Content (not surprisingly) is (still) King

Long time no post? Yeah… I was off building content on other sites instead of pushing content to my own. I spent some time with twitter and facebook. I did some advertising. I did some experiments, and I’m back to where I am the decider!

Monetization; Nothing is ever really free, and recently the squeeze of the all mighty dollar has been put on social media. Twitter was used to directly push eyeballs to NBC for the Olympics this year and Facebook has been slowly filtering out your feed. Now with fresh API’s and IPO’s respectively, social media is using every trick in the bag to get advertisers and it’s audience together.

Both sites control media, content, and make filtered decisions on your behalf. Remember when you saw EVERY post from your friends on facebook? They started to slowly show more of the people you interacted with. A year ago they implemented a subscribe feature that no one can figure out and opts everyone out of your feed. Soon you were asking your friends: “When did you post that?!” because FB decided that it wasn’t important. Facebook Pages are in even worse shape. Only 30% of the people that like your page will be shown any particular update from that page. “Will be shown” as in – 70% just won’t ever see it on their feed unless they directly go to your page, or you pay for that update to be promoted. Twitter has a similar model that suggests people follow you and pushes your tweets to their page.

One of my close friends liked Verizon on facebook. Or at least facebook told me that they did. Are you kidding me? Verizon has a pretty good network, but no one actually likes them. This made me suspicious and it turns out this is just another advertisement option trick.

Third party apps suffer: What I want is an app that will broadcast my words across multiple channels and outlets. I want an app that reads and parses everything from all outlets under my control. Post to facebook, twitter, wordpress, google+, etc. Show your entire timeline, all tweets, all posts. The reality is that those apps are being crushed or filtered so badly that no one will see the content when it gets there. Nothing is ranked higher then you typing an update directly into facebook.com. Hootsuite, Seesmic, Twitter, SMS, etc. will all be ranked lower (show up on less feeds) then your eyeballs on their site and their apps – looking at their ads. Google+ doesn’t even play the game. You just can’t post on G+ if you’re not on the page or using their app.

Why are we playing this game? It’s only going to get worse. We are social creatures, but at what (Buy Coke) point is the (Doritos) interaction going to be (Target) spoiled? Twitter just feels like a bunch of people yelling on mountaintops with no engagement happening. I have evidence to suggest that facebook just makes up demographic data. For example I ran an ad targeting anyone in the US that likes “rallying” OR “WRC”. It was over 250,000 people?! I can tell you that this demographic is more like 10k to 15k people on it’s best day – and that’s if I count the 25% of the population that is NOT on facebook!

Push them to the website: I’m retreating to safe waters. I pay for the server, I have a pro flickr account, my rally blog runs some ads to cover the $90 a year, and I get to post and promote whatever I want. I’ll still be on the social networks, but my goals have changed. I just want people to visit my sites and enjoy my work. If they’re interested they can sign up for updates via email or RSS. Google search loves unique content and is more likely to find viewers then a lousy facebook ad. I’m experimenting with IFTTT.com and a microblog with microposts on rallynotes.com. Instead of content ending up there, content STARTS there, where it remains king.

3 thoughts on “Content (not surprisingly) is (still) King

  1. Dude. We all buy into the hype on some level, ya know?

    Go where the customers, er, prospects are, sure, but don’t relocate there. Spend enough time in the social mediasphere and you what you’ll start to see percolate up as a theme? Everyone wants a community centered around their brand where they can engage and track conversations which can be legitimately tied to the bottom line.

    Funny. Sounds like a discussion forum to me, but the fact that forums aren’t getting more play in our hyper-connected world suggests to me that the predominately marketing-driven social media types could still give a shit about actually listening to potential customers.

    I have Facebook and Twitter accounts for GBXM. They are 99% automated. I treat them as subscription channels. Those who want to be part of the movement will be part of the movement. Paying for promotion or buying fans with contests is sunk costs in my book. You need a critical mass of real people really doing thing in the real world to get that shit to spread.

    Keep the blog going strong, maybe add a simple (machines) forum where people can pose their own questions or such, consider publishing a monthly/quarterly newsletter for subscribers, and just push content out to the channels.

    Not that you need reminding, but make sure anyone who responds is treated like a celebrity for doing so. Show them how much they are appreciated. If it feels good, they will come back.

    Good luck. YMMV.

    1. Subscription channels – absolutely.
      Instead of saying: “My message is on facebook, engage with me there.” Let’s say “My message is on my website, go engage with US there.”
      I enjoy being looked at as a resource, a good story teller, and a way for people to live through my experiences. Finding the harmonious balance between total attention whore and complete lack of updates is something that I’m still getting the knack of, but I realize that people will seek their own level, and the thing to do is allow them to be the deciders.

      I was listing to a podcast talking about fake twitter followers and the argument was made: It’s not about your 1,000,000 followers. It’s about the 100 people who are actively engaged with you or your brand / message.

      1. True, true. Throwback to the industrial revolution; start small, scale exponentially. I try to remind myself (and as many others as seems appropriate) of the following:

        1. There are over 7 Billion people on this planet today.
        2. 33% of us are online (2.267Bn).
        3. That’s >500% growth since 2000 (361MM).

        If what we’re offering only appeals to one-in-a-million, that means there’s currently 2,267 ideal “customers” out there. As internet penetration increases in coming years, out-pacing population growth (we hope), that number of one-in-a-million-types only stands to grow.

        Much to my social media (read: marketing, sales) contacts’ chagrin, I firmly believe products truly worth owning market themselves. The only products needing marketing are those which do not deliver the goods sufficiently to live up to the hype spun by their advertising.

        So how are our efforts making a difference in the lives of others? Just got an idea. Quick email inbound shortly.

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