Last week, Facebook announced a new “Branded Content” policy.
And the bloggerverse freaked out. Like, major freak out. Literal weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There is a lot of confusion. Even the social media gurus couldn’t figure out who the new policy applied to. In the meantime, the jungle drums started beating.
“No more affiliate links!”
“You can’t share content from other bloggers!”
“It’s not fair!”
“Facebook hates bloggers!”
It didn’t help that the announcement from Facebook was very vague, and could be interpreted many different ways. And Facebook employees gave conflicting answers to different people.
After getting a lot of clarifications, it seems like the policy doesn’t apply to bloggers (unless you are doing sponsored posts) and much the hoopla was a bit of overreaction. But it was a scary time. Thousands of bloggers have invested time and money in building something special …. building an income that supports their family … and the idea that it could be signficantly impacted by forces outside their control …. well, that’s enough to make anyone freak out.
Now that things have settled down, there are some things we can learn to weather the storm next time the bloggerverse gets freaked out.
Keep Calm and Trust God
To paraphrase one of my favorite verses,
Some trust in Facebook, and some in Pinterest, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
(you can see the real version of that verse here on BibleGateway)
God’s got a plan for your ministry and your blog and no new policy or algorithm change can thwart that plan. Have faith in that. If something changes, trust that God will open up a new door to you.
Be Patient and Believe the Best
Facebook doesn’t hate you. Really.
They aren’t out to get you.
On the contrary, just think about all the good that Facebook has allowed. How many people have been reached for Jesus because of the free tools offered by Facebook? How many families have been re-connected? Think of all the relationships that have been restored. Yea, there is a lot of bad stuff on Facebook. But on the flip side, so.much.good has been done. Facebook and its social media cousins are powerful inventions of man God has used for good.
So believe the best. And when something doesn’t make sense, wait a bit before freaking out. Let the dust settle and carefully evaluate how the changes may affect you. Be proactive and positive about how to make the new normal work for you, instead of bemoaning how you think the universe is working against you.
Control what you can and build for the future
The reality is that Facebook can change whatever they want to. When you build your house on someone else’s property, you ultimately have to play by their rules.
That’s why you need to put a lot of your effort into things you can control.
You can control your social media presence. And it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Having an active presence in two or three different places will serve as a buffer and allow you to respond to whatever changes come along.
You can control your email list. This is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a lasting foundation for your online ministry or business. Email is still the most effective and direct communication tool available to build a relationship with your followers.
So the next time Facebook or any other social media platform gets a hare-brained idea, there is no need to freak out! It really will be okay! God’s got this!
What are your best tips for weathering these kinds of storms? How do you keep calm and trust God?