post by Stephanie Nelson
As I was scrolling through Facebook this morning, I came across an article about how digital publisher LittleThings is shutting down, and they blame Facebook’s algorithm for their downfall. The article went on to talk about how LittleThings has amassed over 12 million Facebook fans and regularly produced video via Facebook Live.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge Facebook fan. I spend a lot of my work time and personal time on the site or in the app. I wouldn’t be in this business if I hated Facebook as a whole. (I sometimes hate moves they make, but that’s a whole other blog post!) But this really goes back to Marketing and Advertising 101 – don’t put all your eggs in one basket, particularly one you have ZERO control over!
In marketing circles, we talk a lot owned media, earned media, and paid media.
- Owned media is pretty much what it says it is: outlets you own and control. These are things like your website, your blog, individual social media posts. You decide 100% what gets put out to the world on these outlets.
- Earned media are places where you “earn” your standings. It’s sites like Facebook and Instagram where you “earn” more views by putting out content folks want to share, like, and comment on. You have very little control over your earned media.
- Paid media is also what it says it is: outlets where you pay for your exposure. It’s your pay-per-click ads, your boosted posts, etc. There’s an element of control here, since you decide what your ads/posts say, but you’re not in complete control because factors like targeting, algorithms, and budgets play into who ultimately sees your message.
As I’m sure you can imagine, placing too much of your time and energy and resources into earned media can really bite you in the booty. As we see with LittleThings, you can lose it all with the slightest algorithm change! Your best strategy is to make sure you’re spending time and resources on each type of media so that if there is a shift in one, you’re not left all out of luck; you still have the other two and can work with the shift by making shifts of your own.
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