We are a company that helps people earn money from their social media presence, but you need to know that it’s not social media that is the most important part of the equation. It’s the traffic – it’s the people you can reach, it’s your fans. This is the real asset here.
Let me point something out first. Facebook is the biggest social network and it makes a lot of sense to do business there. Most of the value we create for people is on Facebook. But unfortunately, the reality is that Facebook is something that neither us, nor you can control. It is an environment with rules set by somebody else and the rules can change with no warning. Every Facebook Page admin in the world felt it when Facebook changed their criteria about what kind of posts they show on people’s News Feeds. Each of us knows the frustration of the constantly declining organic post reach. And some of us know the pain and disappointment of getting our most valuable Page deleted forever. Yes, Facebook has done that and will continue to do that in the future. It’s their social network and they can do whatever they want and you can do nothing to protect yourselves from that. Those are the dangers of building your business on other people’s platforms – you become dependent.
Let’s not forget the eggs/basket cliche
So it’s very important for all of us to find some kind of insurance. Sure, Facebook will be the best place for our type of work for a long time to come, but if we rely on Facebook only, we are putting all of our eggs in the same basket. And this is a dangerous game to play. Overreliance on Facebook is easy to get used to, but extremely risky.
Let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say John has a great Facebook Page that is creating huge value for him, helping him earn money and promote what he needs to his followers. Things are looking up and John is spending all of his time working on his project and the number of likes are rapidly growing.
In the meantime, Andy has a bit smaller Page that is also doing OK, but Andy has also made sure that he has a good number of followers on his Twitter account, an active Instagram profile and he is also active on Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr and is also working on this own blog. He cross-promotes all of his online fan communities and makes sure all of them keep growing. Yes, it takes him a bit more work than John, but he believes this is the right strategy to implement.
Now a certain day comes and Facebook decide to delete all Pages that are “spammy” according to their new criteria. Both John’s and Andy’s pages get deleted. It’s a huge hit on both of them, but for John it’s an utter disaster. While John has no way of getting back all of his followers, Andy still has all of his other social media properties and his blog and they provide him with access to a decent amount of the fans that he used to have on his now deleted page. It would be difficult for both to regain what was lost in terms of followers on Facebook, but the one who would be able to do it faster would be Andy.
Fifty and Kianu are sad about the declining reaches of their Facebook Fanpages.
I know, your page being deleted is the absolute worst case scenario, but it happens. And it’s enough for Facebook to alter their algorithms in a way that you get into people’s News Feeds 5 times less for you to feel like they deleted most of your fans. And we all know that this can happen.
Some might say that it’s enough to start creating and promoting additional Facebook Pages, but since you are most probably going to administer all of them in exactly the same way and they are going to be part of exactly the same social network, it’s absolutely plausible that they would all suffer the same faith.
So if Facebook does something big, you are defenseless. Unless you start building your back-ups all around the web right now. This is going to be your independence.
It’s a good insurance strategy, but it’s also a healthier strategy for general growth. Your fans are your largest asset and if somebody is important to you, you make damn sure you have more than one way to reach them, right?
So if you are relying solely on Facebook, take a minute and really consider what other channels would be good for your type of content. Maybe you should start a parallel Twitter account, maybe you can open a Tumblr blog, maybe you can be more active on Instagram, Pinterest and so on, or maybe you should start your own website where all the content and rules are dictated by you.
Just make sure that you build your business on a stable foundation where a single point of failure is not going to destroy you and force you to start from scratch.