Can you imagine business without a social media presence?
I can because my first venture started before social media was born. Now, solopreneurs and businesses of all sizes use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for brand visibility and customer reach.
But here’s a thought: Is relying solely on social media for your business a wise strategy or a risky game?
Social media has become an indispensable cog in the wheel of business operations. They’re using engaging content and immediate communication to build relationships with their customers, something that seemed nearly impossible a couple of decades ago.
In just a decade, social media has skyrocketed, becoming a critical marketing platform. It’s offered businesses a unique chance to connect with audiences worldwide. But, do you think this sudden rise has made us overly dependent on it?
Note: I won’t be including Pinterest in this article, because it’s not a social media platform. It’s a visual search engine.
The Benefits of Social Media in Business
Social media brings numerous benefits such as a platform for instant communication, audience engagement, brand visibility, and even sales conversions.
It also allows you as a solopreneur to gain valuable insights about your customers’ preferences and behaviors. As the benefits became apparent, many solopreneurs began to solely rely on social media. This approach seemed promising at first glance — cost-effective, easy reach, and high engagement, but it came with a price.
The Risks Involved with Playing this Game
Like any strategy, overreliance can lead to unexpected consequences. Social media platforms, in particular, can be unpredictable.
- they change their algorithms consistently
- they mess around with features as soon as you learn how to use them
- they might change their policies at any moment
- they are a “pay for play” model…meaning ads
If you’re on social media, you’ve seen these “things” happening and if you’ve bet everything on social media, you could see your engagement rates plummet overnight due to these changes.
For instance, when Facebook updated its algorithm in 2018 to prioritize personal content over business content, many businesses saw a sharp decline in their post reach and engagement.
When Elon Musk bought Twitter and introduced Twitter Blue, users claimed it affected their reach.
And, on Instagram and TikTok, the more popular a post is within the first 24 hours, that post is pushed out to more people, so you end up constantly trying to create a viral piece of content when forgetting the big picture, which is
- creating valuable content
- creating relationships with real people
- and show them what you bring to the table
Gatekeeping Your Audience
When someone searches for your services on Google, a list of publicly accessible websites will appear.
But social media pages protected by a gatekeeper (you must log in to access the content) may not appear in search engines in order to protect their users content.
There are platforms that claim they allow some of its content to be accessed by Google, but then what’s the point of using a gatekeeper?
If you’re only using social media to run your business, you’re likely losing out organic traffic that comes from search engines and how many of your potential customers who aren’t on Twitter or Instagram are missing out on what you have to offer?
Try a Balanced Approach Instead
Have you considered multiple digital marketing channels? You get to call the shots on platforms like your website, email marketing, and content marketing.
Having your own website, even if it’s a simple one page website with a lead generation form on it works well. This gives you 100% control over your content and data. Plus it’s an asset that adds credibility to your business.
Building a website with proper SEO techniques, even small simple steps will ensure that your business ranks higher in search results, increasing visibility and driving more potential customers to your site. And for social media, you drive traffic from there TO your website, not the other way around.
There’s no denying the power of email marketing in fostering customer connections and cultivating lasting relationships.
With an email list, you can send targeted messages and promotions to your subscribers on a schedule that you define, keeping them engaged with your brand and encouraging repeat business.
Social media platforms can’t offer the same level of personalization and targeting that email marketing can. By focusing on taking consistent small steps to building your email list, you’re investing in a long-term strategy that will help your business grow.
Having a blog on your website means you set the rules! This offers you complete control over your content — the style, the length, the format, the images used and how you optimize it for SEO.
More importantly, it also gives your business credibility that social media platforms can’t offer on their own. Jumping back to SEO, search engines love fresh, unique, and quality content. Your blog posts can help improve your website’s visibility and attract organic traffic.
Wrapping it Up
It’s clear as day that social media has changed the marketing game. Yet, as we’ve discussed, putting all your business eggs in one social media basket might not be the most effective strategy.
Risks are inherent when relying exclusively on platforms that can, in the blink of an eye, alter their policies, tweak algorithms, or introduce new features — all of which can drastically impact your engagement and reach. Moreover, there are limitations to be considered in terms of audience accessibility and organic traffic driven from search engines.
But hey, don’t get me wrong! This isn’t about dismissing social media — far from it. Instead, it’s about striking the right balance that works for you, because it’s your business that’s on the line right? It’s about creating a diversified digital marketing strategy that spans beyond social media, incorporating your own website, email marketing, and content marketing.
Think about your website as your digital home base, your constant in an ever-changing online realm. It’s your own property, where you have full control, can build credibility, and attract organic traffic with the power of SEO.
And how about email marketing? That’s your direct, personalized line of communication with your customers, offering a level of personal touch that social media can’t quite match. It’s a relationship-builder, a tool to encourage repeat business, and let’s not forget — an asset that you have full control over.
Lastly, there’s content marketing, your golden opportunity to show your unique value, establish your voice, and appeal to search engines all at once. With a blog on your website, you call the shots — everything from the topic, the length, the tone, the keywords used for SEO and you can repurpose your blog content to social media.
So, at the end of the day, let’s celebrate social media for what it is…a tool and let’s agree to recognize the importance of controlling your own content.
By balancing social media with other digital marketing strategies, you can pave the way for a resilient, successful business.
Until next time, stay inspired!