The Illusion Of Free

The Illusion of FREE

Facebook has over 2,000,000,000 active users reported in the first quarter of 2018. Two billion users. There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you do have a Facebook account. In the light of scandals that reach the light of day when it comes to Facebook’s practices, it’s hard to feel safe and secure when using that platform. Facebook claims it’s free to use for all. But is it, really. Let’s just say you don’t pay with money… 

You Are a Commodity

What do you pay with then? If something’s free for you it usually means you are NOT the client. You are a commodity. If you’re not the client of the platform, then who is? Well, the answer is quite simple, isn’t it. Advertisers. Chances are that you are reading this article because you have seen a link to it on your Facebook feed. Do you know how it got there? We paid Facebook to show an ad about this article. But why show it to you? Tell me if this sounds about right: we wanted to show this to people who are between 20 and 50 years of age. Both male and female and who visited either or websites within the last 180 days. On top of that you’re most likely interested in WordPress and probably already have your own website.

And that’s not even a complex targeting setup.

Do you know we can target ads based on your location? Oh, yes. Facebook is tracking your location. Don’t believe me? Check this out. Login / confirm your Facebook password and voila. Every single location you’ve visited. It gets especially scary if you allowed Facebook to always track your location and not only when using the app.

Now imagine this. You like pizza and went on a vacation let’s say to Bali in Indonesia. Local pizza places can show you their ads if you are within 5km radius from them. Show them more often if you’re closer. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Facebook’s tracking everything you do whether it’s on their site or any other sites. I’d say that Facebook pixel is installed on most websites you visit every single day. Yes, even the naughty ones. They know what you like to watch.

Using Facebook Groups Can Kill Your Business

When running your website people often outsource the social aspect to Facebook groups. Does make sense but only, if you don’t think about it. You purposefully send your users to those Facebook groups where Facebook gathers all the data they can possibly dream of. Then sell that data to all sorts of advertisers.

Are you ready for this? You run your yoga website, selling online courses. You have a dedicated even closed Facebook group where people can talk about the courses, get access to you and share their comments, thoughts etc. All that data is collected. Processed. Sold.

Enter, a giant Online Learning platform offering massively discounted yoga courses. They display those ads in your closed Facebook group. You have just lost your users. You have just lost money. It’s not the greatest feeling, is it?

The Alternatives?

Having no social media accounts these days might be hard for some. But it’s definitely easier, if you have your own WordPress site. Sure you can use Facebook to flock people to your site. But once they’re there. You want to keep them there. Why would you send your users to a Facebook group? You literarily gain nothing. All the interactions, comments and communication stays on Facebook.

Create your own Social Network with PeepSo. Give your users not only a safe, secure and transparent community but also keep them on your site. The more time they’re on your site the more likely they are to purchase something. To read more articles. To leave more comments and consume more content. When you send people to Facebook they’re the ones who gain. Not only Facebook shows those people more ads but it also learns that those people like your site’s content.

Who Needs Their Own Social Network?

The question should be: Who doesn’t?

  • Do you have a travel blog?
    Create a travel community. Let people share their own travels. Comment on yours. Interact with each other.
  • Do you have a product or a brand?
    Create a community revolving around that brand. People within your community can recommend your products to each other. Plus they become your strongest advocates.
  • A political party?
    Why not? It’s not news that Facebook and other large social media are limiting some political views.
  • A fanpage for a celebrity?
    Exclusive community only for really dedicated fanbase. Sure!
  • Are you an artist?
    Rammstein have their own exclusive community that people can join. But joining their community will cost you 25 euro annually.
  • Need privacy?
    Doesn’t get more private than your own community with PeepSo. You host it within your site. You own all the data. You have total control over it.
  • Perhaps you’re an organization?
    Gather people around your cause. Let them interact with each other, support one another and of course take a real part in supporting your cause.

And of course there are the following reasons that are definitely huge factors in it all:

  • The Personal Touch.
    One of the biggest reasons of them all. You as an artist, business owner, co-owner a team member etc. can interact with your members directly. They can reach out to you too. You can always ask for their opinion. People love sharing their opinions and being listened to. Take advantage of that.
  • Less risk for losing your clients to competition.
    With all communication and interaction kept within your website and in it your own community there’s definitely less risk for your competition to snatch them right out of your grasp.
  • No distractions.
    Facebook’s feed is so full of noise, ads, shares, cats, gifs, babies, random game invites and all of the other things I can’t even think of right now. Every single feature is designed to keep you on Facebook. With your own community, there are no distractions. I can hardly imagine someone posting a funny cat video within a community dedicated to a German heavy metal band. Unless, the cat looks something like this:
German Heavy Metal Cat
German Heavy Metal Cat

But I digress. The whole point of this is to say that…

You Don’t Have To Be a Commodity

Instead of taking people away from your site and bringing more “commodity” to Facebook groups, fan pages etc., create your own social network with PeepSo today. It is easier than ever. You most likely already have your own WordPress website. PeepSo is free. Try it, see how it fits. Contact us in case you have any questions. See our own Community. You can register for free, talk to people who actually use PeepSo every day. Our entire team is there too. You can easily recognize us by the SO icon next to our names. Whenever you’re ready to be set free from the big brother and actually start building something for yourself, we’re here to help.

Brought to you by PeepSo Team Eric Tracz
I'm a Digital Nomad currently living in Manila, The Philippines. Co-Founder and CEO of First time WordCamp Speaker at WordCamp Kuala Lumpur 2017, WordCamp Singapore 2019 and hoping to speak more soon. I started my journey with open source nearly a decade ago as a simple support guy. Joomla! was my first encounter with the world of Open Source. After that period of my life got phased out I fell in love with WordPress and never left. I have been both lucky and at the same time I worked my ass off to get to where I am right now. Free time, if I have any, is usually spent with my wife and / or travel around South-East Asia. Even when I'm supposed to be on a little vacation, not a day goes by when I don't check up on PeepSo. So far visited or lived in: Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hungary, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, Japan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Norway, Germany, Scotland, England and more... Whenever possible, I jump on my Ducati Monster and just ride.

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@peepso_user_14796(Jarred Robison)
July 25, 2018 8:31 am