Let’s be real, you can’t rely on social media: algorithms change, advertising is a pay-to-play game, and online marketing is a constantly changing environment. By the time you figure out a strategy to gain fans and followers, it seems like something has changed. While social media has to be a part of every business’s marketing strategy these days, this week’s blog post talks about another area you should be investing in. But first let’s start with why you can’t rely on your investment (time, energy, money) in social media.
Borrowed Time: You’ve seen social networks come and go….Google+ is gone, MySpace is past its heyday. Soon social networks like Facebook and Instagram will be pushed aside for the latest new thing. It’s just a matter of time before more hacks prove unreliable sites, or a new developer starts the next network. If you run your business from these accounts, you are building your empire on unstable ground.
Borrowed Space: While you own the content on the networks you share (although many debate about this), you don’t own the digital space you are inhabiting on the social network. This means that if Facebook or any other social network you use decided to pull the plug today, it’s not your decision, and you don’t have control over that decision. (But sure, you and others may be very angry). But it’s a free service, and you are using this free service for free marketing purposes. The social network doesn’t owe you anything including the use of space.
So what DO I invest in instead? Invest in what you can control, invest in what is yours. For most business owners, your brand is centered around your website or where you make sales. You pay for your domain name, you pay for hosting space and you create the digital content. These items are your real estate.
By investing in what you have control over, you can strengthen your overall marketing strategy, use social networking in support rather than rely on, direct & funnel sales better, build a stronger brand, and prevent the loss that will occur when your social media accounts get hacked.
So does this mean I shouldn’t use social networking? Social media has to be a part of every business’s marketing strategy nowadays. But social networking should be utilized to support your stable digital real estate. Your accounts should direct people from the network to your website where essentially you want to make a sale.
So does this mean I should never do a Facebook ad? Spending money on social media is okay to do but make sure they are targeting your audience and it’s worth the effort (and money). Organic reach and marketing tend to be favored for small businesses. If you are just ‘buying’ fans and followers you are throwing money away and attracting the wrong audience. Instead, consider spending that money on boosting up your website and building a marketing strategy around that.