Every now and then I take a break from reality to indulge in a few of my favorite guilty pleasures on Instagram & YouTube.
Take note: you are now entering a #NoJudgementzone. Don’t worry, there’s a lesson for you in all of this—bear with me.
Anywho, I probably neglected to tell you this, but I can go from Pastor TD Jakes and Oprah to Beyonce and Cardi B in under 60 seconds—it depends on my mood.
So, meet a few of my faves…..
- Bonnet Chronicles with Tami Roman – Straight talk no chaser.
- Funky Dineva – Yes, sometimes, he wears a wig, but he’s crazy smart and well-rounded, knows how to drop an F-Bomb at the right time, and gives a helluva recap on TV shows.
- Maja Hype – Caribbean humor w/ Brooklyn, NY flavor.
- Fameolous— Uncut, celebrity gossip. Plus the owner is a woman who regularly uses her platform to give back to the community (a woman after my heart).
Recently, Famelous published a scandalous video featuring Kevin Hart on their Instagram, Facebook, and website ( I won’t go into specifics but Google is your BFF).
To make a long story short, the Famelous IG account with OVER 550k followers plus 5 of the owners personal Instagram accounts were deleted, disabled, and buried six feet under.
Let’s have a brief moment of silence.
The crazy thing is no other major celebrity gossip site including TMZ or The Shaderoom would publish this video. Seriously, these sites are the holy grail of celebrity gossip.
It’s anyone’s guess, but everyone assumed it was because of the Kevin Hart video (c’mon you know Kevin Hart has lawyers on hand for this).
So just imagine growing your Instagram page of 500,000 followers from around the world. Then one day someone decides to flip the switch—and POOF you’re gone!
Your current (and future) income received from sponsored posts, ads, and errrrythang—gone in seconds.
Listen, considering the number of followers, I wanted to scream, cry, and kick ass for the owner of the site.
But the first thing I thought about is—I hope she’s captured the email addresses of her followers so she can notify them when she gets a new account.
So here’s your first lesson:
You don’t own your followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
Your followers and their information (e.g., full name and email address) belong to the platform.
If someone at Instagram, Twitter or Facebook decides you shouldn’t exist online—it’s a wrap for you. And if you’re lucky, you can go through the painstaking process of rebuilding your community.
So let me repeat — you don’t own the rights to your follower’s OR their email addresses.
Are you spending too much time building someone else’s community but neglecting to invest in your own?
At any given time the Zuckerbergs of the world—can end your digital existence in a push of a button.
Yes, you need social media to increase your presence online—but balance it out and be strategic about how you’re spending your time on social media.
Don’t get so caught up in the passion for your business, that you fail to understand the economics and analytics behind your social media marketing channels.
Here are a few tips:
- Build trusting relationships online by engaging with your followers regularly via social media and email.
- Own a piece of digital real estate (aka your domain name and website).
- Add a popup form for capturing email addresses. That way you can communicate directly with your community anytime you want. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you should STILL have your own site and a way to capture people’s info. If you guest post for popular sites, or publish articles on Linkedin or Medium make sure you include a brief bio with a website or sign-up link so you can capture addresses and/or drive traffic back to your site.
- For my website, I use MailChimp to collect email addresses and the magic action box plugin (WordPress) to promote freebies and sell my services within blog posts. Alternatively, you can also add an email sign-up form to your Facebook business page, create a quick page using Launchrock or add lead pages to your website.
- Remind your community to sign up for your newsletter, updates, specials, etc, regularly.
- Backup (at least quarterly) and download your email list as an excel file.