Strike It While It's Hot: It Doesn't Matter If A Platform Is Around In A Year
I’ve been really hot on TikTok recently.
At the time of writing this article, I believe that TikTok and LinkedIn are two of the best platforms for people to go from zero audience to actually having one because of the ridiculously high organic reach.
I’m getting emails and DMs from people who are literally joining TikTok and getting thousands of views on their first piece of content – the attention that’s available right now is just that high.
But I’ve been hearing from some people who ask things like “what if TikTok dies”? “Is it just a fad?” “What if I spend time putting in work and it goes away?” “What if it goes away like Vine?”
The truth is, it really doesn’t matter if TikTok is around in 6, 9, 12, or 24 months – that’s not the point. I don’t care if it’s gone in a year.
YOU STILL GET THE BRAND VALUE
It doesn’t matter if a platform goes away because if you attack it when it’s hot, you still get the BRAND value. And when you get brand value, people will find you even when that platform goes away.
That’s why we still know who Tila Tequila and Dane Cook are today – they built enormous brand value back in the heyday of MySpace. P. Diddy still trades on the equity he got during MTV’s heyday from crushing it back then.
Let’s not forget that I built my brand on Twitter initially when I was building Wine Library. Eventually, those people followed me on other social platforms even as Twitter went down a little bit in attention over time.
Here’s the punchline:
This is a combination of 1) attacking the current platform while it’s hot, and 2) not shitting on newer platforms as they get more and more attention.
People either don’t attack a platform hard enough, or they wait until a platform proves that it’s “established.” Many actors and actresses in Hollywood who didn’t want to go on Instagram a few years ago realize that they made a mistake now.
A good way to balance this is the “79/21” rule.
In other words, spend 79% of your time on the platforms that bring you the most value (right now, that’s mostly Instagram for me) while spending 21% of your time building on other platforms (LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and other things are in my 21%).
Over time, platforms will transition from your “21%” into your “79%” – and when that happens, you’ll be ready.
THE LEARNINGS WILL TRANSLATE
Even if a platform goes away after a few months or a year, the learnings translate to whatever comes next.
Before Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, I had accounts on SocialCam and DailyBooth.
SocialCam was a mobile app where people could capture and share videos online and on mobile. On SocialCam, I learned how to create vertical video content and the dynamics around it. I deployed those learnings on Vine. Then, I took all of those learnings and used them to crush on Snapchat, and then completely dominate on Instagram.
If you asked me why I dominated Instagram over the past couple of years, I’d say it’s because of the things I learned on SocialCam that helped me become a great creator of IGTV videos. And right now, the reason I’m doing well on TikTok is because I did well on Vine.
The thought of making videos on your mobile phone was really new back in the SocialCam / DailyBooth days. The first time I did a selfie video was on SocialCam. The first time I took a selfie was on DailyBooth. But those learnings are still helping me today with the channels that matter now.
So it doesn’t matter if it’s going to be around or not. Striking a platform while it’s hot matters way more than if that platform is around in a decade.
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