Wading through a sea of endless articles about data breaches and the implosion of social media, there are just as many folks touting the importance of social for your brand and business.
In today’s world of polarity, it is easy to overlook that both sides of online analysis hold truth.
We are going to start with the later position that social media is important for your business. This statement holds truth, but social’s magnitude of importance is often misrepresented.
Note the operative word in social media presence.
Presence, not residence.
Indeed being present and active is important, but critical? Not so much. Social media is not your business, it is an extension of it.
Leading us back to the former position on the state of social affairs. Social media is indeed imploding in various ways, and networks are self destructing with their insularity and greed.
But with every great fall, is the emergence of new.
There are bubblings of new networks that will be launching. Rumors are swelling about Google launching another attempt with the guidance of a former Facebooker. There is also a resurging popularity in OG chat rooms.
And finally, in all this swirl, one thing holds true…
The internet is not going away. Nor is it’s opportunity and importance.
Social media is not the internet.
And in the world of the interwebs, a website is the single most important aspect of doing business online. We make an appearance on social to connect, and the footprints of our presence will help lead folks to our homes.
Don’t Rent Out Your Online Presence
On social networks, we as people, brands, and businesses are code.
Not code for something.
Digits in social media algorithms.
Networks do not tend to our content, protect, or even have empathy for our experiences on their platforms. Have you ever tried to contact for help when you have lost access to your profile, had your content stolen, or trademark infringed upon?
It would be easier (and time better spent) to go swimming with a blessing of narwhal, than get help from one of the networks. (And how awesome is it that a group of narwhals really is called a blessing?)
Customer service is strategically not present, and this sends a very clear message to those paying attention. And with social’s current state of affairs, the coming year feels more familiar to my first year in business, than the past half dozen.
When I started out in 2009, it was common knowledge that it was 100% about websites and blogs. We understood that the focus was about building community on social, with the hope of conversion in which folks would visit our homes. No one was trying to lay their full time hustle on social.
How to Own It
Your website is your home.
Social is your community.
Original content on social is your invite to a party you’re hosting at your home.
If folks attend your party, make them feel welcome, offer appetizers, and be sure to let them know what you’re planning so they can plan on returning.
Bring Your Site Into Today
Expectations for websites are exceptionally higher today than they were a decade ago, and the great news is that there are endless accessible tools to help small businesses deliver on and exceed expectations.
Take inventory on your state of online affairs and what your site conveys to folks attending your party.
In a day that everyone is saying blogging is dead (because they cannot drain anymore affiliate and advertising dollars from them), ignore these naysayers. They missed the memo on what blogging is actually about in the first place. Blogs weren’t intended to be digital malls or infomercials.
Blogs are amazing tools to support your brand story, and offer readers / customers / potential clients an incredible buffet of valuable content and information. Integrated galleries, message boards, or rich archives are also interesting assets to welcome community onto your site.
Reinvigorate your site, portfolio, or shop. Integrate all the benefit you can, and help folks find you.
There is admittedly far too much amiss for most our comfort these days, but there is opportunity to have our homes ready when folks are looking to hangout.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought in owning your brand story and business strategy the coming year.