The ever changing social media landscape and the importance of owning your own data and relationships.
Online interactions between creators, artists, and brands have been dominated over the years by a multitude of third parties (social networks). Now don’t get me wrong, social media is a fantastic way of distributing content and growing a following, and at times, making a good chunk of change. However, relying purely on social media to build a direct and meaningful relationship with your audience for the long-term is becoming increasingly harder…and more expensive.
As social media changes, NOW is the time to own the direct relationships with your audience. The content is yours and the fans are yours, so why let third parties and platforms decide which parts you own, control, and monetize?
My social game is woke – why should I do anything else?
Facebook is now prioritizing what friends and family share over Pages as part of an effort to help people spend time on the site in a more meaningful way. Facebook expects this will negatively affect the amount of time people spend on the platform, but they are okay with the trade-off.
Over the next year, Facebook will be making changes to their algorithm to show more posts from friends and family, and updates that spark conversation. As Facebook makes these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease.
The public content users see more will be the posts that encourage meaningful interactions between people. This means brands should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users.
You can read more about these changes here:
Ok, so now what?
Play the long game. Hone your website and start collecting valuable data and insights! Here’s the one-two punch:
- Combine all official online content into a single, vertically integrated system: Your website.
- Use that system to syndicate content out across socials and effectively drive people back to the environment you control and from which you collect the data (emails, traffic, and other insights).
“Websites don’t do anything”
This is something we hear regularly, and truthfully, websites that function simply as digital billboards don’t really do that much. But there is a lot of opportunity here to change that.
A thoughtfully curated site drives audiences directly to you. Right now, fans are being sent to a variety of channels, and that can be confusing to a die-hard follower. Do I go to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter to hear about a new video, contest, or piece of merch? The answer today is “all of them,” which at the same time can also mean “none of them.”
At Fullscreen Direct, our philosophy is simple: Don’t build websites – build relationships.
By putting the right tools in place, you can collect and organize insights from every touchpoint to uncover their relationships and give context to the data. Each piece of data is different and can tell you something unique about how that fan expresses their affinity towards you.
YouTube videos shared via branded websites can see up to 330% more interactions. True story. Google said that.
It’s not JUST an email address. It’s a direct line to your most engaged and passionate fans.
On average, less than 6% of your followers online are seeing the content you are curating, capturing, and posting compared to an average open rate of 22% for an email list.
Seriously. Email addresses are intrinsically invaluable…and here’s why:
- You OWN it – unlike your social media followers;
- You can reach people that WANT to be reached;
- You can reach people in a more meaningful and personal way, building trust and a connection with the brand and you.
When you serve your audience, they WILL be excited when you sell. You can share new products, courses, offer promotions, ask for feedback on items or testimonials, send surveys to your audience for what they want to see next, send them event info, highlight customers, and so much more. This is your direct line to them. Make it count!
Steps to building an email list:
- 1. Figure out what you can offer and use it to get people to sign up;
- 2. Serve them content they want;
- 3. Keep serving them before you have something to sell to them.
Move your fans through the funnel
It’s all about how all of these moving parts work together (and complement each other) to build a funnel for converting your fans.
Social media engages your audience while emails drive more conversions and deeper connections. Use your social media platforms to build your email list and committed following.
- 1. Post a video or photo on social media with a bumper or CTA to drive people back to your website to see more. Lock the content for those who have given you their email addresses.
- 2. When posting a video to YouTube, use a Card to drive people back to your site and sign up.
- 3. Share a testimonial on socials and tell people if they sign up for your emails they’ll get to try a bonus product, receive a code for the featured product, or watch exclusive content before anyone else in the social serve can do so.
- 4. Pay attention. Look at what the data is telling you and use it to your advantage.
Who knows….before too long you may see that you can actually monetize your own fans directly and make long-lasting, deep relationships with your audience. They are yours after all.