Best Way To Spread A Message

The idea of social media is to make sharing information easier. However social media seems to be going the opposite way, as it has been becoming more and more a gatekeeper. In order for your message to reach more people, you now have to pay.

How else can we spread a message if we don’t have money to feed the social media machine?

The Social Media Tax

Lots of money and effort went into creating and maintaining a productive information social media platform, and everyone gets to enjoy it for free. Here we are, we don’t like social media company selling our private information to marketers, but at the same time, many of us depends on the free service social network provides to communicate with each other.

For entrepreneurs like us, it gets even more complicated. We are the prime targets of social network companies. To reduce the cost, social network companies have made their software easier for non-techies to use. For $5 a day, we can send a message to thousands of people. The kind of money that entrepreneurs can justify. However, we often see messages that reach millions of people on social media without spending a penny. The main character of the story becomes an instant celebrity. How do they do that?

How messages spread, fast – a lesson from an acicent Chinese story

A rebellion in ancient China formed by a man grew up poor was about to take over a city. The rebel’s goal is to free the poor from the corrupted dynasty. The corrupted government officials tried to cause chaos in the city in order to escape, so they tell people that the rebel has killed everyone in every city they took over. People panic and started to fleet.

The rebel leader saw the flood of civilians abandoning their home, so he stopped a woman and asked why she is running away. The woman said the city official said she and her entire family will be terminated by the rebel if she didn’t start running before the rebel takes over.

The rebel leader revealed his identity to the woman and ensure her that she and other poor families will be safe if they hang a bunch of wheat outside their doors. The woman went back to the city and told all the poor families she knows. Overnight, the message spread across town (without social media). Almost every family has a bunch of wheat hanging at the door, except the corrupted officials and a few riches that everybody hates.

The Best Way To Spread a Message

The best way to spread a message is to create a message that spreads on its own. Of course, a message can’t spread on its own, what we can learn from this story is that if we want to succeed in our mission, we need to create a message that is important to the people we want to serve, and we need to invent a way that is easy for the message to spread among the people we want to serve. Should the rebel leader suggested the woman to hang something else at the door, the result would have been very different. In that particular region at that particular time in China, wheat was easy to find for most poor families. Even if a family didn’t have it, other families with the same social status would be happy to give some to their neighbors if that can save their lives.

Here we go. In order for our message to spread, it is not just about which social media platform works in our favor. It is up to us to create the right message for people who needs to hear it, and then find or invent a way for that message to spread among them.

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