Have you felt the tension building across social media in 2018? Yes, or no, I’m sure you want to get yourself ready for 2019? 🤔
Are you are a marketer or a content creator looking for a new audience, or a salesperson hoping to connect with prospects in 2019? 💰
If yes, that’s great news and read on, because in this article, I’ll be covering some great advice for setting yourself up for success in the new year. ✅
This will require no budget and you can start to act now. I’m going to cover 2 simple questions.
Where will people be in 2019? and what content do they want to see?
Table of Contents:
- What went wrong with Social Media in 2018?
- Where will people be in 2019?
- What content to people want to see?
Well, where should I start?
2018 so far has been a wash of click-bait, fake news, spam user farms hacking public opinion and general all-around mistrust and declining satisfaction. Popular movements such as #deletefacebook (although it’s interesting to see that a lot of posts about deleting Facebook were actually on Facebook – “on no, please don’t go” cry their audience!) grab the headlines, debates about ‘self love’ v narcissism are rife with the new wave of ‘influencers’, and we’ve faced a series of quite nasty data breaches.
On that last point, in recent weeks both Facebook and Google have disclosed major data leaks, and with the latter leading to the actual closing down of Google+ – which will be sad for the last two Google employees left using it.
Put on top of this Brands vying for attention treat Social Media like it’s TV, and are competing with short-form content engagement garnered through polarising headlines. I’m sure we can all feel the dumbing down of most social content, and the lack of content in the middle and almost no balanced debate.
Your opinion does not trump my fact. Fact. (Opinions in the comments sections below).
With Facebook especially, anyone that’s spent years and a marketing budget building a community on the site will be seriously annoyed at the ever decreasing organic engagement on their pages, leading to the requirement to pay to promote almost every post if you want your fans and followers to see what you are saying (and yes Mr Zuckbot, none of us really believed it when you said the change in algorithm was to make sure people saw more from their friends and not brands).
To make things worse, we now hear rumours of users Facebook data being sold to health and insurance companies and chat monitoring for advertising purposes.
It’s the perfect storm of dissatisfied users and marketers. People want something different. Trust is quickly evaporating. So that leads me to the first question, what is the alternative?
Of course, I’m not predicting the death of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in this post anytime soon. But I do think people will continue to look for an alternative, so getting first mover advantage on anything new is a great, well, advantage.
As we’ve seen in 2018 with the swing back to Reddit and the emergence of Telegram for focussed communications people are actively seeking somewhere new to hang out online.
What I believe people want (in no particular order) is;
☑ Increased functionality. And certainly live, and mobile friendly.
☑ Security. More faith in my data, especially my identity and financial information.
☑ Control. Who can access my data and for what purpose?
☑ Accountability. Make the trolls show themselves.
☑ Human to Human interaction. How can people engage with me.
and if you are a content creator…
☑ Monitise my content/channel. Either through accepting direct payments or tips from fans, or having greater control (and perhaps a bigger cut) on ads from brands.
One of the challenges that all of the mainstream social media companies face, is that they all have the same centralised behemoth of a database and app infrastructure to contend with. From 2010, Facebook even started to develop its own datacenter to cope with the volume.
Security aside, all of this has to be paid for, and as social media use is free, the networks have to find more and more innovative ways to fund the infrastructure. Remember, you are using something for free – you are not the customer, you’re the product.
And as we know – technology moves on. From TCP/IP in 1983, to HTTP in 1991 to IPFS and the Blockchain today. This isn’t going to be a technical piece on HTTP v IPFS, although this image shows it’s set up nicely.
So is it any surprise that our current mainstream social networks are struggling considering they are based on 20-year-old technology? Not really. I’m sure you can appreciate that the devices at the endpoints are getting more and more powerful, yet old HTTP technology requires a server in the middle, so your $1k+ iPhone just becomes a window into the system, and it could be so much more.
So I started looking to the new wave of Social Platforms that are being built on the Blockchain and what that can bring to the market, and it’s exciting reading.
The first one I came across last year is a blogging platform called Steemit. The exciting thing is that its built on its own blockchain and integrates a token to allow ‘tipping’ of content creators. It’s really just a blog (although it has a sister site called Dtube which is for video – like Youtube but decentralised – hence DTube), and it has a very basic look and feel and it doesn’t have many features, but it’s a brilliant proof of concept. Even with a terrible design, and even though it’s hard to use and hard to buy the tokens – it’s getting adopted.
As you can see from this quick screen grab, article writers can get upwards of $200 per article in a few hours if it meets the interest of the audience. Today Steemit has over 1m users.
It’s very focused, but it works. And it’s fast. And it’s secure. And you can earn money on it. So that’s good. But it’s not very user-friendly, and has very little of the things that bring people back to a site, over and over again.
