Twitter and Facebook have dominated social media for the last decade, but those things are now changing.
Without getting into the politics of the issue, what we are now seeing is a vast number of people… your customers… opening new accounts on a variety of other social media platforms. Three of these have risen to the top as the new “places to be” if you want to reach a rapidly growing number of people.
Gab is the currently the largest alternative to Facebook and Twitter, and functions as a hybrid of the two. The creator of the platform, Andrew Torba, has made a full time job out of being absolutely transparent about how Gab works, even going so far as to post the source code for the site so that anyone who wants to understand how it works can work it out for themselves.
The interesting thing is, when you view the source code, you see that there is no algorithm for determining which posts are seen, and which are not. Simply put, if you follow someone, and they put up a post, that post will probably appear in your news feed. It’s just like the old days of Facebook when our business pages actually got shown to our followers without us having to pay for it.
Gab is 100% monetized by a Pro paid membership. Torba has an active widget on the homepage showing exactly where they are that month in relation to their financial needs and goals, and people can “opt in” to keep them afloat. In other words, they don’t sell your personal shopping habits to any outside party. And apparently, they don’t even keep it for themselves, either.
From an advertising point, this is a bit of a downside. We can’t go in and choose our psychographics and demographics for our messaging. On the other hand, we can grow that organically by simply providing the information people want to see. In fact, it appears there is actually NO WAY to buy advertising on Gab. Instead, you have to compete in the marketplace of ideas.
Gab is getting its sea legs right now, having been subjected to a MASSIVE influx of new users in January, 2021. Over 200 million views by over 30 million people, according to the stats, and this number is growing geometrically as more and more people are leaving legacy social media platforms for places like Gab.
Right now there is a LOT of politics on Gab. The good news is, regardless of your political persuasion, you will not find yourself at risk of being downgraded in the algorithm (there IS no algorithm), or banned from the site for having the “wrong” perspective. Naturally, they have a set of community moderators who take reports of illegal activity, threats of violence, or deeply offensive content seriously. You will notice there is a perceptible lack of vulgarity on the site. Torba is an unabashed Christian who doesn’t like it. And quite frankly, you shouldn’t be using it in your professional communications anyway.
GET STARTED: It’s really easy to create a Gab account, but you do have to document yourself as a real human being if you want to take full advantage of their platform and its reach to your target audience. The early birds will gobble up the lion’s share of followers, as there is little business presence now on the site. I would make this my number one choice. The phone app is incredibly easy to use because… there isn’t one. In order to avoid being banned by app stores, Gab has created an incredible mobile site that looks, feels, and behaves exactly like an app. Just save the URL as an icon on your phone’s homepage, and you will never know the difference.
Minds is a curious beast. I’ve only been playing with it for about a week now, but it definitely is “groups” driven. If you want to see more things you really have to get engaged with a lot more people. But then, something really curious happens. Minds pays you.
Yes, that’s right. Minds.com works backwards, and some would say, the right way. If you are creating the content and becoming an influencer, then you should get credit for the eyes you are bringing to Minds. Minds launched its own cryptocurrency on the Ethereum test net. Members of the website can earn tokens in exchange for interacting with the site and creating content. This is pretty cool, if you ask me, and is one example of the evolution revolution coming to social media platforms. It would be almost impossible for places like Facebook or Instagram to switch their model around to something like this, and as a result, there is a lot of room in the marketplace for people like this to give us exciting, refreshing alternatives. You know, kind of how the free market is supposed to work. Here’s how they put it:
Free your mind and get paid for creating content, driving traffic and referring friends. A place to have open conversations and bring people together.
Take back control of your social media!
We’re still working on how to advertise on Minds, but until then it will be a really good place to start promoting your valuable content from your own online marketing platform.
With about 15 million users, Parler was a rapidly growing voice in the social media world… until it wasn’t. After the January 6th incident in Washington, DC, Parler found itself on the very short end of a very long stick: Amazon cut their server lines. The entire website went dark. Their email servers, account processing, payment processing… everything got shut down in a domino effect that left the fledgling site as dead as a doornail.
And to cap it off, the Board of Directors voted to remove John Matze as the CEO. Matze came out swinging, but honestly, it was his inept reliance on third party products that brought the site to its knees. They had ample warning, because they had already watched Gab go through the cancellations, but then Matze walked right down the exact same path as if it wasn’t possible.
Certain members of the board, however, have either deep pockets or deep influence. You can count on Parler relaunching, and doing so within days of me writing this article. When it does back up, hopefully people will have retained the followerships they had built on the site. For some, that was already in the hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands. Be ready, because they will take off like a rocket when they do come back, and you will want to be positioned properly for that opportunity.
The main point that I’m not addressing here is the massive, overwhelming amount of political content on these sites. Because of the environment in which they were created, the politics is currently baked into their genes. But there is a lot more that will be developing soon enough. Remember, The Facebook started as a campus activity tracker for college students. Who would have dreamed it would one day be used by elderly grandmothers to share their latest skydiving adventures?
In the same way, Gab, Minds, and Parler will all be changing their content “atmosphere” as the political situation loses its energy, and people just want to trade recipes for home made jelly and maybe find a new air conditioning contractor. That’s the opportunity, and this is the ground floor. You may have missed it for Twitter and Facebook, but you can hedge your bets by joining all three of these platforms, and seeing which one(s) continue to grow your audience for you.