As a musician back in 2006, I was determined to put my band on the music industry map. When this new “social media platform” Myspace emerged, I saw an opportunity to network and grow. Every night, I would spend a few hours reaching out to people who followed bands that were similar to my own. Within a few months, our band had a large following, and we were receiving gig opportunities up and down the east coast.
Those were the days. We were a giant band on Myspace, using their platform to further my business and grow my network. Then in 2008, Myspace was yesterday’s news and Facebook was the new king of social media. All of that hard work, building our brand online and growing our network, was suddenly worthless. We were forced to start over on a new platform. That was a valuable lesson that I carry with me to this day.
Every so often, I will come across a business who uses Facebook as their primary online presence and it brings me back to those Myspace days. Relying on this social media platform for your online representation is a risky, even dangerous, practice for your business.
More so than ever, your online presence is extremely important to your business, and you need to own it independently. Your URL is your online address, and it should not include someone else’s identity. When you refer customers or potential clients to your business, you should not be sending them to someone else’s business.
Everything about your business, including updates and interactions with your network or community, should live on your website. Social media can be used as a method to amplify your voice, but it should not be the origin of your voice.
Facebook is not Invincible
Although it feels like we’re stuck with Facebook forever, there could be a new social platform just around the corner waiting to take that #1 spot. According to Pew Research, only 51% of teens use Facebook. In just a few years, Facebook could be considered a dinosaur and you are aligning your brand with “old technology.” If your target audience is a younger generation, then you are in the wrong arena.
Just recently, Twitter made headlines with a very serious security breach. These types of attacks don’t just affect the platform, but could directly affect your brand and damage your business. If Facebook were to lose all of your information, they are not liable to you. Sure, any website has the potential to be hacked, but at least you can control your own backup and security, and you are not at the mercy of another company.
To make matters even worse, the stats from YouTube (85 percent), Instagram (72 percent), and SnapChat (69 percent) have effectively put Facebook in fourth place among the younger generation.Pew Research Center
“But It’s Easy To Manage and Update!”
The most common justification I get when talking to a business who uses Facebook as their primary website is that “it’s easy to update.” Is easy the right motivation for such an integral part of your business? Easy does not make it right, and likewise, a real website should not be difficult to update either. With content management systems like WordPress, updating your website can be as easy as posting to social media. You can create a direct line of communication to your network just as you do on social media, except it is your platform and your brand.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon your social media. Social media is a valuable tool that can get your message out to a larger audience. Content should be posted on your website, and then pushed to social media channels. You should use social media to network, find more people, and bring them to your website.
See How Your Website Can Work for You.
On Milk Street, we consider your website to be the central hub of all your digital marketing efforts. It should be your most valuable digital asset and not just another page on someone else’s platform. Contact us today to learn how we can make your website work for you.