There is no such thing as a free social media platform

We are hitting our heads against a wall.

For years, we have believed in the myth of “free”. Listening to music was free, watching a video was free, posting your piece of content was free. Whether you were an individual or a company, you could get in front of a fairly wide audience with a very small investment of energy and time, and essentially without spending any money. And of course, as we were getting blinded by the allure of “free”, we forgot about a very important fundamental.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Even when things appear to be free, they are not.

While we have not paid a dime to publish and distribute our content for the past decade or so, we have most likely contributed to the impoverishment of our society and to the extremization of the public discourse.

Furthermore, as marketers we keep banging our heads against the wall every time a platform curbs our potential to reach our audience (current or wanted). We might just understand and accept that those platforms do not exist to allow us to spread our message to whoever we want. And instead we first spend weeks over weeks complaining about how our posts used to get 1000 and now gets 200. Then, we try to game the algorithms, we hack a bit further to try to squeeze more, we ask strangers of dubious reputation to publish or click on links just to try to increase our content’s rank, we use shortcuts to boost metrics that have absolutely no business relevance.

The basics of marketing have been the same for decades, and if we manage to stop our head just for a second, we can see that is what still matters nowadays.

  1. Understand who your audience is.
  2. Ask what they need help with.
  3. Match your product or service to the help needed.

The rest is noise. It distracts us from achieving things that matter and from delivering meaningful change.

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