Hypothetical: Facebook is closing down
I thought I should caveat this article with the word 'hypothetical' in fear that marketeers across the globe may go until panic. Nobody needs that kind of worry in this heat!
Yet, it's an interesting idea and it's something marketing professionals need to consider - what would you do if Facebook closed down?
The reason I ask is that I increasingly hear people talking about how vital social media is to their marketing mix. And they are right - it is vital. You cannot ignore social media. But I feel as though a little perspective may be needed, so here goes...
Social media should complement other marketing activity
If your social media channels are better than your website, you have a problem. Social media is a complementary part of the marketing mix, and all roads should lead to your website (or another similarly useful call to action). There is no doubt audiences love engaging on social media, but you need to keep in mind the goal of using that social media in the first place.
You don't own any content on social media
As soon as you post on social media, that platform owns 'your' content. Sure, you can download it and access it, but I have a hunch that the data I leave on Facebook will outlive my grandchildren. You do not own a 'group' or 'page' on Facebook and you don't own 'followers' on Twitter. If you are not connected to people in real life then all your hard work on LinkedIn is for nought.
So, moving audiences to your owned channels is extremely important. That's why we have websites and e-newsletters and direct mail. Because as fantastic as social media channels are, your control is very limited.
Why are you using a social media channel? What value does it bring to your business? It's important to analyse the data you can get from social media channels (this article from Sprout Social looks at all the best metrics to track on various channels).
This lets you learn and if necessary, close accounts that do not have an adequate return on investment.
You don't have to be on Facebook
It may sound strange, but you don't have to use Facebook, or any other social media channel. It's up to you!
You need to consider whether it is right for your company and what you hope to achieve with your marketing. It is better to be on fewer channels but have a truly engaging, high quality presence that to be on everything and just do OK.
It's good to remember that you can close your social media accounts as well if they are not working for you - as long as your have a strong digital presence elsewhere you can absorb the audience with careful planning.
Keep calm and carry on
I love social media. I am not, for a minute, suggesting you ignore it or the value it undoubtedly adds to your marketing mix. But it is just that - part of the mix, not the whole recipe. If something goes wrong on your social media channels, keep calm and carry on. Oh, and give me a call if you need to!
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