Meta Loves Your Business, but not in the way you think!
A few years ago you would have agreed that Facebook and Instagram loved your business like you loved your business! You were most likely thinking you were adding to the popularity of it, entering a give-and-take relationship. The free platform was graced with your (my) clever ads, stories, timeline images, profile images, and more, without us it would most likely fail. But what we didn’t realize is that they loved our business for a different reason, we were working for them.
When you work in the field of marketing and advertising, you learn very quickly that no one really knows what they’re doing. You spend years trying to gain all the knowledge others supposedly have, only to find out that they were doing the same thing you were…searching in the dark. After years of supposedly not knowing how to be a “real agency” I put my foot down. I promoted ourselves as an agency because we’re all just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. If you do it long enough and people see a difference in their business because of you, they’ll keep coming back. This makes you, an agency.
So if we’re all just faking it till we make it, that would mean that no one knows how to actually do digital marketing, no one has nailed down the social media algorithms…no one but the platforms themselves. We’re getting played people, not the other way around. So how could you take advice from another person/agency on any of this? Well, experience plays a small part, but by the time you’ve figured it all out they change it up again.
To give the metaverse the benefit of the doubt, I used to think that they started these platforms to entertain us and maybe make a few bucks in the process. As time went by, I realized it was a data game, we were the currency and the ad dollars were just to feed the beast gobbling up the users that hadn’t signed up yet. Now with over 2 billion users, we can see what the platform was built for. Control.
Before you think that I’m wearing a tin foil hat while I write this, give me another minute.
Over the last two years, I’ve noticed that social media is changing daily, but more importantly, the platforms are changing us. Similar to when you watched a western on your television set years ago, you immediately wanted to purchase a holster and run around the neighborhood with your six shooter and trusted broomstick Trigger. The difference between that innocence and today’s social influence is that we knew Trigger wasn’t real, and he had no control over us. In fact, we had control over it the second we turned it off, closed the book, and hung up the phone. But today, social media is a constant… It’s personal, It’s business, It’s politics, It’s everything.
If you had the power social media had, you would do the same thing. Get the numbers, numbers are influence, influence is culture, culture is control, and control is power. Power is much better than money, but it’s more dangerous too.
Every time a business gets smarter than the platform, the platform advances. They monitor what we do, take the ideas we push into it, and turn them back on us time and time again. This is the classic lost in space episode where when you teach the robot too much, it outsmarts you at your own game and turns on you. So what’s the fun in that, and more importantly…why invest in something that doesn’t help you actually succeed? The ad game is built to take your money, find your customers, and own them too. You’re only paying for the platforms to grow, not building your business like you think you are.
So what do we do, act like crazy people, and get off all social media? Short answer, yes.
Everyone justifies their time on social media one way or another. “I only go on there to check on my business!” or the famous “It’s the only place I can stay caught up on my family I hardly see!”. But we know the real reason you go on there, it’s to absorb the world you think you’re missing out on. Trust me, you’re not missing much.
There are a small group of people out there that post on social, and log off. They check that box so that their business stays relevant. This is fine, self-control and a lesser opinion of the platforms than they boast to have is healthy. But, I’m talking about one thing only…and that’s guarding your time, taking back your energy, and keeping you creative when it comes to your business.
Think of the possibilities you could create, and the time you would have if you just stopped posting to those platforms. How creative you would have to be in order to get your company’s message out to the masses. What steps you would need to take to become a better leader, a stronger voice in your community, and an example that proves to be unique in this multiplicity type world we’re living in.
Keeping an eye on social platforms over the last two years, and paying attention to them vs the content that’s on them taught me one thing. We’re all drinking the same Koolaid. And as a marketer, a strategic thinker, and a supposed thought leader. How can I do that all day and expect to come up with something different for myself, and for my clients.
I challenge you to take a few weeks without the buzz of social media. See if you actually miss anything! I implore you to measure its value if you do so, see if it actually helps you in business. And make a conscious decision to leave the masses and become an individual that doesn’t let the feeling of “being loved” trump real love, real money, and the true feeling of changing the game.