Jamie R Cox with a reality check:

“If you only exist in the minds of your consumers as an Instagram handle, you haven’t built a brand. You’ve built an account.”

When I had an Instagram, I may have followed a lot of runners, but once I deleted my account, those runners were gone.

Same with the bands, artists, designers, and photographers I followed.

Hardly anyone pushed me off the app and into their own world – their own website, email list, nothing.

One runner I’ve followed for years – they recently ran the Western States 100 mile ultramarathon. Since I wasn’t on Instagram, I went to their website, which was just a bunch of products for sale. A lot of static bits and pieces.

But oh – they had an email list sign up! I entered my info, and got an email a few seconds later, telling me I was already on the list.

Ooops – I had been on their list for well over a year, and didn’t even remember. I definitely didn’t get anything regarding this big upcoming race, but when I clicked over to the web-version of their Instagram account – woo! There were like a thousand new photos and videos and long captions and stories and reels…

All of which could easily ported to their own website.

I get it – you can’t be everywhere, but… once a fan leaves one of those platforms, what are they left with?

The web is ubiquitous, and so is email. Every smartphone ships with a web browser and an email app.

But if all you have is an Instagram account – I mean, nevermind the weirdos like me who aren’t on social media anymore. There’s people who don’t use Instagram, but will spend hours on TikTok, you know? Or Threads, or Facebook(?!).

It’s time to stop letting our websites be the most boring, out of date corner of your online world. Post photos, stories, rants, memes… stop giving your best material away to platforms that limit your reach, and keep you locked into their universe.


Meta says they won’t recommend political content on Threads, and that “users who post political content can check their account status to see whether they’ve posted too much of it to be eligible for recommendation.”

As Nick Heer writes at Pixel Envy:

“Does any topic which has been politicized count? Are all posts about global warming, trans rights, healthcare, and intellectual property law considered political, or just those which advocate for a particular position? If advocacy is demoted, it likely benefits the status quo and creates a conservative bias by definition.”

And while this seems aimed at accounts you don’t follow, I don’t trust Zuck and company to throttle accounts that you do follow.


I link to a post in my Social Media Escape Club welcome email, asking people to leave a comment about where they’re at with social media.

People often say they’ve got a big following on Instagram, they hate Instagram, but they don’t know how to survive without It.

Meta has invested millions of dollars to make you believe this, but it’s not true.

Instagram is a website. People visit this website multiple times a day because it’s filled with interesting things. is a website. People visit it occasionally because they bookmarked it or added it to an RSS reader.

EBay is a website. Netflix is a website. Your bank has a website.

Put as many photos and text on your website as you do on social media.

That’s how people “learn” to come visit your website.

Add a “subscribe to me email list” box.

“Oh, but Seth, no one uses email anymore.”

This is another lie.

Every smartphone ships with an email app already installed.

People who buy records, get direct deposits, apply for jobs, and buy things online all check their email.

Fill your website with cool stuff.

Tell your friends about it in real life, personal emails, and build an email list.

Because someday Instagram will implode or lock you out. Then what?


How do you get people from Instagram to subscribe to your newsletter?

By being on Instagram, unfortunately.

Don’t worry – Nail Mason lays it out nicely here:

Connect with 3 new fans each day, and you’re building a broad and deep audience.

Imagine — 1,095 new friends who can open doors to opportunities and insights.

Create value and connect.

Start there, then rinse, and repeat.

Make sure you figure out a way to connect in a sustainable and energizing way. If it’s pure pain and misery, you’ll end up quitting the quest to get your social media followers to your email list.

Facebook Hates You

Matt Klinman of Funny Or Die had some pretty harsh words for Facebook, and for good reason.

Today, there’s no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that video is just right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue that was generated from those videos, but because Facebook does not pay publishers, there quickly became no money in making high-quality content for the internet.

Read his full interview over at Split Sider – it’s fucking good (and check out his Twitter).

Think about this; this is Funny or Die, not some small band trying to get 50 people to a gig. Or getting a dozen people to your local political event. Facebook throttles what your fans see, so rather that show your fans some tour dates it’ll show them a funny cat video that 324 shared in the last hour.

Your new video premiere? Buried under an avalanche of political drama and probably some post from a music blog about some guy playing a cover of a Metallica song with a kazoo.

Think your fans will see your post about crowdfunding your next EP? Nah, some celeb wore a Megadeth shirt!

Facebook will not help you. Twitter doesn’t care about you being harassed. Tumblr is owned by YAHOO. Instagram is owned by Zuckerburg and turning into trash by the minute.

I implore you: buy a domain name, build an email list, and send some goodies to your fans using the mail.

“But I’ll lose my 21,381 followers,” you may say. Chances are you’re only reaching 0.1% of those followers anyway, so revel in the 200 people on your email list. At least you can reach all of them.