A couple of years ago, I woke up in the morning trying to check into my Facebook group as usual. When I logged on to the group on my phone, I noticed something was wrong. The latest post was from two days ago (multiple new posts every day in usual), and some images couldn’t load. As soon as I refresh the screen, my body froze. It said my group is no longer accessible due to a violation of Facebook’s community policy. I tried logging in on different devices – same thing. I almost fainted, as I came to realize a Facebook group I spent more than a year to build with 30k+ members had vanished overnight.
The Game Social Media Plays
After two weeks of back and forth communication with Facebook ( most of which was waiting for their response), I claimed my group back. If you haven’t experienced such drama in your life, GOOD, but it could happen to you.
The question isn’t when this may happen or what to do when that happens to you. The question is what you can do from now. If one day your social media account vanishes, you don’t panic.
Social media gives us this fake notion that marketing on social media is free and easy. Yes, it is. However, because it is free and easy, everyone can do it. Now Facebook and other social media are building fences, and they say to everyone
“Come over, we have all the great stuff from free.”
People show up, and then they turn to people who want to reach out a specific demographic, and they say
“We know who are you are trying to reach. If you want to reach out to more people like them, you need to pay.”
People start paying, and some pay more so their message gets to the top, and then the others caught up, so the bidding goes on until a handful of player can afford to stay in the bidding war and everyone else backs down. Facebook is clearing across the table during this process, by selling your attention. We see this being played on Instagram, Google, Pinterest, etc. Then one day, Facebook shut you down regardless of your contribution, because you violated the community policy, which they try very hard to hide from you.
Is this fair? Yes, it is. Because the rules are there, and as long as you agree to play the social media game, you need to follow the rules. Facebook can change the rules overnight, and there is little you can do about it. What you can do is to be prepared before the social media does something you don’t like.
Social Media Doomsday Preparation Plan
- Remember, you CANNOT rely on social media to store and manage your contact list. Don’t get confused. Storing and managing your contact list is not their job. Also remember, that only because someone follows you on social media, it doesn’t mean he or she will see everything you post. It doesn’t work that way.
- Create a contact list with these essential fieldsFist and last name, email, phone number and mailing address.
Store this list somewhere outside of social media. I recommend a CRM like Copper and email software like MailChimp or Convertkit. They get paid to manage your contact list. As long as you are paying (not expensive at all), your list will be safe. But….wait, even then, back up your list to an Excel file on your hard drive and your online storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive once a quarter religiously.
- Build the habit of using social media to test the market, but use other ways that promise a higher open rate to reach out to your audience. For example, email or chatbot.
- Consider your ROI (Return On Investment) when you buy ads on social media. I will explain how to prioritize your ROI in a different post. I just want to put this on your radar for now.
Thoughts? Question? Leave a comment.
Want more of this? Follow this blog by pressing the appropriate buttons.