So what if someone could emulate the creative user experience of Facebook and Instagram, the speed of Youtube for video, integrate live streaming and real-time chat, and create a fantastic mobile experience. On top of that, what if they could find a way to integrate a monetary system, to give users the ability to tip content providers with micropayments, while at the same time being completely secure and not monitored for corporate gain?
Well, they have. So say hello to Howdoo a blockchain-powered social media platform.
It’s a single application that combines all the best features of existing social media apps, but with a radical new approach to putting users, communities, content creators, and advertisers together in complete harmony and control – alongside a whole new way of incentivising and rewarding contributions. I’ve been testing the beta, have spoken to the team, and it looks amazing.
From a user perspective it ticks all the boxes in terms of features, but for marketers, content creators and brands it’s really groundbreaking.
You’ll be able to charge for content or make available to all and allow people to tip you, with an instant transaction free inbuilt currency (which you can buy with standard currency in the system itself), and as an advertiser, you can work directly with the content creators and pay them using the same inbuilt currency.
Here is the feature table, direct from the Howdoo website.
But if I can use it for free, and someone isn’t selling my data, who pays for it all?
Well, here is the clever bit. The platform is being built on the EOS blockchain and will have its own currency, called the Udoo. The Udoo is inflationary, so the nodes (the power behind keeping the blockchain moving) will be paid as the success of the system grows, and as it grows it’ll need more power, but more funds will be available to pay the nodes and so on. All creating a virtuous circle around a decentralised funding model. It’s genius.
Although it’s not live yet, you can go grab your unique username HERE
I’m sure other new Social Networks will appear, as they always do, but there is something special about Howdoo and it’s going to be live soon. The EOS blockchain it’s built on has been engineered by the same guy behind Steemit, and he views this as an evolution. It’s better. Faster and more secure.
So in terms of where people will be, I’m sure they will still be on the same old ones as 2018, but I do expect usage to drop. So my strongest advice is to try and figure out where people will go, and try and get there before them. Set up your accounts, get your content ready, create your channels and welcome them in with open arms.
So if you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, go give Reddit another look, but also check out Howdoo. You can thank me later.
As a side note, if you’d like to buy some Udoo’s in advance (as we expect them to increase in value on launch) – you can learn how to in our free crypto training course. Just sign up HERE.
This is what most people get wrong. If I can work out where people are, but not give them the right content, what’s the point?
Most people, maybe you, stick to this formula of short form content. I’m not accusing you all of click-bait, but in most meetings where I’m discussing content for social media I hear things like; we need to keep the text short and that video must be under 30 seconds.
What’s happening is that we’re emulating the mainstream media and press. You see, they need to polarise opinion to get readers. There is very little middle left, just two sides according to the press.
- Left or Right
- Capitalism or Socialist
- MacGregor or Khabib
- Football or Soccer
- Tomato or Tomato (works better in my head).
So we end up thinking like people are mostly stupid, we need to trick them to read our content or click on our advert, and somewhere down the line, they will still buy something from us.
This is wrong. We need to be better than NewsCorp.
I love Gary Vee, and his punchy style, but I hate the fact that his individualism has spawned thousands of clones (even with the handwritten logo).
I honestly believe that 2019 will see an ever stronger resurgence in long-form media. I think people want to be treated like the intelligent sentient beings that they really are.
Some proof points for you. Netflix. While mainstream TV has become a wash of short reality shows, people like Netflix are making original content and allowing people to consume it in lengthy chunks. Take a programme like Game of Thrones (yes I know its HBO, not Netflix) – it’s complicated and challenging. Yet a huge success. Netflix is full of programmes like that.
And let’s look closer to home. Take Joe Rogans podcast. They are regularly 3 hours long. 3 hours! And are mostly 2 guys just chatting about stuff. As I type, his MMA show with John Kavanagh & George Lockhart which was only broadcast yesterday has had 2.1m views, his Elon Musk show has had over 15m – and this is on youtube alone. This doesn’t account for his podcast listeners.
Of course, Joe is something of a celebrity. So let’s look somewhere else. Intellectuals. I found Jordan B. Peterson through his youtube channel. He’s gone on to write a few books, but his day job is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He has a youtube video on one of his lectures as a part of his Maps of Meaning series and he’s had over 2m views. And it’s 9 hours long!
So, I’m not suggesting you go create content that emulates a 9-hour video, but this proves to me that people have time and space in their life for good content. And if you have something important to say, you can take your time in saying it. Whether it’s using the written/typed word, or voice or video.
Treat people how you would like to be treated, and they might just surprise you.
Over to you…
I hope this has given you some food for thought. It’s never too early to start planning, and don’t think about where people are today, think about where they are heading and what they want when they get there.
We’d love to know your thoughts, please share with us in the comments below!