Back in 2015 I wrote an article about using a social media page as your website. Today Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down. In fact, they are still offline as I write this article. I can’t help but wonder how many businesses are in a panic because they use a Facebook page as their website. And although I didn’t specifically mention a social media platform worldwide outage in that original article, it’s definitely just one more reason you should never use a Facebook page as your website. Nor should you use another type of social media platform as your main marketing strategy or as the primary means of communication. So I’ll expand on my earlier post. Businesses should never rely on social media as your primary online point of contact. Period.
Why it’s risky to depend on social media platforms.
If today’s outage wasn’t enough to convince you that it’s risky business to put all of your eggs into the social media basket, here are a few more.
A social media platform can change what they will allow you to publish. For example, they can restrict how you promote your business. They can even remove your content if they feel it violates their rules. Rules you may not even be aware of.
It’s not unheard of for social media platforms to ‘delete’ followers. You could lose half of your audience at the whim of the platform. Sometimes for no reason whatsoever.
Social media platforms can fail. It might seem ridiculous to think that a giant like Facebook could fail, but remember MySpace? How about GooglePlus? Or maybe Vine? Social media platforms can and do fail. And if the one you happen to have chosen to be your online voice goes bust, it may just spell the end for your business too.
What’s the alternative?
First, as I’ve been saying since 2015, you need a website. In fact your website should be the hub of all of your business activity. This puts you in charge, rather than relying on social media.
You should have a business email address as your primary mode of communication. No facebook chat boxes or messenger apps are as reliable and good old email.
And speaking of email, build that email list of followers. Encourage your social media contacts to sign up. Use it as your primary marketing avenue.
Today with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all going dark, take it as a sign. If you totally rely on social media for aspects of your business shift gears now. Build that website, grow that email list and make sure that you’re business isn’t sucked into a black hole by a social media platform fail.