That said, we are sorely lacking in social media following. It is one of the first things knifemakers we have been in contact with can see, and our numbers are not encouraging. When I took over as Managing Editor in 2014, we had about 350 or so likes on our Facebook Page which I set up when I first began as a TTAK writer. Our Twitter feed (@knifetruth) was set up at the beginning to automatically share our posts, but Chris never spent any time curating it. We didn’t even have an Instagram page until last year’s Blade Show.
Since assuming the Editor’s mantle, I have managed to add about 1000 followers on Twitter and Facebook, and our Instagram has climbed to a paltry 374 followers as of this morning. I am happy to say we did it organically by word of mouth, instead of a massive advertising buy, but unfortunately our relatively paltry social media presence has caught up with us.
This isn’t a vanity thing, we aren’t in it to flatter ourselves with numbers, but unfortunately there are some who will see our numbers and dismiss us out of hand, no matter how loyal or targeted our core following happens to be.
That is exactly what happened when I applied for media passes for this year’s Blade Show. We were denied in mere minutes. I sent an email to find out why. In then end, it took several emails, phone calls, and a couple of Twitter private messages to get an answer, and it boiled down to “You guys are utterly insignificant in the social media universe.”
And so we are left to buy our own way in to the show, and stand in line while all the other media outlets are already inside working, gaining hours of advantage (media passes allow earlier entry than general admission). It isn’t that I care about the cost of a ticket, but rather being denied access based simply on our social media presence.
Unfortunately, while I do not believe that “likes” should be the gold standard, they are not in fact wrong in their assessment of our pages. A medium-sized maker like LT has more than 13,000 people who like his Facebook Page. Smoky Mountain Knife Works has more than 7ok. On the YouTube side of things, people like our friends at EveryDayTacticalVids have 87,000 subscribers while CutlerlyLover has a whopping 380k!
Despite not boasting the raw numbers of our compatriots, I am however somewhat proud of my cultivation of the Twitter feed. While it only has a modest 1250 followers, the growth is accelerating slowly. Twitter has been especially useful in our efforts to rally legislative phone calls in support of Knife Rights, but is also allows for interactions with key figures in the knife and outdoor industries, and it has allowed me to cultivate some fledgling friendships as well with people who I have met or would like to meet offline. I want to highlight Thomas and Elise from More Than Just Surviving (who have more than 75k followers btw). Despite their somewhat loftier perch in the blogging world, they have always been happy to pass along our content or action alerts when they can. On multiple occasions, our content has been picked up by Instapundit as well – not something many knife websites can boast. Each time we add to our tally, but it is clearly not enough.
Why follow us on social media? The most obvious answer is that we include content that doesn’t make it to the blog. Last year at Blade I used Twitter and David used Instagram to give our readers a real-time look at the show floor. And tons of knife porn as well. We intend to do this again at next month’s show, and hope that you all will join us for the ride. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of course.
Bottom line, we need your likes, follows, and shares. These are the things that increasingly matter in the world in which this blog operates, and without them, we have a harder time doing our job.
Thank you for being our readers!