A mistake content creators are rapidly repeating is building one-platform brands. To stake your entire business on any single social media platform is dangerous. Don’t do it.
People are lining up to be YouTubers, Instagram influencers, and other single-platform stars. If you’re one of them, do you realize you don’t own any part of YouTube? You don’t have any authority over Instagram. And there’s no one at those companies representing your best interest.
If your business is based on a platform that you A) don’t own B) don’t have any control over and C) don’t know how it works, you’re begging for problems and hardship.
All major social media platforms are rigged. And I do mean ALL of them.
They use algorithms and artificial intelligence to manipulate search results, display and reach. They use content filters and conduct policies inconsistently and without transparency. And they change the rules whenever they feel like it to make the game more favorable for them, not you.
Changing the game is bad enough. But to make matters worse, social media companies either don’t announce the rules until after they’ve been changed or they don’t announce them at all.
Look at YouTube’s slick move at the beginning of 2018. The company decided channels can’t monetize their content unless they have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in a year.
That snatched bread out of the mouths of small channels that were already earning money and made it harder for newcomers to start earning.
In what other space could a company get away with saying, You’ll no longer be paid for your work, you’re now a volunteer without any real push back or legal repercussions?
Recently, Google+ tweaked their spam filter. I am one of many people who got caught in the web.
Anything I posted on the platform was instantly flagged as spam and then deleted. And I received a warning that if I continued the unspecified action that was deemed to be spamming, some or all of my ability to the use the platform may be suspended.
It was ridiculous. And just imagine if Google+ was the only means I had to communicate with my audience.
For an even starker example, look at Vine. The top content creators on that platform had millions of followers and earned millions of dollars. Then, in 2017, Twitter shut down the video-sharing aspect, which was the money-maker and turned it into a camera app that no one talks about.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek success or profit from any particular platform. By all means, go after your coins and get them wherever you can.
But building your entire brand on a platform you don’t own or control is as about as smart as putting a trailer on someone else’s land. Especially, when you already know that person is always changing their mind and playing manipulative games.
We’re told to diversify our income, savings, skills, etc. But there’s not enough emphasis on the need to diversify the lines of communication with our audience.
If you’re building a brand or have established one and it relies on a single platform, you need to diversify fast. And your diversification plan should include a site that you own and you control.
When these platforms are playing games, you need a base camp where you can always be found. And the only way you can assure that is if you own a piece of online real estate. You should have a place where you can create and display whatever type of content you want and make money however you want.
Never put yourself in a position where any one company can disconnect you from your audience or snatch your plate off the table.