Building ON Social Media vs. Building WITH Social Media

A Guest Blog by Amanda Russell

From the clients I work with to the work I publish, I owe the majority of my business’s success to social media.

So it always comes as a surprise to people when I say that I truly have a love-hate relationship with social media.

Don’t get me wrong. I think social media definitely has its perks. It has helped us connect with people all over the world, reconnect with old friends, and opened up doors for business opportunities and relationships we could have never dreamed of.

But there are some downsides to social media and, as an entrepreneur who lives and breathes all things digital, it’s important to know where those pitfalls are and how to avoid them.

Let’s jump into why it’s important to build your business with social media but not entirely dependent on social media.

You Don’t Own Your Social Media Platform

I see this all of the time. People think that just because they have a large number of followers, they can build their businesses entirely on their social media account.

While these platforms are amazing for connecting us with our respective audiences, one thing that always scares me is that we don’t personally own these platforms.

As we saw recently on the day Facebook and their related apps went dark, these platforms could crumble at any time. The actual owners of the platform could terminate your account for a user violation or your account could be hacked and unable to be recovered. At that point, all of your hard work building your brand on social media is gone.

This is where having a website or email list comes in. It is important to own your own list or another little piece of the Internet. If something happens to your social media accounts, you’ll still have a way to reach your audience and they will still have a way to reach you.

Social Media is 24/7

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started working in the digital space is that I felt I needed to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Just because social media is online all of the time, it doesn’t mean you have to be.

Attempting to post all day every day, while keeping up with what everyone else is doing, is the quickest way to burn out.

The best way to take on social media is to do it in chunks of time. Pre-write a month’s worth of content and schedule it using a scheduling app such as Agorapulse, Later, or Hootsuite. Doing this ensures that you’re still present with your audience without letting social media take over your entire day.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

This is another huge pitfall of social media, both for businesses and for individuals. It can be so easy to fall into the comparison trap when everyone’s posts are beautifully written and perfectly styled.

Don’t do this! There is nothing wrong with following some of your competitors or other people in your field to keep a pulse on your industry – but when it comes to comparing posts? No one has time for that!

Out of all of my social media clients, the ones whose posts perform the best are the people who are authentically and unapologetically themselves. They aren’t carbon copies of their competitors but rather, they bring their own voices and personalities into their posts.

Take into account what others are doing on social media but always light your own path.

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in the Social Media Basket

While I live and breathe social media and truly see the value it brings to the world of business, I also understand its limitations. What I try to stress to all of my clients is that social media is just one piece of a much larger content marketing puzzle.

When you use social media as one of your tools, rather than your entire toolkit, you’ll see your business grow much more quickly than when you focus your entire strategy on your social media posts.

I’m not saying to stretch yourself too thin by trying to attack your business’s marketing from all possible angles but building with social media is a much more successful strategy than building your entire business on social media.


Amanda Russell is a freelance writer, content strategist, and Online Business Manager. Behind the name Chaos Coordination, LLC, she has helped her clients take on the world of social media and content marketing. With her guidance and gift of storytelling, she helps small businesses and brands form their true and authentic voices, cut through the noise, and establish themselves in the digital space. You can learn more about Amanda by visiting