Learn from my lesson. As you know, one of my favorite pages, Beyond Black and White (subscribe) was shut down. It’s only temporary. Mrs. K is building something even greater. Well I can identify. Sometime ago my Facebook page was also taken down for hate speech. It was coordinated and I suspect that was the case here too.
I got up, like every morning (and you should too) and typed in “Bougie Black Girl.” A message appeared saying “sorry, this page isn’t available. I typed BBG again and the same message came up. I panicked. I heard about this happening to other Black women’s pages but I didn’t think it would happen to me. It suddenly hit me like a two ton yellow truck with toxic sewage in it. My page was taken down. Stunned, I sat and then cried. I put on my robe, didn’t do my hair and stayed in my night clothes all day. I was stanky, felt like crap and my looked stanky too. My page, no our page was our baby and some random person took it way. I asked myself why would our little old page for Black women threaten someone so much that they had to lie and say I was using hate speech when misogynistic pages, prorape pages, racist pages & homophobic pages never get taken down. That is a Facebook riddle we will never solve.
What did I do? The first thing I did was what any responsible adult would do. I called my momma. She told me it will be OK and said to create another page. That’s what mommas do. They make it seem so easy. She didn’t know it took almost a year to reach the number of likes it had on the BBG page. Then I called my sisters and brothers and cried like the mother of the church at a home going service. I sat on the phone with my sister and brother-in-law for hours. Did I tell you they have the patience of saints? My husband held me while I ingested all kinds of vanilla flavored cake for a few more hours. Fyi, when I get sad I am about that carb life. I finally contacted a few close friends on Facebook and offline and they all said the same thing. They told me to fight back and contact Facebook. I did. Facebook responded the next day and within three to five days my pages was restored.
One of the biggest lessons and I mean humongous. No, gigantic lessons I learned was to NEVER EVER EVA use a Facebook page as primary means to provide content. Facebook is not and should not be your primary website. Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, are tools to drive traffic to your website and attention to your brand. When you write long posts on “your” (note the “your” in quotes because it really isn’t yours) Facebook page you are building Facebook’s ad revenue when you should build your own revenue. Followers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media forums are great for the “About” section of your website. Them gold is in number of email addresses on your website’s subscription list.
With permission from Christelyn (subscribe and support Beyond Black and White here) I am reposting some tips I provided on her personal page on what you can do if and when “your” (note the quotation marks and catch the hint) Facebook page gets shut down. Learn from my mistakes because what I did was totally opposite of what BB&W did right.
- Contact Facebook (click here and favorite that linky because it was hard to find) and ask them to show why they shut down your page. They will say they will review your page and will eventually restore it.
- Next create a backup page. Write a post on your website asking your readers to follow you on platforms like Google+, your back up Facebook page, other social media and most importantly subscribe to your website until your page is restored.
- Since you are dealing with a drop in views and revenue to your website ask people in your network to share your website and your other social media pages to their networks.
- Create a simple graphic explaining the situation or just advertising your website and post it to your and other social media pages. Don’t forget to contact bloggers who are related to your topic ask them to share too. Also connect a link from your website explaining the situation on the graphic.
- The post and graphic MUST ask your readers to to share it, subscribe to your website and follow you on your other social media pages.
- If you are like me I’d do a YouTube video. That personalizes and connects your page to you and your readers.
Look, you have the power. Facebook, Twitter and other social media are nothing without YOU. They produce no content or product. They exist SOLELY on work of its users so use it towards your advantage and create a social media plan. Here is how:
- I want you to see online websites like real estate. Once you own it is yours. The more you invest in it, the more valuable it becomes. If you are on someone else’s platform aka house and making improvements on it they can say bye BYOTCH evict you for any reason. You have wasted time and energy building up someone else’s platform when your goal should be to build your own. Learn from the brilliance that is all things Christelyn. The smartest thing BB&W (subscribe here) did was create their OWN (yes, it is in all caps so you’d get the point) website and invested in using multiple platforms to share its content. She doesn’t have to rebuild on nothing like other Facebook dependent people do. She can build on what she already has. (Read more on why you should have your own website here).
- Now create a website. I use Host Gator (affiliate link) to host my site and is has never failed me. If you do not want to pay for hosting you can use free websites like WordPress.org, etc. The problem with the free sites is that you cannot run ads and will not generate revenue. Unless you are pushing your users to a platform like Paypal or pushing affiliate products to pay you, you are working for free. Why make other folks rich when we have student loans, bills, bills and more bills? Get rich or die writing. Yeah that was corny, lol.
- Instead of the same old menu try the buffet (I feel this way about husbands too. Just kidding hubby.) and use multiple platforms. Never become dependent on one social media platform. If one is abruptly taken away, which happened to me (it felt like I lost a part of me when that happened because I was Facebook top-heavy) you have others. Plus this drives up your search engine optimization (SEO rank when people are searching for content on Google, Yahoo Bing, etc) especially if you are on Google+.
- Connect your Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media platforms to your website. This saves you time and effort. The purpose is to think and work smarter not harder. If you are on WordPress.com (where you pay for hosting i.e. Hostgator) you can install plugins to do so.
- Create a publishing schedule so your content can come out regularly.
- If you want to build up traffic to your site learn to make cool graphics and eye-catching headlines. A great way to start is to purchase pictures from photo stock websites or even use Microsoft’s FREE Clip Art. Want catchy headlines? Model the best. TMZ anyone!
Dang, I give good advice. I need to follow the schedule one more often. LOL! When your social media pages get shut down (if you are geared to a certain audience, BLACK WOMEN, or have competition it will) don’t get down. This is your business. You must protect and fight for it. Good luck. Now go build your own damn house. Not one of those cheap Mc Mansions either. I prefer a castle myself.