Facebook (now rebranded as Meta) has been the center of influencer marketing and the creators economy for over a decade. They’ve controlled much of the conversation, much of the traffic flow, and most of the audience generation. However, influencers and creators want to take back some of this power and control from the social media giant and are slowly doing so. Influencers and celebrities like the Rock are still way ahead of the game using Facebook’s tools, however, not everyone has the offline support and status the Rock has. Here’s a recap of how they are doing so as cited in this article.
Own your audience don’t rent them
Social media still owns your audience, but just lets you borrow them to show you their posts. Creators sometimes feel that in order for their reach to increase to the former baseline they have to buy ads since sponsored posts now need to be disclosed on the platform. The platform can suppress this traffic to capture some of the advertising revenue. However this also affects a creator’s organic posts as well.
Tools like ours, Famecast, Substack, and OnlyFans, let you own your own membership lists and charge a membership or subscription fee. A majority see this revenue as essential to their longevity as creators. Instead of being at the mercy of social media algorithms, Creators can own the relationship and promote the content, events, merchandise that they feel is relevant at that point in time.
Own the long tail
It is a dog eat dog world out there and creators need to focus on something that big mainstream media and other larger creators won’t or can’t hone in on. There are hundreds of people that talk about or review new apps in the Google or Apple app store, however there are only a handful (or one?) that discuss Excel hacks in a fun or irreverent manner. With the targeted content, these influencers and creators can bubble to the top of searches and more easily attract their niche audience via word of mouth amongst the passionate community.
Create the two way street of Community
An audience is fickle and easy to replace. Think about how many streaming services you might have ranging from Netflix to Peacock. Community, on the other hand, is very sticky and has a very large moat (VC parlance for highly defensible). Think about all the bulletin board groups that still have a Windows 95 look and feel (check out ExpressoBeans for collectors of concert posters!).
Creators realize this and via memberships, subscriptions, and events, are able to cultivate the community bringing stickiness and a wider moat (along with subscription dollars!) The great thing about community is that each member is therefore a content creator in themselves thereby, taking the pressure off of the creator to continually engage and create content to show up in feeds (possibly leading to burnout).
Close the Gap
We previously mentioned how the social networks have created large gaps in disparity amongst creators. However, the aforementioned article cites an example that a certain platform’s top 250 creators had a median social following of 8,500. If more can utilize social networks to their advantage and not be a slave to it, more and more creators can share a larger section of the pie.
Truth is, with advertising models, it gets very hard to monetize unless one has a huge audience. (Each advertising impression typically pays out a fraction of a fraction of a penny.) Yet with new direct to creator payment models, the creator can keep more of that pie for themselves. A win / win for creators, for consumers, and for the world in general.