I recall signing up for Twitter, now known as X, in its early days, having stumbled upon it in a Newsweek magazine. It was a quaint digital experiment then, a means for like-minded individuals across the globe to connect.

Fast-forward to today, when a figure like Mr. Beast is on track to earn $54 million from his YouTube channel. The creator economy has ballooned to an estimated value of $250 billion.

For any entity, profit or non-profit, a social media strategy isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a cornerstone of modern outreach and engagement.

Yet, there's a looming pitfall that many fall into—a mistake that's not only common but potentially catastrophic:

Building your entire castle of content, products, and experiences on rented land.

Let's be clear: The followers you've amassed? They're not really yours. They're residents of the kingdoms of Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and their kin. And you, a free tenant on their platforms, have no rights or recourse.

The horror stories are numerous. Clients of mine have seen their YouTube kingdoms and Facebook presences razed—hundreds of videos and hundreds of thousands of followers vanishing into the ether, with "community guideline violations" cited and no further explanation or path to restitution provided. It's a digital house of cards that can collapse without warning.

Is the answer to swear off social media altogether? Absolutely not. Your audience is there, living and engaging on these platforms.

The key is to use these channels strategically as conduits, not endpoints.

The goal is to direct the traffic back to the property you own.

Cultivate a database—emails, phone numbers—that provides a reliable point of contact with your audience independent of third-party platforms.

Entice your audience to subscribe to your newsletter, offer exclusive content, or invite them into a unique community.

The "why" they should provide their contact information is crucial. It should be compelling enough to motivate them to step off the social platform and into your domain. Ownership is the operative word.

Never assume that social platforms will indefinitely allow you access to 'their' users without cost or consequence.

Instead, lay down roots in a space you control, nurturing a direct relationship with your audience that can thrive, independent of the whims of social media giants.

Social media is an indispensable tool in today's world. It's vital to remember where your ultimate success lies.

Success depends not on social platforms' transient territory but on cultivating your own digital plot.

Here, you can grow your connections and expand your content—all in a space that truly belongs to you.

Digital Growth Strategies