As technology changes, so do we. Since Social Media hit us, we’ve been changing the way we do things continuously. Just one example is this blog. The way I let people know what I was doing before was by commenting on other blogs, sending out an email to a database or two and commenting on aggregators.
Once Facebook got so huge, I switched to notifications firstly on my profile, and later a page. As the returns on that began to diminish, I joined groups and liked pages that catered for similar concerns that I routinely write about. But as the Facebook algorithm has evolved and the strategy of Facebook itself has changed, these methods have all gradually decreased in effectiveness.
This makes sense because, after all, Facebook is nothing more than a business trying to make money and we are actually just the free content providers, the product, not the customer. The customer is the advertisers it now delivers us and all our data to every day. My problem is that I wanted to grow my business. I had my own platform with my content on it and I wanted to use Facebook to get people there. The new algorithms simply strangle the effectiveness of that to a standstill.
One of the old lessons of the digital era is that you should never try and build your business on someone else’s platform. This is why I own my domain and my website in the first place. But I guess I had begun to overly rely on Facebook as a source of traffic. It’s funny though, now that I am thinking like this, the way I use Facebook itself has started to change.
The first step was to delete the page. Of course it’s not that easy. Facebook keeps it live for an additional two weeks while you are supposed to ask yourself if you REALLY want to do this. Soon that period is over and the page is gone. Except it never really is. It’s there and can be resurrected easily enough. You know, just in case. But once I had done this, I began to lose interest in using Facebook in any way except to stay in touch with my friends and family around the world. I started to trim my friends list. I am now trying to get that friends list down to people I actually personally really know (read: have met more than twice and had several conversations with) or members of my extended family.
If you are reading this somehow and we were Facebook friends once please understand, it’s nothing personal. And if you DO want to read what I write, please join the new mailing list I have started here on the website. You can sign up in the right hand side tool bar. You see, what I also realised was that the way I was using Facebook was part of a big story about myself that wasn’t really true. I wanted an audience for my books and my workshops and talks. But once I had reached that and there were no new books coming, no talks going on, it became and exercise in what? Maintaining awareness? I had to ask myself the question: Does this serve any other purpose than placating the ego?
There is a social network custom made and aimed at business activity. It’s called Linked in. And there is a social media network that doesn’t filter your newsfeed. It’s called Twitter. So when I am talking business and building awareness outside of my website, I will be channeling it there, not through Facebook. Sure, my friends and family will be kept up to date, but my Facebook is going to change, just like the real Facebook has and just like my business has.
Of course I hope this is both more effective and more personal. And, I hope that I actually get to know some readers and visitors via their comments and visits. I’m not sure anymore though. A few years ago I predicted that Social Media would have a lifespan and eventually would become so niched also as to be unrecognisable and eventually die out. While this has hardly happened, that has happened is that the place it enjoyed in the media mix from an advertising and marketing perspective has changed from one of pre-eminence, to being just another option. That has to have something to do with how our ideas as social media users are changing, and how we feel about its effects on our lives. Either way, I hope that anyone who wants to read what I write can still find me easily and that I can still talk to you over the internet, wherever you are.