I like to say social media outlets are like women, you can’t control them. But before you go crazy and try to jump down my throat, allow me to explain my position first.
The rise in social media has been flat out amazing. There is no doubt about it. People, and whom i’m interested in most, businesses have been flocking to the various platforms as well. However, entrepreneurs have been using these outlets as their main source of internet presence and I believe this to be a major mistake and the number one reason I wanted to have this discussion with you today.
What’s behind my concern?
The reason I say social media outlets are like women is because they cannot be controlled. The social media outlets we use everyday cannot be controlled. You do not own them or have any say over what they do or their future changes.
It’s funny because I have a few Cavemen friends, as I like to call them. You know the type. They say, “Me Man, you do as I say.” It might sound good in circles of men, but doesn’t really stand up in reality because you don’t own them. Women have their own minds and make their own decisions…and are flat out not going for it.
Social media are like this as well, you do not own them and can’t control them. Therefore, putting the fate of your business or enterprise in their hands is just not a smart thing to do. I believe in ownership and control at this point in my business left.
Ebb and Flow of the Internet
There is a natural ebb and flow to the internet. This idea of social media has been around for about a decade, but we have seen some platforms go up and some go down. It just seems to be the natural progress of the net and a fact of life we have to deal with.
A perfect example of this is MySpace. Think about how dominate MySpace was in the early to mid 2000s. People assumed they would continue to grow and dominate the social media space, but do you even have a MySpace account today?
I don’t. The platform is all but dead at this point as a business opportunity, unless you are into music. I guess the platform is trying to morph into musical platform or something. I’m not even sure, but the point is it seemed like it would be around forever and dominate, but it is all but gone right now.
It is dangerous to put your fate into the hands of something you cannot control.
Like MySpace, Facebook might get eaten up and over taken by something new. Or something similar might happen to Twitter, Instagram, or even Tumblr. If you don’t control the outlet, you rolling the dice in a very risky game.
I learned the hard way on Multiple Platforms
Look, i’m trying to save you a lot of heartache and pain. I’ve gone through this more times than necessary, but i’ve learned the lesson and am trying to pass it along to you. Let me break it down real quick for you.
Google: Iwas building a niche empire via various websites I owned around topics of interest. The main traffic was generated by increasing our google search ranks to appear higher in the search engines. As I caught traction and earnings started to flow, Google changed their algorithm and the empire came crashing down.
Bing: Teamed up with two friends to exploit a technique we discovered using the Bing search engine and another temporary asset we discovered. I call it temporary because we didn’t own or control it. In a few months, we were generating over $20,000/month in revenue. Guess what happened? Bing changed their model and it came crashing down.
Facebook: Thinking if I get away from search engines and move to a social media platform like Facebook, I figured out a way to drive traffic to my sites and create a few thousand dollars in revenue a month as a result. In April of 2014, Facebook changed their algorithm and it all came crashing down.
After these disasters, I have FINALLY learned my lesson and it will never happen again. Putting your eggs into one or two social media platforms, you could be wasting your time when their time is up, your temporary asset is up.
The bottom line is you MUST control the platforms you are building. It is ok to engage people on these social media platforms because it is important to be where they are at, but you need a plan of action to build in a fail safe for your future.
That is what I missed. That is what i’m cautioning you about. And that is why i’m insisting you don’t put all your eggs into one basket. I’m TELLING YOU, it isn’t going to end well.
What are the solution?
People are great at pointing out the problems, but in this day and age, we need solutions, right? Well here we go. I have a few for you.
You must have your own home on the Internet. You need to have a website, your .com, .net, .org because you own the website. You want to engage with your people on your social media outlets, but direct them back to your website for further engagement.
This way, you will always control the your website and future because it is yours. And by using multiple platforms to drive people back to your home on the internet, you are combining all those that you engage with and driving them back to one place.
Now, what you do with those individuals once they get to your website is something something we need to talk about because you definitely need a plan of action.
1. Build credibility with a professional, trustworthy design.
2. Create quality content that engages and educates.
3. Encourage email sign ups.
Provide more engaging content with a freebie offer for those that sign up to your website or special tips for email subscribers. You are making strides to own the relationship between you and your reader, listener, watcher.
Think about it, through all the ebb and flow of the social media landscape and all the companies that have came and gone like MySpace, email has stood the test of time. People have their emails and keep them with them, check it from those magical devices we call phones on a damn near hourly basis.
Having those email address will solidify your relationship with your client, customers, readers regardless of the platform you met them on or where the newest platforms take you. Once the new platform takes over, you can email all your subscribers and let them know how to contact you on that new platform as well.
For example, jump over to ThinkTaylor.com/mail and sign up for my email list. Once you do and the next big social media outlet pops up, you will receive an email from me letting you know how we can connect there as well. Not to mention, I will be sending you more outstanding information like this to help you grow as an entrepreneur and person.
4. Promote Social Sharing
You want to have the social share buttons lined up around your website to encourage your clients, customers and readers to share your information when they feel moved or compelled. This is very important to build and grow your following, awareness on the various platforms your people get down on.
Social sharing is great for your future because it leverages the credibility and trust that person has with their network or community. It is like receiving an endorsement from someone who is big time in the lives of the people that message will be seen in their feed. Your advertising dollars can’t do this any better than that person referring you.