A lot of people tell me they don’t like a certain app, like Snapchat or Facebook. So they don’t want to use them.
But I say: tough.
To be successful in business, to attract new customers and repeat business, you have to make use of the platforms which your audience is using.
If you’re not visible in their feeds, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to communicate with them, and there’s no opportunity for either of you to open a dialogue. Any platform you’ve sworn off might instead be used by your more social media-savvy competition – and it’s then these brands that your potential customers are getting familiar with, engaging with, and eventually buying from.
But not only does limiting the number of platforms you use mean missing out on potential market share, it can also be dangerous to rely too heavily on any one channel. As a prime example, Instagram and Facebook both broke on the same night very recently.
This was tagged as a tongue-in-cheek ‘crisis’ for avid users who found themselves without access to their favourite feeds for an evening.
But this was a very real crisis for the companies who only sell through these platforms and nowhere else – they were out of business and there was nothing they could do.
A social media channel going temporarily offline for whatever reason has happened plenty of times before, and it will happen again. No system is entirely infallible, and that’s why you can’t afford to rely on a single platform.
Instagram, Facebook Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn are all valuable tools. So, too, are Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and running your own e-commerce website.
If you’re sticking rigidly to your favourite platform, you’re missing out on engaging with huge parts of your potential audience. Worse still, the next time a major website goes down it might take your business with it.