Fed up with major social media platforms? You’re not alone.
In recent years, the world seems to have fallen out of love with traditional social media. Everything from today’s troubled international political climate to privacy concerns are contributing to a disenchantment with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And it’s not just social media users who are taking notice.
In late July, Facebook made history by losing a jaw-dropping $119 billion USD of market value in a single day. It was the largest one-day drop in value for any publicly traded company in history.
There’s a growing sense that major social media companies like Facebook aren’t working anymore for users and publishers alike. From data theft to users unwittingly taking part in massive social experiments, people have lost trust in traditional social media.
The connection between publishers and their online communities in turn seems to have frayed. Creatives, brands and business leaders can still reliably reach audiences through traditional platforms, but not without paying for it.
For users and publishers alike social media has become a minefield of frustration and disillusion. But what other choice do they have?
Well, we’re here to tell you that there is an alternative. And you do have another choice. Modern technology and ever-evolving platform creation and development mean that it’s now possible to create your own social media app. Your own, customised social space dedicated entirely to you and your community.
There’s never been a better time to create a social media app
Digital connections ushered in by the internet are here to stay. Things like fans shaping a band’s set list before a big show. Or a politician keeping their constituents in the loop with constant updates on election day. These things are only possible through internet-driven technology. These opportunities for connection and information represent the main event or party that drives the social media engine.
The good news is that traditional social media platforms are no longer the only platforms throwing these parties. Create a social media app and you’ll be able to throw these parties on your own terms.
Customized social media platforms give creatives, brands, politicians and publishers of every stripe unfettered access to their communities. Now is the time to create a social media app because pure, uninhibited connection has never been more valued in our culture. Not only on the side of publishers but also within their communities.
Why reach is vital for community leaders
Remember life before the internet? If you were a musician, politician, author or business leader, reaching your community was no easy task. Getting the word out about something important wasn’t easy.
You needed a hefty chunk of change and a PR campaign to generate interest and reach your community through television, magazines and newspapers. You could reach your community through the mail, but that meant moving information out at a snail’s pace.
We all know the next part of the story. Shortly after the turn of the century, the internet ushered in a communications and media revolution. Email and social media messaging made prior forms of community outreach obsolete––but at a great cost.
Before the major social media platforms were publicly traded, engaging communities was much easier to do. The odds of naturally reaching your community were pretty good. The fancy way of putting it is that organic interactions––this happens when a publisher’s followers see something from them appear on their feed naturally (unpaid)––happened at a far higher rate than they do now.
But making as much money as possible climbed higher on Facebook and Twitter’s list of priorities. And things changed. They discovered there was a profit to be made by charging publishers in exchange for reliable reach. This can be thought of as a tax. Want to make sure your audiences see what you have to share? That’ll cost you. Create a social media app and you won’t have to pay for reach.
Major social media platforms have been able to cash in on community-publisher connections because they’re now absolutely crucial in modern culture. The audience-publisher relationship has been permanently altered by the internet. Social media drives all digital connections. From helping an author promote a new book to giving a brand the chance to communicate with its customer base directly.
No matter what ultimately happens to behemoths like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, these are the sorts of connections the world has become accustomed to. And they’re here to stay.
Reach is vital for virtually anyone with a digital community
Every human being with an internet connection now demands access to the publishers behind the things that interest them. These connections are more important than ever, but they’re being threatened by traditional social media platforms.
Trying to reach millennial communities? Create a social media app and you’ll have a much better than chance than if you leave it to the big guys. According to a recent article published by Recode Magazine, Facebook lost 2.8 million users under the age of 25 in 2017. And Twitter’s not faring much better. The company’s growth amongst all age groups purportedly screeched to a halt a couple of years ago.
This is bad news for publishers aiming to reach communities exclusively through these platforms, but it also leaves a massive opportunity to engage audiences through new and better platforms.
Enter personalized social media apps, stage left.
If you’re trying to connect with a digital community, it’s never been a better time to take things into your own hands by creating a social media app. More on that in a bit, but first let’s dive deeper into why major social media platforms are becoming less viable for digital publishers.
Why community engagement on Facebook and Twitter is becoming less effective
1. Users of all ages seem to be turning away from major social media platforms, but the huge drop in millennial growth means that Facebook and Twitter are in big trouble
“I got off of Facebook once my parents got their own accounts” is a somewhat funny complaint often expressed by social media users under the age of 30. But it’s one that should be taken seriously.
According to a survey featured in a recent New York Post article, “more than half of users between the ages of 18 and 24 revealed they are “seeking relief from social media”. […] The poll, taken in December, found that 34 percent of young users reported having deleted social-media accounts entirely.”
A younger generation of internet users is searching for meaningful connections with digital publishers without any of the drawbacks. And Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram haven’t solved this problem.
2. People are increasingly blaming major social media platforms for everything from widespread political turmoil to mental health issues
Big social media companies aren’t the sole cause of all the world’s woes, but you wouldn’t know that by following recent news about Facebook and Twitter. According to studies featured in a recent BBC article, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram usage have been proven to worsen a person’s mood, boost their anxiety and negatively contribute to their levels of stress.
