When Social Media Sinks, Will Your Boat Boat Be Ready?
For a year, I’ve felt like a lunatic. No, if i’m being honest, longer than that. I won’t (and can’t) say that I predicted the mass exodus we seem to slowly be making off of social media and on to our own platforms but I believe early on, I recognized that we absolutely needed outlets of our own.
We all know how social media has become a sharp double edged sword. Both dangerous AND lifesaving. Smart and extremely stupid. Funny and ridiculously rude. All of these are the clear dualities of social but will getting rid of it help, or just make things harder?
These platforms have created a wall. A wall that controls the how, where, when and why we interact with people. And at any moment, these platforms can chose to tighten and constrict. Or a server might go down and we’re completely shut off until they fix it.
Case in point, a few weeks ago when instagram shut down.
As this happens more frequently, I think it’s imperative for use to take back control of our communities. That may mean extra work but the outcome will only benefit those who take heed. And it’s not just Instagram, or Facebook. Youtube has been known to squeeze it’s creators, making it harder for them to live off of their streaming income and music platforms are barely paying out.
Somethings got to give.
Now I admittedly do not know much about this brand but recently, Lush UK, an environmentally friendly cosmetic brand, planned their departure from it’s social platforms. Are they shooting themselves in the foot? Hard to say. But regardless, it’s a strong and probably the smartest move to make in this fleeting era of social media.
On it’s website, it says
..the UK strategy is to primarily focus and invest more heavily in our owned platforms, where we have seen stronger engagement, rather than rely so heavily on third parties.
They also say that due to their policy of refusing to pay for ads, their followers only see 6% of the content they create, on their feeds.
As a business, we don’t pay for advertising. The same applies when it comes to social media. Over the years we have created, published and cross-promoted organic content and conversations with the Lush community across multiple platforms and accounts. However, it has become more and more apparent that these genuine conversations with the Lush Community cannot grow without us paying for the reach and engagement. We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change.
So What happens next?
Lush isn’t the first and they probably won’t be the last but what does this really mean? In my opinion, and i’m just speculating here:
We’ll see a lot more of this. Probably as more people become tired of fighting with algorithms and having to throw more and more money away towards ads, we’ll see more brands and companies joining the exodus. Companies will create their own community based apps and turn their websites into hubs for creatives and for customers alike. Like i said, this is all a hunch.
I think we need to prepare. We need to get our websites, we need to create our products, we need to organize and remove as much of the 3rd party as possible and become self sufficient. If we don’t and continue to rely on these platforms, we will forever be in their grasp and never truly own our community.
Creating Your Platform
So what am i saying? I’m saying you need to create your own platform. Your boat = your platform. In our quest to be self sufficient and captain of our own ships. we need to create our own platforms to host our own content. A place for our videos, our photos, animation, video. A place where your voices won’t get muffled by the noise algorithms or spam.
Whatever your skill, or trade or purpose, a website will be more than beneficial to your growth. Having a home for your content gives anyone interested in YOU, a place to indulge and learn more without being bombarded by things that do nothing but distract. All these social platforms care about is finding a way to get your eyes on as much random stuff as possible to fill their advertising return. Removing a 3rd party, you put out exactly what you want your audience to see. No algorithms, no drastic rate changes, no spam.