There is a certain eb-and-flow in regards to online platforms, particularly when it comes to Social Media.
Over the last decade or two we’ve seen the existence and popularity shift between communication platforms on a regular basis -- the home phone to cell phones; phone calls to text messages; internet chat to video chat; text communication to communicating primarily through photo and video; and MySpace to Facebook.
Let’s consider each of these major Social Media platforms a property -- Tom owned MySpace, Zuck owns Facebook, Evan owns Snapchat, etc.
If you’ve established the foundation of your business on anyone’s property, other than your own, you are setting yourself up for an abrupt, potentially disastrous, setback.
If your only means of communicating with your audience or customer base is through someone else’s property, such as Facebook, what happens when Facebook changes a policy, updates their algorithm, or minimizes reach for business pages?
If your only means of communication with your customers (or potential customers) is through that platform, your revenue stream can literally be cutoff overnight.
I’m certainly not saying that Social Media shouldn’t be used when it has the potential to change (as it most certainly will); in fact, I’m a firm supporter of quite the opposite. What I DO propose, however, is that Social Media platforms should be supplemental to your business, your own platform, your own property.
-- “Platforms come and go, but websites live forever.” --
How should you be using Social Media platforms? Social Media platforms should be leveraged to garner the attention of thousands of potential customers, while at the same time giving you an opportunity to interact quickly and effectively with individuals.
Ultimately, however, Social Media platforms should be used to direct people to your own property -- your website.
Your website, your property, is something that you have complete control over. Want to change the color scheme or layout on Facebook? Not gonna happen. Your website, however, can be completely customized in every way, shape, and form, bringing the user experience truly inline with your business and your brand.
Most importantly, your website allows you to build an email list. This is something that can’t be done, organically,on any current mainstream Social Media platform. Why don’t Social Media platforms allow this? Simply put, it isn’t in their best interest.
Maintaining your own email list….your own communication pipeline….removes the control for the exterior property owner (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and gives you complete control over how you communicate with your audience.
Facebook changes their algorithm for business pages? Doesn’t affect how you reach those on your email list.
YouTube and Instagram both shut down and close for business tomorrow? Doesn’t affect how you reach those on your email list.
Use the available tools in the way that works best for you and your business. Social Media is an important tool and a great way to reach customers, but it should never be the foundation upon which any business is based.
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