Steemit, Social Media, Advertising, and Crowdfunding.
I had a thought kicking around, so I figured I'd try and post it. Its a collection of thoughts on what things would be like if the Steemit model becomes the normal social media model.
Social media is frequently used as a sort of cheaper and more effective advertising. The alternative is to pay someone else to advertise for you on your behalf; but when you can just say "hey, I've got this thing, take a look", and people look at it on their own, and share it on their own initiative, it grants a lot of exposure for virtually no cost.
Trying this strategy on STEEMIT, however... May result in you actually gaining some more funding for your project if your attempt at advertising is successful. You're being paid to give your sales pitch to others, measured in every time someone says "I'm interested".
This kind of seems backwards to how advertising used to work before social media; normally you pay someone to put the advertisements in front of people, and in some cases its done to make the final product cheaper for the end consumer; so it seems like you're paying your audience just to listen to your spiel.
But with the Steemit paradigm, social media advertising becomes a kind of crowdfunding, just a very unorthodox form of crowdfunding. Which makes it somewhat amusing that someone pointed out to me that somewhere out there is a more traditional crowdfunding platform on the Steemit network.
Obviously, there's going to be some limitations to trying to crowdfund entirely just by showing the work you're doing on your project on Steemit, or whatever else it is you'll post to advertise through Steemit; firstly, you're not going to get very far unless you've got a fairly large following already, and you're going to have to post frequently. Its also not going to be as viable as it could otherwise be if the project you're working on is meant for a niche audience.
You've also got to keep in mind if you're going this route something that would normally go without saying; know your audience, and give them what they want.
I say "normally go without saying", and not "it goes without saying"; because as much as its both a key tenant of business, and the method that determines your pay on Steemit, we have been finding plenty of companies forgetting these principles in recent years... Blizzard's Diablo Immortal debacle ("Don't you guys have phones?", I'm sorry, my phone can't even run Pokemon GO), Battlefield V's "British Cyborg Pirate Lady"... Feel free to think up some others in the comments, these are just the ones coming to mind.
The only other thing coming to mind on using this kind of strategy successfully is to foster "Hype". That's really the best term for it, but really I mean the tendency in fans to check up on their favorite creators frequently, or at least make sure they're engaged with your activities frequently. This is yet another thing that seems obvious in the age of social media, perhaps due to how psychology works (the more often you engage people, the more likely they are to invest in your property), but this becomes important for a different reason on Steemit, since getting people to regularly upvote your posts is how you maintain a reliable stream of funding.
My final thoughts are basically this... Who does advertising have value for in each of the models we've seen? Between the "pay to advertise" model, the self advertised "socialized advertising" model, and the model that Steemit's existence suggests.
The first treats advertising as a chore for the consumer, and the consumer thus reacts like its a chore (the infamous skip button on online adds being proof of this), and people only did it to extract money from the people who needed the word out; the second treats the advertising itself as neither good nor bad, but as something to judge for one's self, like a discussion on whether the product itself has value... And the way Steemit can be used for this means treats advertising as something valuable in itself, as a successful advertisement made this way on Steemit will make money JUST from people approving of the advertisement; a statement that the advertisement has value to the consumer in itself.
Anyways, if its not obvious what this means for my plans for Steemit long term, then this is probably a good look into it. Or it would be, if I actually had anything to advertise.