I know the importance of long term thinking. I’ve seen how much it has paid off in my life.
But something which I feel is relatively low effort is – adopting a platform’s new features and gaining a quick (often temporary boost) because of it. I’ll explain.
The result of these activities is simple – more traffic/visibility. Remember though, more traffic does not mean anything if you don’t have an effective funnel to convert the traffic. Also, more traffic does not mean the right type of traffic.
We rely on platforms to market online without spending money. When I say platforms, I talk about search engines and social networks mainly.
So these companies that own them – Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Bing, Pinterest have their own agenda. I’m sure you probably know it already. It is usually to get people to spend more time on their platform and keep them coming back.
So, Of course, the 1st answer is to produce great content. Content that is shared, liked and gains followers. This takes skills, practice, understanding and focusing on a specific audience, etc. This is a medium to long term activity.
Personally, I’d say playing this long term game on social media platforms is risky. With a flip of a switch, your traffic can be lost, you can lose the ability to directly stay in touch with your followers, or even have to pay to actually communicate with your own followers. (*cough* boosting *cough* posts)
But there is another way. The 2nd answer is to adopt their new features. Massive teams are working in these companies to keep updating the platforms – again to help stay fresh, so people don’t lose interest and move to another platform. Also to improve the overall experience for its users.
Here are some examples of what kind of features I’m talking about
- Instagram carousel posts
- Google’s rich snippets
- Facebook, Youtube live.
- LinkedIn’s slideshow.
Now, when a new feature is released, they give a temporary boost and visibility to the posts/creators that utilize it. They do it for two reasons
- One is to gain data about how users interact with it
- Promote the new features so that more new creators see and start using it.
Recently Chris Do has been actively promoting his methods to gain 10,000 followers on Instagram and he talks about it.
Thinking briefly about it, you can use it with many other situations too. I’ve seen the same happen with Apple’s App-store. Apple actively promotes apps that utilize their latest features. The latest example that I’m aware of is Apple Arcade.
Perhaps the bigger message is that we are all here to help each other and grow together (even if we have selfishness in us), and when we focus on creating win-wins we grow faster.