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Why You Absolutely Cannot Depend on Social Media Networking Sites For Your Business

06/02/2011

Social media is here to stay. Social media marketing, in one shape or another, must be considered in a well thought out marketing plan.

BUT…

…your online business foundation must be your own, private, proprietary web presence.

A web presence that is under your direct control and no one else. Typically, this means your website and its quality content.

I often tell clients considering a social media marketing (smm) strategy to use companies such as YouTube, Twitter, and especially Facebook as tools to lead traffic back to their own website.

Never, or at least be very careful, about focusing a lot of attention, budget, or time building content on these kinds of social networking websites.

Why?

When you build valuable content on these sites – quality articles, photos, videos, etc. you are in effect building content for these sites and making them more valuable, not your own company.

Most entrepreneurs don’t understand this and that can be a mistake.

A recent example…

Facebook: Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Facebook shut down a popular Facebook Page that had over 16,000 fans. Why did Facebook do it?

As of this writing, no one knows.

Facebook has not given any clear explanation why it did so. It did not give the company any warning before pulling the plug on their page, which took them many months, resources, staff, and money to build it to over 16,000 fans. And it did not give the company any chance to respond before shutting them down.

Apparently, Facebook took it upon itself to be judge, jury, and executioner and felt it was their right to shut down this company’s Facebook Page.

Facebook can do whatever it wants and there isn’t anything you can do about it

If you think about it clearly Facebook has the right because Facebook belongs to Facebook and it can in fact do what it pleases.

I’m not saying this is right, or fair, or just… I wouldn’t be happy if it happened to me.

But this is the truth with all social media networking sites and social media properties. Stumbleupon, Digg, Twitter, Blogger, this public WordPress page you’re reading now, YouTube, Myspace, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook… all of them.

Hopefully, Facebook and all other social media companies change their policies and — ahem… customer service procedures to avoid this kind of situation in the future.

Even if they do, make sure you understand these are independent companies just like the one you own.

Build YOUR value!

When you create quality content on these sites, you make them more valuable. So be aware of this. Don’t bank on or bet the farm that they will make you a success.

Instead, use them to help build your business. Let them send targeted traffic to your website. Spend most of your energy building and improving the content on your own online company so when the traffic arrives they’re ready to engage your company. This is a more prudent business move.

Read what happened to this company and follow their updates as they try to get Facebook to put their Page back up and get an explanation as to why they were shut down in the first place.

http://su.pr/55oI9k

Recap:

— Use social media marketing for what its worth. Exploit it.

— However, be aware when you build content on these sites you are building their value.

— Be careful about placing all your bets on just one form of social media (that goes for any marketing media – telemarketing, ads, radio, mail, email, etc).

— Always have your own web presence that you control and spend most of your effort building quality content directly on your own business website(s).

— Use social media marketing to “get found online” and send targeted prospects and traffic to your company or website.

— Make sure the content on your web property is high quality – helpful, useful, informative, exhorting, and asks to either make a sale or extend and deepen the relationship (on your own territory).

— To balance your time use rough ratios: i.e. 90% of content building effort (budget, time, etc) is “for keeps” 10% is for social media marketing purposes. Use a ratio that makes sense to you and your business.

 

How about you? Have you been working too hard building the value of these social media companies and not enough building your own website’s value?

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