What if one day your primary social media platform was to go away? Perhaps, it crashed, decided to cut off your access or changed its terms of service to effectively bar you from using the platform as you’d hoped. Worse yet, what if they went away right before a big promotion. In addition, your email database equivalent (Likers/ Followers/ Subscribers/ etc.) that’s the result of a lot of hard work would be lost as well.
The more we put into a platform, the greater our investment in seeing success, so there’s nothing worse than having that work be for nothing.
No platform comes with a guarantee. Sites go down, hackers do their thing (right, Sony?) and consumer behaviors change just as they did during the great MySpace to Facebook migration.
Facebook’s a good example of a platform not coming with a guarantee. Reports surfaced this week showing that Facebook has fewer monthly active US users than it did last month. The report isn’t set in stone, but it is a trend that’s been noticed. Plus, Facebook has been taking some risks as it continues to push the envelope on privacy. Is there a point at which people get fed up and leave? Maybe.
“What if…” questions shouldn’t raise alarm. They should raise recognition of a potential risk, so what if Facebook having declining US users is a real and growing trend? If that happened to be the case, social engagement efforts would need to be reprioritized by businesses.
Nothing in this space is set in stone, and we shouldn’t act like it, especially when the platform doesn’t belong to us.
Have Your Own Real Estate
Brands are tools to sites like Facebook and Twitter. As much as we value each platform’s ability to compliment our marketing efforts, they owe very little to us. We shouldn’t expect otherwise.
When we put all of our eggs in one basket by ignoring our websites and other platforms to solely focus on Facebook Pages for example, will one day, maybe not right away, end poorly because things change whether we want them to or not.
There’s also a steep price in placing your social investment in a platform. The currency is data. They own the experience, the data and the privacy.
It’s essential to stake your social claim. Don’t invest everything in one platform. Invest in your website and your email database, and consider creating a company blog that will appeal to your customers. A blog is a great way to make sure you’re creating original content that can’t be found elsewhere.
You should own your social media hub, the anchor that directs consumers to all of your social media properties. Don’t completely abdicate your presence to anyone else.
Diversify Your Investment
It’s not an all or nothing situation or a crossroad in which you have to choose this instead of that. Your social investment should be diversified among the platforms that matter to your consumer. Have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and so on if it makes sense, but also, put a stake in the ground that you have complete control over. That way if one thing goes south, you have other options. And always be on the lookout for other social investment opportunities because nothing will be around forever.