Hello! Welcome to the #AskNatchi show. I’m Natchi Lazarus. Today, we are addressing a big fear that many organizations have, which is: ‘What if I lose all my social media followers, especially when a channel shuts down or is being banned, or it just vanishes?”. Recently a major channel was banned in many countries and people just lost all their followers. Some of them had millions of followers. One fine morning, they wake up, and for whatever reason; could be business or politics or whatever is the reason, suddenly you find yourself without all those followers! What would you do? That is a real fear in the hearts of many organizations, nonprofits, and ministries. I want to address that today. I want to give you 4 strategies that you could follow to foolproof yourself during situations like this.
Do not operate in fear. Go full steam.
Before I go to those four, I want to address the ‘Fear’ itself. I want to tell you one thing – Don’t let this fear of the future stop you from doing what God has called you to do on social media. Okay? You are imagining the future and saying, “This is going to happen… What if it happens?” And then you try to hold back. Don’t do that. Just keep going full steam and do what you’re doing. Once you know this is your channel, this is where your people are, just go forward and keep focusing on that. If something happens, you can deal with that later. The strategies that I’m going to tell you will actually help you even if something happens. Just don’t let yourself be held back because of that fear of the future. Just wanted to encourage you on that.
#1. Bless people with your uniqueness
Now let’s go to the strategies. I want to tell you four things.
#1: Be a blessing in your unique way. Bless people with your uniqueness. Each of us are unique. Your ministry is unique. What I do is unique. Even if we are going to talk about the same message, the way we talk and convey that to our social media audience is going to be different. Our uniqueness comes out. Our personality comes out. People follow people because of their personality. Not because of the channel. People may get to know you because of that channel.
They come across you on a channel, but that channel is not very important for them, YOU are important. After some time they keep following you. They like your uniqueness. They get connected to uniqueness. And even if you move channels for various reasons, guess what happens, people will follow you there, because they are already connected to your personality. That personality is not just for individuals, it’s also organizations. Organizations have a personality.
They should have a personality. Every organization has a culture – a nonprofit or a ministry has a culture. That culture is the personality. So even if the faces change, the ministry’s personality remains. And people follow that personality. That’s how you should build an organization. People may come and go, but the organization has to move on. And that becomes the personality of the organization as well. Think about that.
Be a blessing to people in a unique way, and that uniqueness will help people stay with you, even if there is a change in channels.
#2. Build your brand
#2: Build a brand. People follow brands. They don’t follow a channel, they follow a brand.
Let me give you an example: You go to buy shoes. For example, you go to buy Nike shoes. And you go to a shop and the shop guy says, “I don’t have Nike shoes. We’ve shut down that brand. We’ve got other brands. Why you buy it?”. If you are really connected to a brand, you want THAT shoe. You want that Nike shoe. So you will go to another shop where you get that shoe. You don’t care that you need to go. You WILL go. Because you are following a brand, you’re not following a channel. So build your brand. As a nonprofit or ministry, spend time building your brand. Brand building is an important exercise that I recommend to people I work with, because people follow brands. That is the number two strategy.
#3. Build your bridges
#3: Build your bridge content. There’s something called a ‘Bridge’ content. Let me explain. A bridge content is something that moves people from a rented land to your own land. What is a rented land? Social media network is a rented land. You rent Facebook or Instagram or WhatsApp from Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, and their board of directors. It is their land. And you actually build your audience, your ministry on their land. Now it’s good to build on their land, because people are there.
I am a big believer in the rented land. Go ahead and build it. Build it, but as you’re building it, you also build a bridge ‘method’, or bridge ‘content’, or a bridge ‘channel’ that brings people to your own land as well. So that, if something happens to the rented land, you don’t lose your audience, you actually have them in your own space. What is that bridge content? Email could be a bridge content. WhatsApp could be a bridge content. You can use any of these as a bridge channel or a bridge content to bring people to your own land. What is your own land? – email database and phone numbers. These are your own land. So that if something happens, you can always get in touch with people.
Think about that – build the bridge content. So that way you are bringing people to your own land.
#4. Build your workflows
#4: Create an infrastructure that has workflows and systems where you are constantly collecting database or you are constantly collecting the information you need from your audience, on an ongoing basis. Only when something like this happens, like an emergency, people start thinking, “Oh! I need all the phone numbers.”, then they go back and say, “Give me your phone number… Give me a phone number”.
But that’s so difficult, because you should have done it on an ongoing basis, and not at one time. Because not everybody is sitting around waiting for you to ask their number and then they give it to you in just a couple of weeks or even a couple of months. You should do this on an ongoing basis. So every campaign, everything that you design on social media, try to keep it in such a way that you keep collecting these information – phone numbers and emails.
That’s why list building is important. That’s why number collection is important on WhatsApp. Building those numbers, having those numbers of your own is very important. These are all things that you collect on an ongoing basis. So create a workflow and system that collects this information on an ongoing basis.
There you have it. Those are the four strategies I have for you that will help you foolproof yourself in case anything goes wrong with your social media channel. I hope that was useful. Thank you for spending your time with me. If you have any questions on digital and social media do send it to me. I’ll try to answer them here on the show. Thank you for spending your time, and for sharing this with your friends. I appreciate it. And I’ll see you next week with another answer to another question. Until then you stay connected, stay blessed and stay very safe. God bless you.