Social Media is Dead II

Several months ago, I published a post titled Social Media is Dead. It drew several kinds of reactions. Some people “got it.” Others were skeptical. Since that post went live, several major tech and news outlets arrived at some of the same conclusions I did. Among them, TIME Magazine which prompted this follow-up video post. Please click Play (or read along with the transcript) below to hear some new thoughts on the subject and receive some guidance directed to sole proprietors and small companies.

Killing Organic Reach

Hi everyone, this is Anthem Salgado, business coach and marketing strategist from Today we’re going to follow-up on a topic that we covered several months back, and this will be on social media.

A little while ago, I wrote a piece called, “Social Media is Dead”, which came to a surprise to some people because for a long while I was actually advocating for more activity on social media. But that was of course during the heyday of the medium. It was in the very beginning, things were exciting, we didn’t know exactly how things would pan out. But after a couple of years, those of us who were watching it very closely have arrived at some new conclusions. It is a platform that was a little bit over-hyped, a little bit misunderstood, and that there is a proper way to use social media, but it is not as all-powerful as we once imagined. So that is all covered in the post at the Art of Hustle website called, “Social Media is Dead”.

After having posted that, lots, and lots, and lots of writings have come forward from other websites talking about very specifically how Facebook, everyone’s favorite, and number one social media platform, is purposely killing organic reach. This means that everything that made social media so amazing, and so powerful, the fact that you could build your own audience, is now on purpose getting broken, and disassembled by a social media giant, which is Facebook. Now why would they do this? As it turns out, organic reach is awesome for folks like you and me, small businesses, small companies on limited budgets. But there’s no way that Facebook has found to be able to cash in on it. So what they’ve done is basically destroy your organic reach on purpose and now that you are in some ways addicted to the platform, the only way for you to reach your audience in Facebook is to pay for advertising. Good for them, horrible for us.

Facebook is Going Out of Style

But again, websites go in and out of fashion, very, very easily. And because you don’t control that website. Me and Mark Zuckerberg are not friends, I can’t influence him to manage his site the way I would like for him to manage it. It’s not in our control. Those things trend in and out of style. We have no idea when Facebook is going to die. I’ve told people for a long while; Facebook was going to go out of style. They did not want to believe me because it would seem so omnipresent. And it might still continue to be. But it won’t be all-powerful for us, it will be all-powerful for them, and whoever has bought stock in Facebook. It will be good for them; it will be good for their advertising dollars. It doesn’t serve us as small companies, and small businesses, and individual artists.

The proof has been coming forward more and more so. People are beginning to understand how Facebook was basically killing the one thing that made it awesome for the rest of us. And just this week TIME┬ámagazine published an article. They’ve found some sources to confirm that Facebook has plans to diminish organic reach, and bring it all the way down to 1%. One percent. So let’s say you have 1,000 followers, which is not huge, but it’s pretty good for a small company. I have about 1,000. Then next time I post something, only 10 people will see it. If I want more people to see it, I have to pay. That would be great for Nike, that would be great for McDonald’s, that would be great for Apple maybe. But for small companies like yours and mine, it’s a budget breaker. And so what does this mean for us? This means we have to recognize — I already told people is that social media is dead as a marketing tool, as a marketing tool. I think it’s best used as a customer service tool. I’ve already talked about that, so I won’t repeat myself here.

Can’t Beat the Original School

What can we do in place of social media to have what might still be considered organic reach? And I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again. You got to have your own website, because you will control that, that content, how people visit it. You’ve got to have your own newsletter service because ultimately people will opt in, and give you permission to speak to them directly through their inboxes. So you can’t beat the original school, you cannot beat the original school. You’ve got to have your own website, you’ve got to have your own newsletter list. If you don’t have those things, then good luck to you because Facebook is on its way out, the writing is on the wall, and so it’s going to suck for a lot of people that really spent a lot of time, money, resources, energy to build up an audience on Facebook if they didn’t make it a point to capture all those folks also by email. I learned that lesson when, from the very beginning because I’ve been following this for a while.

From Friendster, everyone traded over to MySpace. I had about 100 friends on Friendster, and then everyone went to MySpace, I captured all those same friends, because I was able to follow them, they were real people that I knew. Plus I expanded my network by like 10 times. So I had maybe 1,500 friends, like real friends. People I actually communicated with, kept I in touch with. People I could email when I was traveling, and, actually hang out with in different cities around the world; it was kind of cool. And then after MySpace, I basically lost touch of all those people. I never regained them through Facebook because for some reason I just wasn’t able to capture them all over again, like actual genuine friends and colleagues. So that’s a real bummer that happened. So I’ve already experienced it, and I feel bad for everybody who is about to experience it now with Facebook. The lesson is important, come back down to basics. Have a strong newsletter, figure out how to use it really effectively so people opt in, and stay opted in. And have an awesome website that people can visit as frequently as they do Facebook.

So that’s it. Anthem Salgado, once again. Business coach and marketing strategist for Art of Hustle. Please visit the site for more information, and good luck on all your endeavors. I hope this little bump in the road, bump in the Facebook road doesn’t hurt you too bad, but it’s a good reminder to us all to really manage and maintain our audiences on our own platforms. Thank you very much.


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