want what theyve got. How do I get it? It only becomes problematic when it overrides common sense and leaves you feeling like a failure, unable to continue or improve.
Tips to Keep Your Social Media Identity
The next time you find yourself wanting to bury your head in the sand, use these tips to keep you sane.
1.Tell yourself: I am only seeing a moment in time of their success and all businesses portray success over failure.
2.Ask yourself: What do I like about their marketing strategy? Can I draw on it to add to my own success?
3.Ask yourself: Am I really comparing apples to apples? Their are many factors that contribute to a companies success, such as: The length of time in business, the funds behind the business, and the area demographic just to name a few. If your business is not an equal comparison then its best to move on.
When asking these questions be honest with yourself. Allowing peer pressure to dominate your thinking or cause you to lose your social media identity is dangerous.
A Successful Business Needs Direction
In order for a company to succeed, it needs a direction or goal. Losing time and energy second guessing your business decisions is time wasted. Buddha said Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Lets replace the word anger with jealousy. The result is toxic youre losing time to envy while the other company is continuing to succeed.
In conclusion, peer pressure can be healthy. However, letting social media peer pressure dominate you will make you a defeatist. Maybe you need to remember your reasons for starting your business in the first place? Hang on to that passion passion will make you a success.
Need help making your business stand out from the crowd? We can help! Contact us today.
Have you fallen victim to peer pressure on social media? How have you used it to your advantage? Tell us about it below!