We’re taught to use Social Media to promote ourselves?

Michael de Groot
4 min readAug 30, 2021


Jim was delighted, finally after years of spending thousands on printed marketing material, he had a digital alternative, social media! He was already super excited about reaching millions if not billions of people, just by sharing content on these amazing platforms for FREE.

He couldn’t believe his luck, he blessed his stars that he was alive at this time of technological development, a development which the world had never seen before. Finally he could save thousands of printing and mailing costs and do it all for FREE!

It all seemed too good to be true, but yes indeed, it’s 100% free. He couldn’t sleep with excitement, he told everyone about it and soon all his friends, business associates and even family were just as excited as him, they too started to explore the possibilities of going digital, no more printing, who would have thought? Of course he felt a little sad for all those printers, but hey they didn’t move with the times and it was ironic just as the printing press was such a technological feat in its own right, now it was being replaced by these marvellous social media companies.

Okay so how to start?

Jim: “Let’s take this poster that I used to print and refine the digital version, remove the print guides and ‘Bob’s your Uncle’, just add it to those channels and watch the business roll in.”

He saw others do the same, his friends, his family, the other business associates he had mentioned it to and the whole world was at it now.

Jim: “But wait, if everyone else is now doing the same thing too, how the hollow do I stand out from the crowd. Oh well, I will just have to do it more often, daily I guess or wait, maybe 3 times per day, just in case people miss the first two, you know what they say, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aren’t those the times we need to be posting our content for it to be seen, as those are the most likely times people will be surfing those channels? Yes, that’s it, that’s the formula, I’ve got this.”

A few weeks, maybe months later he saw that everyone else was doing the same ‘3 times’ per day thing, it was exhausting for Jim. He was spending around 3 hours a day just queuing up content, posters, blogs, other content curated into his feedly type apps and nothing, not even one little bite. The views were reducing too, this social media thing’s not what it was promoted to be. Jim was quite depressed, he spent 6, maybe 12 months, not printing his marketing materials and mailing them to prospects, he was posting like hollow and nothing seemed to stick.

He also noticed in this period of free posting a lot of ads in his feeds, cool looking ads with videos promoting products, he saw them daily and it got him thinking and the realisation struck.

Jim: “Right, I’ve got it now, because so many people have been attracted to these platforms, share their personal details, like location, age, job, gender, hobbies, favourite TV shows and films etc. the social media companies have all this data and then companies can laser target their digital adverts to them. But that costs money right?”

So it took some years for Jim to realise that giving up on printing marketing materials and doing it all via social media now meant that in reality people don’t see or even bother to read what you post, instead they are only interested in posting their own content. In addition in order to get noticed and be seen on these channels they will prioritise you if you buy ads to get into your prospects feeds. Thinking that he could save money by doing it all for free wasn’t actually true after all.

Jim: “I admit, I got it wrong, I was seduced by these companies and worse still encouraged my competition to do the same. Now we’re all in the same boat, only interested in getting more eyeballs on our content and desperate for those likes, comments and shares. I need to re-think my strategy, I need to probably go back to doing some printing and dropping materials through people’s post boxes again, after all nobody is receiving any post these days only food deliveries or parcels. Now there’s an idea, food deliveries!

To be continued…

Originally published at https://www.stayingaliveuk.com on August 30, 2021.



Michael de Groot

Creator, Certified IPTPA Pickleball Instructor, Taiko Drummer | www.stayingaliveuk.com