Most professionals are spending too much time on social media, especially LinkedIn. Some even say LinkedIn is gold when it comes to building a professional networking circle. I tend to agree with this statement, although it is not entirely true. The platform can help with our networking to a certain extent but not all the way.
My social media story
I onboarded myself on LinkedIn back in 2013. And I work my way through it and build a strong connection circle there. My connections there are slightly more than 26,000. In 2021, I decided to slow the game there. The reason is simple. I came across a number of articles saying that the online presence should be played differently to win big—by balancing the social media game with SEO and direct. Coming across these articles somehow validates my theory that social media is a little over-rated in a way when it comes to building online awareness.
I have had this theory back in my head for years but I couldn’t validate it somehow, until that moment. That was why I agreed to become a marketing columnist at Utusan Malaysia in 2015, had a weekly column on Dagangnews after that and write stuff on Medium too. In 2017, I created Marketing In Asia based on the same belief—and eventually sold the platform for some cash to a Singaporean-based firm.
Since 2021, I play my online presence differently. I still have my LinkedIn and Twitter, but I am not posting that often now. Just enough. The social media vibes are different now. I no longer command great engagements I used to enjoy before. Thanks to their complicated algorithm which I do not have control there. Most (or all) of my posts are made invisible thanks to my free account. Twitter and Facebook are already pay-to-play platforms in full force. It will be a matter of time before LinkedIn and the rest follow suit.
I hate to pay for something that used to be free. At first, I thought of ditching social media completely and focusing on searchability. But after a while, I believe it is better to just slow the game a little bit since the momentum and followers are already there.
Balancing the act
Despite the love-hate relationship with writing, surprisingly I am writing more often now—daily actually. You are right, the plan is to balance my social media presence with the search engine side. Seriously, I need to boost my SEO game a little bit more this time. It is pretty much lacking and way behind the social media side. While I managed to gather more than 26,000 on LinkedIn and slightly more than a thousand on Twitter, sadly search engines still aren’t able to find my content. Let alone ranked them.
It’s time to change this quickly.
Since last year, I write short-form articles and long-form ones daily. Most of the short-form ones are 1 to 2 minutes read, while the long-form articles are mostly 4 minutes right up to 8 minutes read. Somehow I felt pretty lucky that I can write quite well. Not that well actually as English is not my first language. But with the help of Grammarly and Google Docs spelling and grammar checker, the outcomes are decent.
Building my authority through searchability
The only way to boost my presence on the search engine side is by writing regularly on websites. The context should be things people search for through Google, Bing and other search engines. The website can be my own, other people’s or both. But the best option is to have content on both—my own website and other people’s websites.
Since last year, I began to upload all my articles on 300th. It is a new content-sharing platform. It is a promising platform since it is positioned as the YouTube for writers. The platform also promised that the contributors here will earn similar to how YouTubers are earning too. The second reason why I left Medium and spent time on 300th is that they allow me to grow my subscribers here. This is not merely subscribers but email subscribers. Why this is crucial to me? This is because all email subscribers will be notified once my articles are published. This is direct communication which I am looking for. There is no algorithm whatsoever in between.
You know, at first, I thought of creating a blog of my own and writing my heart out there. But the cost of buying the domain, hosting and development work as well as the maintenance part of it somehow turned me off. Since Medium, Substack and others are more prone towards the community in Western continents predominantly North America and Europe, I found 300th to be the best offer in the market out there as they are focusing pretty much on Asia. My content suits Asian people and brands better.
Building authority directly
For now, I have two channels in hand; my Telegram channel and my channel on 300th which I can populate email subscribers here. And I am working my ass off to grow my subscribers on both every single day. To be able to secure subscribers directly and communicate with them without weird algorithms in between is truly awesome. Whatever I send or text on my channels, they will be notified and eventually consumed. This is pretty much a fixed deposit of internet traffic at my disposal.
The only challenge here is to grow the numbers. No, it is not easy but it’s possible. By working extremely hard, I believe the result will be there.
Ah, the results. Usually, this will take time. Even in social media too, securing a good number of followers will take easily a year or so. The search engine side works the same too. I need to keep on writing great stuff online and stay consistent.
Since many people are more into videos, more into TikTok, more into YouTube and videos and not so much into writing, I am confident the result will display itself really soon. I have a strong faith in it.