Your brand should not be relying on social media
This year is a very strange place for all social media platforms. There is a wide assortment of issues affecting almost every single platform today, and the fallout with everything happening is that many of the businesses that rely on social media to conduct their business will become casualties.
Let's take a brief look at some of the key stories happening as we speak.
This month, US policymakers finally unveiled a new bill that would give the Commerce Department the ability to impose restrictions up to and including banning TikTok and other technologies that pose national-security risks, said Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who chairs the Intelligence Committee.
Every intelligence agency in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia has raised concerns about data security since the Chinese own the company Byte dance, the producer of TikTok.
The ban is seemingly very likely, since the White House has now backed the new legislation, and the thought process is that if the ban happens in the US, then Canada, the UK and Australia will follow.
After these announcements, the Meta company run by Mark Zuckerberg made a quick announcement that they will stop their Reels bonus programme, which was set up to incentivise creators to create video content on Facebook and Instagram, in hopes of winning back creators from TikTok.
Meta has also announced its new Meta Verified programme, which takes a page out of Elon Musk’s Twitter book. This programme is currently starting in the US, but is set to make the rounds, and you will be able to buy your verification and also get more organic reach for your content. It’s going to cost US$11.99 per month, or, if purchased on any of Apple’s operating systems, US$14.99.
With more people buying these premium services, that means our feeds are about to be filled with more ads and also more “suggested content” from creators we do not know, making it even harder for your content to gain traction on social media.
Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are all going through major changes that are leaving people ever more confused about how to grow on these platforms, and some are considering whether they should even be on these platforms any more, given all the security concerns and now the further costs of using the platforms.
According to cybersecurity company VPNOverview, searches online have surged over 2,400 per cent for: How to deactivate Instagram. There were over 900,000 searches for how to delete Instagram, followed by 385,000 searches for how to delete Facebook.
It’s safe to say that this is the year when your business/brand, out of sheer necessity, must start working on building your channels, or else your entire marketing plan and, in some cases, your business could be jeopardised if your brand is only accessible via social media.
Here are five additional reasons why your brand needs to build other digital channels and reduce its reliance on social media:
1. Algorithm changes: it seems as if every month, on every single platform, the calls for low reach continue and everybody is fighting to figure out how to get back traction on their content.
This is leading to businesses straying away from their brand identities and creating a lot of random content, or they continue to do what they have always done, which is take their static ads or video ads and throw them on social. Either way, they are struggling on social media.
2. No control over the platform: with the major changes happening on each platform, it continues to show us that we have zero control over any aspect of social media. Content is becoming more restricted, and accounts are facing more suspensions and bans for their content – sometimes for no good reason.
3. Limited data ownership: social media platforms own the data that businesses generate on their platforms, making it difficult for businesses to track and analyse their performance independently.
4. Reduced organic reach: with Twitter Blue, Meta Verified, organic reach for those not paying for the additional services will be officially killed. You will spend more money on sponsoring your content to get eyeballs, or monthly fees to get decent traffic.
5. Security: accounts getting hacked, bots, and security breaches are at an all-time high on social media. If your brand/business is only on social media with no other channels in your control, you can lose your entire business overnight.
This is the year when you need to ensure your brand has things like a website, e-mail list, SMS list, push notification list, podcast and storage to host your videos. It’s better to build these things now and have them work alongside your social media than not to build them at all, while your business continues to be at the mercy of the social media platforms and their current chaos.
Keron Rose is a digital strategist who works with Caribbean businesses to build their digital presence. Learn more at KeronRose.com or listen to the Digipreneur FM podcast on Apple Podcast/Spotify/Google Podcast.
"Your brand should not be relying on social media"