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What is Steem and should your business use it?

  • February 24, 2018
  • 4 min read

You may or may not have heard of the blockchain/social media platform called Steem which is currently gaining steam.

I’ll just let that pun sink in for a moment.

Ok, moment over. So, whether you’ve heard of it or not, it’s a platform to take notice of — especially for marketers and business owners. Here’s the low down on the platform, whether you should join, and what you can expect if you do.

What is Steem?

Steem is a blockchain that acts as a database for content. This means it serves the dual purpose of being both a digital token (STEEM) and a social media platform.

The social media platform itself sort of operates similar to Reddit in that upvotes are what drives content to the top of the page and not an algorithm. The platform has been around since 2016, but has recently seen an uptick in usage. Here are a few stats about Steem:

  • Around 250k posts a day
  • 700k+ votes (likes) a day
  • 60k+ DAU
  • 2.3 Average Comments per post
  • 760k+ total accounts

Should my business be on Steem?

This is a complex question and there really isn’t a yes or no answer. As you can see in the list above, the platform may be small, but it’s not insignificant. There are a few factors you need to consider before joining.

First, is the audience. The platform itself is filled mostly with tech savvy individuals. They’re likely going to be interested in:

  • Technology
  • Software
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Privacy
  • And more

Crowds of people who aren’t explicitly interested in blockchain are beginning to join the platform as big influencers and content creators from other platforms begin moving over. For example, just this month Furious Pete (over 4M subs on YouTube) just joined and is bringing some of his subscribers over.

With big influencers and content creators like him moving over, we could be seeing the start of a new major social media platform. If that occurs, early adopters will be rewarded big time with increased growth, increased ROI, and increased engagement.

So, this presents us with a situation where we have a platform ripe for growth and with the potential for big ROI. What’s the catch?

Well, it isn’t going to be like other social media platforms where you can simply promote your brand and expect results. No, instead Steem is about creating valuable content.

Because of the upvote system and the emphasis on creating valuable content, Steem can almost be looked at as a hybrid between Medium and Reddit. It blurs the lines between social media marketing and content marketing.

So, you should only join Steem if you’re able to/willing to invest time into it as if it were your company blog. Create valuable, and engaging content. But, also, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a few short posts, questions, or memes in there too!

What to expect if I join Steem?

If you do join Steem, here’s a quick look at what you can expect. First, there’s a bit of a waiting period to get in. It shouldn’t be more than a couple of business days, but you won’t be getting in right after sign up.

Second, passwords work a bit differently on Steem. Since it’s Blockchain based, you’re given a key. This key is the only way to access your account, so if you lose it, you’ll need to create a new account. That’s why it’s recommended you store it both securely in an offline location and on your computer. A text file with the key is great when stored in a USB drive, but don’t hesitate to write it down as well.

This key also means that anyone with it would have access to your account. But, luckily Steem has some built in account recovery options, so you’re not out of luck if your account does end up compromised.

Lastly, there are several UI with which you can interact with the Steem network/blockchain. Steemit and Busy are the two most commonly used platforms but DTube, DLive, and a number of others exist which cater to specific types of content and individuals. Whichever you choose to use, know that your content will go across all platforms so it’s largely personal preference.

Other than that, it operates like a mostly normal platform. I encourage you to read up more on Steem itself, as this really just scratches the surface and there’s plenty more to learn including how post promotion works, how tags work, how to engage with steemians, and more.

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