Your list isn’t really yours if you can’t take it with you

October 7, 2021
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Home 9 +Good Newsletter 9 Your list isn’t really yours if you can’t take it with you

On Monday, our world stopped.

Sure, we were still alive. And working. And going about our business. But the steady hum of Instagram and Facebook (an admittedly loud LOUD hum for us social media managers and internet-addicted folks) suddenly went silent—and we found ourselves stuck. 

How do we communicate when our communication channels go down? And, more importantly, how much are we relying on platforms and lists that we don’t actually own?

Because that was the alarming part, right? What if Facebook didn’t come back? All of those followers, gone. All of that community-building, wiped. 

Your list isn’t really yours if you can’t take it with you. 

It’s why things like email lists (or mailing lists or carrier pigeon lists) are so essential. You need information that is yours—not Facebook’s. You need information that is platform-independent. 

And if you’re anything like us, you’re not doing this well yet. 

You rely on Facebook Messenger to communicate. Or you DM people on Instagram to reach out to new leads. Or you search LinkedIn for connections. 

All of these could be gone in a second.

Want to take it a step further? 

What if you had to call someone right now, but you couldn’t use your phone’s contact list? Do you have a single phone number memorized? Or at least stored in multiple places? 

(I could call my elementary school best friend’s parents’ landline…which is a super helpful resource, as you can imagine!)

We love social media. And we use it a lot. But we also know that it’s all fleeting—so we need to be careful and smart. Own your lists. Build diversity in your platforms. And most importantly, cultivate actual, real connections—so that even if the data disappears, the relationship lives on. 

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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