The recent actions of technology and social media companies – Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple –deciding which apps (Parler) and people (Donald Trump) are “unworthy” of a presence on their platforms is worrisome for brands.
Global brands, celebrities, non-profits and political candidates embrace social media to cultivate, connect, and engage with their respective audiences – customers, followers, fans, donors, and prospective voters. And yet their investment in apps and social media can evaporate in an instant if their content is deemed arbitrarily inappropriate.
Should brands trust social media? When private companies run these platforms, not only do they own the connections but most importantly, they own the data. On the flip side, given these draconian missteps, will followers and fans trust these platforms to remain agnostic and a viable source of information? Or will their disenchantment blight attention, turning their eyeballs to something else?
Speaking of attention, what is even more alarming about social platforms is the actual reach of a typical post, photo, or video. According to Hootsuite, on Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post hovers around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content. How do you reach more of your audience? Simple… increase your ad budget.
So now you are forced to invest time and budget on a digital presence you don’t really own, to connect with followers you have no direct visibility to, unless you spend money advertising.
In 2015, my team worked with a company that was building a new type of social platform. Built with brands in mind, this startup actually shared the data of followers and fans, giving them complete control of their digital presence. At the time, many wondered why there would be a need for yet another social platform. Fast-forward to 2021, and we can see why.
Like websites and email platforms, brands must invest in platforms they can trust. Where they own the data.
Today’s social platforms are at an interesting crossroads. They have become an amplifier, echo chamber, and launch pad for information and disinformation. The signal to noise ratio is terrible.
A new technology platform is needed. One that gives brands control.