What If Social Media Disappeared Overnight?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Free Giveaway, Good Idea or Bad Idea?

It seems intuitive that free giveaways attract more people to your campaign. More people, more leads, more opportunity, and if you do it right, more sales. There is also a widespread belief that free giveaway is essential to marketing. I have seen it in almost every marketing blog and book I read. Does the free giveaway tactic work? It depends. When does it work? When does it not work? If you are an artist, how do you apply free giveaway effectively?

Does the free giveaway tactic work? and when does it not work?

Absolutely. Who doesn’t like freebies? But, you need to be careful about what you are giving away. Rabbits eat carrots, chickens don’t. If you try to catch chickens, don’t use carrots as bait. Agree on that? Use the wrong bait, and you will never catch what you want, and sometimes your giveaway can backfire on you if it attracts the people you don’t want.

Solution: Don’t start with what you will giveaway. Start with who you are trying to catch, and then figure out what they are attracted to.

How to apply free giveaway effectively?

Supposed to are clear on what type of people you want to attract, and you understand what they need. You create a free giveaway that can add value to your audience’s life, it is critical to figure out how to give it away. There is no right answer to this question, you need to experiment until you figure out the most effective way to deliver your free giveaway at the time that is convenient to your audience. If your giveaway is delivered digitally via social media or your website, you need to make it as easy as possible for your audience to obtain it while capturing the information you need about your audience. If your giveaway is tangible objects, you need to minimize the logistics involved while creating the most impact. It is free after all, you don’t want to spend too much time no it, but you need to make sure the experience of receiving it is good. You want to share your audience that the gift is valuable both to them and you. Nobody wants to feel like they are receiving something the giver has little regard to.

What does your giveaway say about you and your business?

If you are giving your products away, you are desperate. If you can give away a whole cake, just let the prospect see it and smell it, but don’t let them try it until they pay. Generosity can backfire on you, as some may take advantage of you, while others may think what you are selling has little value. You can afford to give it away after all. Artists, if you are welling your prints at a show, don’t create a raffle to give away one of them. Not only it tells your audience that you couldn’t care less to the point you will give away what they were supposed to pay you for, but it will also devaluate everything else you sell across the board.

How frequently should you give away?

You can give away every hour or even minutes, this is not the point. The point is how scarce your giveaway is. Can people get the gift somewhere else other than participating in your free giveaway campaign? How many will you give away and how many are they will be available? It doesn’t matter how often you give if you are giving away bean. But if the beans you are giving is a specific type of beans that only you and a handful of other people have, and they are valuable to a group of people who will pay a high price for, you will have eyeballs.

Thought? Question? Leave a comment.