Why You Can’t Hang Your Hat on Social Media

April 23, 2019

What if I told you that Facebook has gone bankrupt and you can no longer rely on it to market your business? Or LinkedIn? Or what if we all awoke to the news today that Instagram had gone under the same way Vine did back in 2017? Do any of those scenarios make you a little nervous thinking about them? Maybe your eye started twitching a bit? Well, word on the street is that Instagram is testing the idea of hiding likes. So while this may not affect some, there is going to be a large number in certain pockets that will be completely effected. I wanted to chat a bit today and share some thoughts on why you can’t hang your hat on social media.

Social media is a huge blessing for us business owners these days. I know most of the time it feels like a burden, but never have we had so many avenues to market what it is that we do or the product we sell even without paying for ads. I mean, think about the days when we had to rely solely on SEO to be seen. Or before the internet, it was literal dollars to print mailers and ads to get the word out. We really are blessed with what we have available in this day in age.

However, all of these avenues are through other businesses. Anything could happen for any reason. Just yesterday news broke that Instagram had confirmed to TechCrunch that they are testing internally a prototype that would remove likes from the Instagram experience. That only the user would see them on the backend, but not the audience. A few things come to mind with this for me…

  1. It would be wonderful for the focus to be on the content being shared instead of the number attached to it for validation. I can see this being beneficial in many healthy ways when it comes to the mentality of social media and the pressures it has created.
  2. I can see for many businesses this possibility doesn’t pose a real threat. For those who offer a service will continue doing so and sharing what problem they can solve for others. People looking for that problem to be solved will find those offering that help.
  3. I can see this being detrimental to content creators, especially those in the “influencer” realm who don’t necessarily blog and their entire business is built upon an outside platform.

Why you can't hang on your hat on social media. Advice on not relying on outside platforms to build and maintain your audience. Catch it all on the Kara Layne & Co. blog! #SocialMediaTips #BusinessAdvice #Entrepreneur #GirlBoss

Now, I say detrimental because engagement rates and numbers are what brands and companies look at when choosing who they want to collaborate with and invest in to share their message or product. It’s possible that their approach would change along with this especially with 2019 being a big year for “micro influencers”. Companies have finally begun noticing that numbers don’t mean everything and that those with a smaller, more organic and sincere audience have better engagement and trust with their community which means a better ROI for companies and their ad budgets.

You might be asking yourself, well Kara, if you are saying we can’t rely on social media platforms what do I do to build my audience and community? I’m so glad you asked.

First thing is first…. nurture your email list. If you don’t have an email list, start one. If you have one and things have gone radio silent, fix it. Breathe life into it. Create a freebie, add a billboard message to your site offering it and inviting people to come. Your email list is pure money when yielded the right way. Treat your subscribers like family. Forbes has a great article about how to do this all from scratch with tips and ideas to get you going.

Second, my advice would be to utilize your blog. Now I know what is being said – blogs are dead or on their way to being dead. I actually don’t believe this. People still like to consume their information by reading and your website and blog is something you own. Find ways to move the traffic and conversation there. You don’t want to wait until your favorite social media platform dies a horrifying death that leaves your audience wondering where the heck they go now. You want them to know where home base is. Everything you share on social media should be tied into your blog or site. Develop a strategy for growing your readership there.

Remember to start today. Work toward the building of your own platforms and use social media as a place to leave breadcrumbs. People will follow the trail and love having a home base to soak up everything it is that you do.

Have you already built your email list and readership? What advice could you share with other readers who might just now be starting out? Leave them in the comments below!

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