If you remember last year, Facebook and it’s conglomerate of companies – Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp – were offline globally for a total of 24 hours.
Not everyone experienced outage, at least not all at the same time. But during that day, posting and commenting on your personal timeline, on someone else’s post, in groups, on pages, and using Messenger was, at most times, impossible.
For businesses that receive a majority of their leads from these social media programs, it was a HUGE wake-up call (or if it wasn’t, it should be).
This is the reason I always tell clients, and have been for years, to get your prospects and customers OFF social media. Note I’m not saying to stop using social media completely. What I’m saying is that you need a solid plan (automated as much as possible) to move those prospects and customers onto platforms that you own.
Any time you are relying upon a third-party platform, which includes all of the social media platforms, you are at their mercy. And in most cases, if they offer paid advertising, your needs are not their first and primary concern. Especially if they are a public company with stockholders, they are legally required to provide as much financial value to their stockholders as possible. Their first duty is to those stockholders (as it is with all corporations with public stock).
This doesn’t mean that the individual users are completely ignored. If there are no users, there are also no advertisers, so they do need to make sure the platform is enticing to the individual users. This, however, doesn’t necessarily extend to business users.
If you think about it, for a business using these platforms, your use almost competes at some level with the duty the platform has to their own stockholders. Your goal is to generate revenue for your business. The platform’s goal – and their legal duty – is to generate revenue for their business so that they generate revenue for their shareholders.
Allowing you to promote your business to generate your revenue – FREE – isn’t what generates their revenue.
This is just to say that platforms such as social media – all of them (not just Facebook conglomerate) – will increasingly put things into place, such as algorithms, rules, and fees – to control free business use. This will make it increasingly difficult to reach your prospects and clients on these platforms. At some point it’s even possible that businesses will be forced to pay to reach their existing fans on their existing pages – at all. Do I know that will happen for sure? No. Do you think it may be headed that way?
Our recommendation for the health of your business is to use these platforms to, first, be SOCIAL with your followers (which is why we offer our free social media mini audit to help you determine if that’s what you’re doing), and, second, as a lead generation option, and as you are attracting new prospects to your social presence, be sure that you have a plan in place to move those people onto your website or into your email list.
One of the best ways you can move people off your social media and into your owned platforms – such as website and email – is by carefully planning through your marketing funnel, and automating steps whenever possible. We have full course to help you understand all of the pieces that you need to include in your marketing funnel to keep from leaving money on the table.
What do you think is in store for the future of businesses using social media platforms? Add your questions and comments below!