Unless you’re not a social media hound like I am, you should remember the time in 2016 when Facebook did the unthinkable by shutting down the page of one of the premiere black celebrity gossip sites on the internet, ‘The Shade Room’. A rep for the social media giant confirmed that they were behind the popular gossip site’s removal, losing all of their followers which was over 4 million. The page was removed for violating Facebook’s community standards.
When I came across the news, I immediately wondered if the shutdown would heavily affect the visibility of Angie Nwandu’s website. 4 million is an impressive number of Facebook fans. Do Angie’s website subscribers match the numbers of Facebook likes? TSR is known for a primarily social following, which means it mostly exists on third-party platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oddly enough, it was Instagram where TSR built their massive following…before a website was even launched.
I thought about me and wondered what would I have to do if my Facebook page would get shut down. My likes aren’t as impressive as The Shade Room’s, but if you knew how long it took me to reach those number of likes, you’d be like….
“Facebook is a huge driver of our internet traffic,” Angie Nwandu, The Shade Room’s founder, told BuzzFeed News. “I’m doing everything in my power to get it back up.”
Unless Nwandu’s Email list contain the same number of subscribers, running a website with followers exclusively or primarily from social media can lead to a few problems for online entrepreneurs. There are two major lessons us online entrepreneurs can learn.
Social media doesn’t belong to us
You can be Rihanna and Instagram will shut you down with a quickness. (that actually happened)
Social media doesn’t care who you are or how many fans/followers you have. If you go against their rules or violate “community standards”, be ready to lose all of what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. That’s why it’s important to invest in your own online platform. This is definitely a problem you don’t want to have. Especially, if you make an impressive profit.
Email Subscribers are your best friends
As long as folks subscribe to your website, you’ll never have to worry about losing them as readers. Everytime you post, they’ll automatically get an update sent to their email. That means they’ll always stay updated, even if they’re not online. Promote your email subscription service daily, so your followers will see that they don’t have to rely solely on social media to receive daily content. I don’t promote mine as often as I should, but I WILL NOW! A new lesson learned, knowing that social media is always temporary.
Nwandu was recently chosen as one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. Read story here
UPDATE: (9:30 EST/April 2016), TSR’s Facebook page is back. There’s no word on if it’s the same page or if a new one was created. At the time of this update, the page’s fan count is just over 3,000.
2nd UPDATE: (August 2017) The Shade Room fan count is at 4,222,739. It only took a little over a year for TSR to get their 4 milli back. Now that’s what’s up!!