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:
>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!
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.