Add in recent concerns over data theft and how major social media platforms were strategically used to intensify global political unrest, and you can see why the average person has become leery of conventional social media.
How does this impact the reach of digital publishers? Because of discontent, mistrust and unhappiness. You might have a big party going, but it won’t be fun if the guests don’t want to be there. Social media is now an integral part of modern society, but at a great cost. Unhappy people are hard to connect with.
You can make your community way happier. All you have to do is create a social media app just for them. Without all the controversy, anonymity and risk that comes with big social.
3. Major social media platforms have traded in organic reach for paid community exposure
Forking over some cash is the only way to ensure you online community will see your posts show up in their feeds. According to a recent article published in Forbes Magazine, only 4% of followers see a page’s organic posts over Facebook. Twitter obviously operates much differently than Facebook, but is far less effective as far as ensuring a publisher’s content will be viewed by their followers.
There are now loads of how-to guides (like this one) telling publishers how to “game” the system by posting content at just the right moment to increase chances of their tweets being seen. Essentially, the major social media players have converted their platforms into pay-to-play schemes that have needlessly complicated and, in many cases, severed publisher-community relationships.
It’s clear to anyone paying attention that major social media platforms aren’t working in the free users’ interest anymore. Yes, they’re turning a hefty profit, but for users and publishers––the lifeblood of social media––the current state of things is simply not sustainable.
Every publisher should create a social media app because there’s a massive cultural shift happening right now. And it’s leaving everyday people wanting new options for uncomplicated, uncontroversial and free digital connection. This important shift represents a huge opportunity for creatives, brands and community leaders.
Why every community can benefit from their own social media app
Remember that party I was talking about earlier? Let’s say that Facebook and Twitter are the ones hosting the party. Yes, it’s technically your party, but it’s in their house and under their rules. Lights out by ten, no alcohol and guests are limited to 20.
Now, imagine throwing a party in your own house and on your own terms. You play by your own rules, everyone knows each other and there are no gatecrashers. That’s a much better party, right?
Creating your own social media app gives you the power to reach your community on your own terms. Here are six benefits you’ll notice right away:
1. Customised social media apps create more direct publisher-community relationships and interactions
Cutting out the middleman is an understatement here. When you design and own the digital platform you interact with your community on, there are no outside rules or limitations. Want to make sure everyone who follows sees what you have to say? Social media apps give you the ability to reach their communities quickly and directly.
2. Social media apps give publishers a greater understanding of who their followers are
Major social media platforms give publishers access to some of their communities’ data. But they only allow access to a fraction of the overall data that their communities generate. Big social platforms love that data because it keeps their advertisers coming back for smart audience targeting. And they’ll only give you access if you’re the highest bidder.
When you create a social media app, you’re in charge. You’re the one throwing the party so you should be able to know everything about your guests. In addition to the freedom of being able to interact with communities on your own terms, social media apps give you the power to fully access data about the people who are most interested in who you are and what you do.
3. Creating your own safe community space allows for more creativity and innovation
For creative publishers especially, connecting with fans, followers and subscribers can be somewhat limited by traditional social media platforms. But when you have the means to design and operate a social media app yourself, your creative vision and community reach don’t have to be compromised.
When you create a social media app, you’re in full control. No longer do you have to squish important sentiments down into a 280 character limit. And gone is the standard, one-size-fits-all approach to design and functionality. In your own, dedicated social space, you’ll have way more control over the design, look and feel. Your party, your rules.
4. Customized social media apps make digital monetization easy
Selling things to your community isn’t easy or even possible in many cases over social media platforms. But with customized social media apps, digital marketplace options can be built right into the platform. Things like one-click and express purchasing become possible.
That’s actually something we’re working on right now and plan to roll out in the next couple of months. Because we want our publishers to be able to earn money on their own terms. And to make it easy for audiences to buy the products they want.
5. By creating your own social media app, you solve the problem of reach
The downside of having so many people, brands and publishers on big social networks is that they’re all fighting for space and attention. And the networks have to use algorithms to figure out which content to show to who.
When you create your own social media app, there are no tricky algorithms to navigate or coveted news feed spaces to fight for. It’s just you and your audience. So you’ll reach all of them, every time you post.
6. You can ditch the distractions
By creating your own social media app, you’re creating your own space away from the noise and distraction of big social media. Big social networks are busy, noisy places with ad banners and a bunch of things dragging your audience in different directions. Often away from your content.
By creating your own social media app, you’ll free yourself and your content from all those distractions by building your own, dedicated, safe space for your community.
If you’re tired of letting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram host your social media party, then it’s time to create a social media app. There’s a sea change happening in cultures around the world when it comes to demanding real digital connection with no strings attached. Niche social media apps are the solution both digital publishers and communities are looking for.
And if you’re sitting there thinking “this is going to cost a fortune and take ages to complete”, think again. This sea change is bringing with it a host of alternative solutions that are quick, affordable and easy to start up––like ours at Disciple.
Our platform gives you the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to create a social media app. And, once we’ve got your logo and design preferences, we can send you your own social media app within 48 hours. Sound good? Let’s get started.