Social media is an investment of time, energy, money and focus. I dropped Facebook this week for this very reason. How do you know where to put it in your business life? Chew on the classic quote from retail giant John Wanamaker:

"Half my advertising spend is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."

You are probably wasting half your time on social media. Luckily, there are ways to figure out which half.

Are you getting direct sales or interest?

Are you starting or getting sales when you post? This ties directly to how close you are to your business: The more layers you have between your sales numbers, the harder it is to tell.

For instance, I've self-published my last six books. When I or another person do a social media post related to one of them, then I can go on my sales dashboard and see the moment they grabbed an audiobook, digital book or physical book. Ditto for people signing up for my JoinDamon.me newsletter.

Who is following you?

We worry about numbers, but numbers don't matter if the followers are empty. Are they part of the community you want to serve? Are they engaging with you in appreciable ways? Are they progressing you in the direction you want your business to go?

As a mentor once said, you could have one engaged follower on social media, but if it is Bill Gates, then you're doing fine.

What is your end game?

Being on social media for the sake of social media used to make sense: Meet your audience where they are and have them engage with you however they like. The pure pressure of maintaining, updating and communicating across multiple platforms, though, is way higher than the early social media days of old.

By old, I mean 2009.

Where does your community live? I serve solopreneurs, side hustlers and other non-traditional entrepreneurs. We hang out on Twitter and, more increasingly, LinkedIn and Instagram. Dropping Facebook isn't so much of a risk as it is a level up.

Double down on where you can truly connect with and serve your people. Anything else is a wasted half.

Published on: Nov 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.