Are we too reliant on Facebook to grow our businesses?

March 14, 2019

 

Be honest - if Facebook was to shut down without warning would you be able to reach the followers you've spent precious time and money building? If you're an entrepreneur or small business owner it's serious and timely question to ask yourself.

 

Yesterday (Wednesday the 13th of March 2019) at around 4 pm Instagram stopped working, with users unable to load the app. At the same time parent company Facebook was also hit by technical issues, although WhatsApp, the company's other major app, appeared to still be working.

People were unable to log in or to get into the app, being greeted instead by error messages. Within minutes #instagramisdown was trending on Twitter with people sharing humorous gifs and memes poking fun at the affected channels.

 

While for the temporary break from the affected platforms might be good for some, it should serve as a reminder to entrepreneurs and small business owners that you should never be too reliant on one social media channel for communicating with customers.

 

What percentage of your social media following do you have email addresses or other forms of contact details for? Read #blogpost "Are We Too Reliant on Facebook? " https://bit.ly/2JeINCP via @NoFluffComms

 

'click to tweet!'

Social media is one of the most cost effective way for entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their business, especially if they have a lead generation strategy. 

 

Here's my top 5 tips for collecting email addresses and generating leads to help reduce your reliance on social media channels should they ever disappear:

 

#1 - Offer useful resources. Encourage people to sign-up to your email list by offering something of value. Advice-based items like eBooks, guides, workbooks, checklists or tip sheets work well. 

 

#2 - Use Facebook Advertising. Create a post that encourages people to sign-up to your email list, perhaps by downloading one of the above useful resources. Make sure you serve this to a targeted audience via Facebook Ads Manager and step away from the Boost Button!

 

#3 - Run contests or giveaways. Design fun and engaging contests or giveaways offering a change to win a cool prize through a marketing platform like WooBox to capture that important data.

 

#4 - Send an automated email campaign. Use the top three methods to capture emails and then create an automated email campaign in Mail Chimp focused on building on your relationship by drip feeding them more useful resources and stories and finally asking for that sale!

 

#5 - Post, tweet a gram all of the above!

 

If you need more inspiration on how to capture emails, read Short Stack's helpful article on "The Best Ways to Collect Email Addresses."

 

Unfortunately as a marketing consultant I am often asked to help small business owners who are struggling to grow their followers on social media, or who have become disillusioned by poor performing ads. This is usually a down to one, two or both things:

 

#1 - They have no documented marketing plan or social media strategy.

#2 - They are hitting the unhelpful Facebook 'Boost Button'.

 

Taking just 15 minutes to sketch out a simple social strategy that aligns to your business goals will save you time and money by choosing the 'right' social media channels to help you connect with your audience and create and share the right content to resonate with them.

 

Facebook is undoubtedly the most active social media network, but its recent technical issues prove Twitter still has plenty of value to offer business owners. In fact, Facebook itself addressed the problems on its Twitter account.

Twitter may not be the newest kid on the social media block, but don't be fooled into thinking it's a dead duck. Read #blogpost "Are We Too Reliant on Facebook? https://bit.ly/2JeINCP via @NoFluffComms

 

'click to tweet!'

According to Hootsuite over 500 million tweets are sent each day. And, 75% of B2B businesses and 65% of B2C businesses are marketing there, which means the micro blogging site outranks Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat!

 

Twitter is a great platform for raising your profile, given its the number one network used by government officials, media outlets, journalists and a breadth of influencers. Twitter can help you connect with others you wouldn't necessarily get the chance to meet and help drive traffic.

 

I often find it is the fast-paced nature of Twitter that scares off small business owners for fear of knowing what to tweet or having the time to create enough content. However, using Twitter for business is really quite simple and a lot less time consuming than you think.

 

I do hope the recent technical issues surrounding Instagram and Facebook has got you thinking

about reducing your reliance on just one social media channel to communicate with your customers. And, if you're a budding entrepreneur or small business owner that lives or works in or around Banbury, be sure to check out my next networking event below - it's a #NoFluffTweetUp all about growing your business with Twitter!

 

Lisa-Marie Mallier

No Fluff Founder

 

Marketing planning support and help

 

Join the FREE No Fluff Masterclass Group on Facebook for marketing advice and resources at your fingertips 24/7! Designed with start-ups and small business owners in mind, the Group provides online access to support, tips, templates and guides, and an opportunity to collaborate with others.

 

 

 

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