You’re really not meant to.
If you’re using social media as the main and ONLY means of you running your business, then you probably should pause a bit and read up!
The thing that you should always keep in mind is that social media is a marketing tool. Sure, it helps you get your product or service in front of your audience, BUT it’s not where you should be running your business entirely. Yeah, there’s a lot of people there and you get most of your sales off social media – but how are you it’s going to stay?
Fine. Facebook is solid – but just because they understand the needs businesses, brands, and marketers have; this is why they are constantly innovating and rolling out new features that will make running your business easy and smooth and so that you never want to go anywhere else… ever!
But here’s the ish: social media, when you really think about it, is just rented land. Sure, they host your stuff for you for free: Facebook carries images of your products, gets you fans and engagement, etc.; YouTube hosts your vlogs and tutorials and even gives you a wee bit of money to keep you coming back; Instagram gets you all those engagements from strangers via search and hashtags. But no matter what you do, you will ALWAYS have to stick with their rules. You have no full control over what they want to do or change on their platforms.
Remember Multiply? Remember how everyone ran their online shops there? Remember how it closed down, taking with it not only the photos of your products, established relationships, feedback; but also (and most importantly) your customers.
Now, imagine you’re running your business solely on Facebook and it decides to shut down (far-fetched but still possible)… what do you think will happen? Will you be able to reach out and contact your customers? Yes? Probably no.
“But, Lean, there is always a grace period…”
Fine, there will be prior notice… but should you wait for something to close down and build your network of followers and customers within a short period and under pressure? No, right?
So please, if you’re serious about your business or personal brand, run it on your own website. Domain names are really affordable right now. I got mine for Php 50 at GoDaddy! There are also lots of great hosting services out there. My friend, Noel, offers such services. For a simple blog like what I have, it’s Php2,500 a year!
In closing, let me say how wonderful social media is as a marketing tool. Be active on them, add content to your accounts (this is how you establish good rapport with social media platforms), BUT always have a call-to-action at the end of all types of content you put up. Be clear with what you want your audience to do and where you want them to go. Ideally, you would want to bring them a place where you can control (your website) and where you can talk with them in a more direct manner (your email list).
Contact Noel to get hosting via email: email@example.com.
Don’t forget to join the community to get tips and latest news on everything social media, freelancing, and virtual assistance!