Rely On Social Media To Build Your Business, Don't!
IT'S BAD FOR BUSINESS!
How many business Facebook or Instagram accounts have been restricted for sixty days or more?
The Facebook algorithmn may incorrectly label a post as "hate speech" or going against Meta's guidlines. These aren't isolated incidents, it's happening more and more frequently, often multiple times, and I've heard the same complaint from thousands of other business owners and marketers over the last few years. You only need to check out Meta’s LinkedIn Profile and review the comments to see a small snippet of the extent of the issue. Your business could be at a substantial risk if you are relying on any social media platforms to build your business, especially with no website or platform YOU DON’T OWN!
How many businesses have been locked out, hacked or stolen since Meta’s new business suite?
There are several reasons why people may be getting locked out of their Facebook or Instagram accounts, including:
Hacking. Whether you have actually been hacked or not, Facebook will lock someone out of their account to prevent further unauthorized access if they believe the account has been hacked.
Violation of community standards. If someone violates Facebook’s community standards by posting inappropriate or offensive content, their account may be locked or disabled. Sometimes people have been hacked, and the hacker is the one posting unauthorized and inappropriate content.
Verification issues. Facebook may lock someone’s account if they cannot verify their identity.
Now you may think, "No big deal, you can appeal it, and somehow, somewhere a human will review it and reinstate my account. Unfortunately, that's not how it works in real life because that never happens. After you submit an appeal, a message is displayed saying, "Since your review, many people and organizations around the world have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook is also affected." Then the company simply ignores you.
For the record, the pandemic has absolutely no bearing on anything, but even if it did, a huge portion of the workforce is remote, so that would still be a moot point because they work from home. It's just a made-up excuse not to provide real customer support. Facebook isn't alone in this, though. Most social media platforms are guilty of this to varying degrees. Poor customer support is only a minuscule part of the real problem.
The real problem here is that most of us are building a business on "property" that isn't ours, which means that all of your hard work can essentially be taken from you with no notice, no real ability to appeal and no recourse.
Before social media, if you had built a business on a property without paying rent, you would no longer be in business. And just like that, the business page you spent years building a following on, not to mention the dollars spent marketing your business, can suddenly be deleted, you can even be banned from creating a new one. The same applies to the groups you've poured your valuable time, money and resources into in order to build an active and engaged community. This can even happen to your entire social media account. Poof, just like that, you never even existed!
Every business, especially small businesses, that rely heavily on a particular platform is at risk, and seriously so. Over Reliance on any one platform is tremendously dangerous and building your community on social media is a textbook case of overreliance.
When the rug gets pulled out from under you, regardless of the reason, your business can be destroyed literally overnight. This is a warning I've made time and again to my clients since the first widely adopted social media platform back in 2004, MySpace. At the time, many people claimed that websites were officially dead and all businesses would only need a social media profile from now on. I called that kind of reliance on any platform a dangerous mindset nearly twenty years ago, and it's only become more dangerous since then.
Now you might find yourself saying “I can't just give up social media!" Correct, You can’t dissmiss social media completely. It's a vital part of business today, but used correctly you can build your following on your own site. Use social media to drive traffic into your stand alone website and online store if you want to remain competitive. You just can't rely on social media alone, putting your business in the hands of organisations you have zero control over.
Many small businesses tell me they can’t afford a website but in reality how can you afford not to invest time and money into a space that you OWN?
Don't rely on social media to build your business! This post isn’t meant to garner business for myself, there are so many free platforms you can use to build a website. Even Google has a free function, all you need to do is register your business in Google Workspace and jump right in to build your FREE website. To connect your very own domain can cost as little as $15/year.