This month’s announcement from Facebook should serve as a stark reminder to everyone who has been relying on social media to spread the word about their business.
If the channel is free, the channel owns everything you post there, you don’t own the channel.
Which means they can do whatever they like with your content; show it, promote it, hide it. Or build a complicated algorithm that decides what is seen, when and why.
The sheer volume of users on these platforms is what draws most business owners to them in the first place. And having a social media strategy is an essential part of any marketing deck, no matter what size your business is. However, for small businesses, social should never be the only card in the deck. And you should never, never have only one channel.
Most people know by now that all online marketing is fueled by content. The more you have and the better quality it is, the more successful your marketing will be. But where you publish your content and subsequently build your audience should be a strategic long-term plan.
The impact for businesses of Facebooks changes won’t be felt immediately, although some people are already reporting a drop off in organic reach and engagement.
Now is a great time to re-visit your social strategy and take a look at what changes you can put in place to avoid becoming a victim of not only Facebook’s changes, but any social channel updates that might affect your social marketing.
Here is an example of a quick Social Media SWOT for you to follow. We were thinking generally about socail when we did it – not a particular platform.
There are many strengths and opportunities available when using social media, and the weaknesses are predominantly internal.
Do we have the right content, enough content, the time and skills to manage the audience?
However, it is the threats that many businesses tend to overlook.
Any social platform, not only Facebook, you don’t pay for, effectively “owns” your content and they can decide what to do with it – and when.
For example; A few years ago, you Facebook Business page would get great organic reach on any post you published. When they wanted more businesses to ‘pay for exposure’, they changed the algorithm to show less of your content – and ‘encourage’ you to pay to boost posts and pay for ads.
Time to adapt!
Like the tried and true SWOT exercise above, much of what you need to do is go back to basics.
Keep creating quality content
Don’t stop now. You would be surprised how many people will throw their hands up and stop content marketing altogether because of this change – by simply keeping on going, you’re ahead already!
Own your publishing platforms
Your website is your own platform, always publish here first. So is your CRM (so MailChimp or Active Campaign for example), work hard to build your list, it is one of the most valuable assets you have. Online course platforms such as Thinkific or Teachable are also excellent places to publish your content.
Keep using Social, but keep it balanced
Don’t stop using social platforms to broadcast your content but use it with more purpose than likes and shares. Use it to drive traffic to your website, build your list or get students onto your course.
Imagine if your social platform suddenly disappeared overnight. What impact would that have on your business?
Social platforms will always change at the whim of the company that owns it, and from revenue-making pressure – they are, after all, a business. Your best defence is to strengthen your weaknesses and understand the threats so you are not caught out!
Free ‘how to’ templates so you can publish brilliant content that builds credibility and grows awareness