The harsh reality of social media growth

I Want My Name I Want My Name: Getting off Facebook and Twitter is easy to talk about, but the thought of actually doing it is full of mental landmines. How do you spread the word of your brand? How do you get people to care?
Well here’s the harsh truth: popular social media accounts don’t become popular by accident. They’re popular because they put in the legwork – the person or people behind them were actually social. They created a great product, talked to journalists, build a network, talked to vendors, spoke at conferences, sponsored events, attended events, etc., etc.
The internet isn’t really an “if you build it, they will come” place anymore. You don’t just get word-of-mouth growth because you exist. You have to earn it.
Enough with the tough stuff though – there’s an opportunity here. Starting a website you hope to grow – even the smallest blog – is hard work. You have to plug away at it every day. But most advice you’ll find in 2017 will tell you that you need an active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. account to make it. My advice? Reinvest that time into actual work.
Build your product, use your web presence as your backbone, and go sell it. If you’re making pastries, go talk to places that can sell them. If you’re writing a sports blog, go find an athlete to interview. If you’re a photographer, start talking to galleries or event centers. Growth takes a plan, and that plan can’t just be to tweet X times a day and hope to get retweets.
I’ll end it with this, and I’ve been saying this for years: Apple is the biggest, most iconic brand in the world, and they hardly spend any of their enormous resources on social media. Their verified Twitter account with 1.43 million followers has never tweeted. Their @itunes, @applemusic, and @appstore accounts just auto-tweet promos with no customer engagement. They don’t care about Twitter because they don’t need Twitter.
Apple prides itself on creating timeless product lines and carefully crafted messages, while social media is designed for off-the-cuff remarks and mistakes. We should all try to take the lead. Relentlessly build the best, most perfect product you create. Promote it carefully, then let your product speak for itself. And take the time to solve the problems of your customers in the most efficient way possible (hint: identifying problems 140 characters at a time isn’t the answer… email and/or face-to-face communication is key).
Building a brand without social media is just as possible in 2017 as it was in 1997. You just have to work at it. There are no shortcuts.

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