Facebook is a great place to build an audience which extends worldwide. Facebook can be utilized to spread brand message to thousands of followers. People have put Facebook Like Boxes on their site because it is so easy to build a brand image and attract people by sharing content. Just post your message and viola , it was shared with most of the followers.
This was days before Facebook announced that if you now post your message to your fans , you will see very low reach compared to when you pay for reach.
My blogger friend Adrienne Smith has written about how Facebook is killing small businesses
It is a double whammy for small bloggers and business. A small business will now to need to add to the costs or take money out of somewhere else to pay to Facebook. On top of that they still need to pay/work for getting more followers.
While it may be great for Facebook, it is a big problem for people who have spent months trying to attract followers.
Danger of building our brand on external platform
No doubt we love social media. It helps us to spread the brand reach without incurring big costs. However when we build our reach on a platform that we don’t own, we need to realize that risk our brand to become dependent on that platform. If the social media site we have a huge presence on, decides to take action like Facebook, our marketing can get into serious trouble
Reducing the risk
So what is the way out of this new problem ?
First is to not depend on social media platforms only for brand building because one day under commercial pressure , these social media platforms can implement restrictions leading to an economic loss for the brand . Diversification of marketing channels is the key. Use Twitter, Stumble Upon or Google plus instead of Facebook for your marketing efforts.
Second is to enhance your website with good content. People who come to site via online search will be happy to share that content. It will be a little costly to build but in the end , it is your own content.
Third is to network with people in the industry using all available methods. Sharing things they write and engaging with them is important. Solidifying personal relationship will make sure that you have a reach that is not dependent upon any external entity.
DE-risking brand building is now one of the most important things that small business need in this ever changing online world.
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net