Can You Trust Social Media Sites with Your Business?

It happens several times a year, and when it does, it’s guaranteed to make you scramble.

 

That social media site where you mingle with your prospects and market your business? Their format is changing. And you don’t have much time to adapt the brand image you’ve been using to their new size.

 

Oh, and their rules are changing, too. Time to go learn how to use the platform all over again!

 

Ah yes, and your privacy settings need to be tweaked. Because what you thought you were sharing has now changed.

 

Whether it’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter — or whatever new social media platform comes along later — the constant “improvements” on social media platforms make our marketing efforts extra challenging. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on your platform of choice, all the rules change.

 

Should we trust social media sites to have our business’s best interest in mind?

 

Of course not. Social media sites are self interested by nature. They’re a multi-million dollar industry, and we are simply the participants whose information, photos, videos and links make their sites interesting places to visit.

Let’s Dream a Little

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place that you controlled? A place where you could talk to your customers and prospects, reaching out to share your information, tips, and advice?

 

A place where the format never changed (unless you wanted it to). A home on the Internet where you didn’t have to worry about privacy settings resetting when you weren’t looking. A destination where you could send people that is free of distractions — where your marketing message is the star of the show.

 

You know where this is leading, right?

 

That place — of course — is your own website.

Build a Web Home You Can Count On

I’m not suggesting you completely ignore social media. Its presence is here to stay, even if the venues may change over time (remember MySpace?).

 

What I am strongly recommending, though, is that if you don’t have one already, you spend time and energy to craft your very own home on the web.

 

And if you have a site but you cringe every time you share your URL, do something now to improve your site so it’s an asset to your business.

 

Stop pouring all your time and energy into renting space for your business on unpredictable social media platforms. Instead, divert some of your efforts toward building your very own home, where you make the rules.

It’s Easier Now Than Ever Before

We’re fortunate to live in a time when it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to create a home for your business on the web. Here’s what you need:

Required:

>A domain name that’s registered. Try GoDaddy. Cost: around $10 per year

>Web hosting. Cost: around $10 per month

We also suggest:
BlueHost WordPress Hosting
HostGator – Hosting as low as $3.96 a month!
Shoppepro (+ free e-commerce shopping cart)
Bizzy Mama (+ free e-commerce shopping cart)
Go Daddy $1/ mo Hosting + Free domain
& 3dcart Free 15 day trial, then just $19.99/mo!

>Self-hosted WordPress installation. Cost: free!

 

Optional:

>A premium WordPress theme like Thesis or Studiopress. Cost: varies from $50-$250.

 

Start Today

You don’t need to leave your marketing at the mercy of the social media platform du jour. Keep using social media, but focus your efforts on making your own site a destination you’re proud to share.

 

Cultivate your home on the web, and set up a space that plays by your rules, whatever they are. Because the platform you own and run yourself will always have your best interests in mind.

 

Image by sharyn morrow via Compfight

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Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.
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4 Comments

  1. Kemya Scott

    This post mentions some key points. I think people forget they don’t have any ownership of social media, so they need to be sure to build communities on their own turf. And the constant changes with social media platforms can get pretty frustrating when you have to rely on them for engagement.

    I agree, this is a great post!

    Reply
  2. Felicia

    I totally agree!! Social media needs to be a tool that directs people back to your business website where you can have complete control over how you want your content presented to your audience.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!
    Felicia

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Me too, Felicia! 🙂 We sometimes forget that our own website is the “place to be”.

      Reply
  3. Andrew Moretti

    I’ve felt this way about social media for a long time. I was an early user of Facebook, back when it was only available to a few colleges, then I quickly became bored. I joined back up almost out of necessity once ‘everybody started doing it,’ which a bit before they rolled out pages.

    I managed some early pages but I’ve always found the rollout changes so frustrating, and there’s always a learning curve with the next new social network.

    Besides that, there’s something that all social networks have in common: if you stop posting, they stop talking about you. If you write a great blog you’ll get a spike when you first push the content, but you’ll get residual hits for a long time. There’s nothing more satisfying than writing a good few posts and seeing your traffic settle into a new plateau.

    Thanks for a great post.

    Reply

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