On March 13th, 2019, the social media giant known as Facebook suffered one of their biggest outages to date. For almost 24 hours, many users around the globe couldn’t access several of network’s best features, like groups, business pages, and some individual content. Not only did the outage take out the Facebook platform, but it spanned to the other entities owned by the network, such as Instagram and WhatsApp. A situation like this isn’t ideal for anyone on social media, but it’s especially problematic for one specific type of person.
The small business owner.
For years, social media networks, like Facebook, have been a great way to market your business for a variety of reasons:
· Creating, owning, and maintain an account is free.
· There are billions of users worldwide.
· Posting, including photos and videos, is simple and efficient.
· Your profile and page are customizable.
· There are additional advertising options available for purchase.
· Each network provides analytics and feedback.
But should a variety of social media networks be your only resource and outlet to grow your business?
Although there are many benefits to having a social media presence for your company, if this is the only marketing platform that you use, you’ll face issues that even the savviest marketer can’t overcome. There are some major problems when it comes to relying solely on one specific type of network to grow your business. Here’s why you need more than just a couple of social accounts to be successful.
Social media networks are constantly changing.
Whether a network is geared more towards the demands and needs of the individual or the problems and solutions of business, the tools of social media never stay the same. How many times has Facebook changed its “look” or the way it operates to make the experience more convenient? Consider Twitter in the same way. Complaints about the lack of text allowed per tweet reached developers, and shortly after, Twitter doubled the space. Since the original mission of social media is to provide a place where people can openly express themselves and connect with family and friends, there will always be new networks and apps ready to challenge the classics for social domination. From the early days when MySpace ruled the internet to the latest networks, like Telegram and Steemit, our social media world is constantly evolving.
In order for a social media network of 2+ billion users to run smoothly and efficiently, it requires a little cash flow. Major companies, such as Tiffany & Co., American Eagle, Walmart, and Amazon, are pouring dollars into social media to reach audiences in a big way. Have you ever had a phone conversation with someone, and later scroll down your newsfeed to see an ad for a product similar to what you were talking about earlier? Although Facebook isn’t listening to you through your microphone, it does use some pretty “creepy” techniques to figure out who you are and what you’re interested in. Some of these include tracking your activities on other apps, using your location to send ads to your phone, and logging your calls and texts (if you’re an Android user).
Even though it’s evident that social media networks are big marketing tools for businesses everywhere, these major corporations don’t rely on it alone. It’s a vital part of their overall marketing strategy because it works, but its not the only part. It’s important to see the significance in having a social presence for you smaller business, but also using various other marketing tools and strategies to create results. The bottom line is: You never want to lose the direct connection to your customers.
You don’t own your page or your profile.
Although having a business presence on social media sounds like a pretty good plan, keep in mind that you do not own your page. Owning your own website gives you total control of the content you post on your site, within reason. However, a social media page has a set of standards that it must adhere to. Social networks can, and will, take down your business page for a variety of different reasons. There are several horror stories floating around about companies devoting time, energy, and money in their social media page, only for it to be taken down by the network. Mistakes happen on the business side and social network side of this issue. Unfortunately, no matter who’s at fault, you’re not always warned and/or able to get your page back. Ouch.
Social media is not only a great tool to use when marketing your business, it’s crucial to your marketing strategy. However, it’s not 100% reliable, and your very presence can be taken away from you without warning. Because of this, it’s essential to have several methods to market your business, including your company’s website that is entirely owned and operated by you. There are many techniques and platforms when it comes to marketing your small business, including our strategy post for next week: email marketing.
If your business is exclusively on social media and you’re concerned about your future, give The Social Bullpen a call. We can make sure your company survives a social network apocalypse and continues to head in the right direction.