Facebook isn’t ruining Main Street-But small business reliance on Facebook is

I read this post (Facebook’s fall from grace could drag Main Street down with it) on the national NBC news site today and I really felt compelled to share it with a few comments. Facebook is still a VERY powerful and VERY inexpensive way to generate leads for a variety of businesses, not just small ones. Our clients average lower cost per lead than on most other if not all other platforms or avenues they use. The article talks about the possible ‘2-3%’ defection of folks from the site in light of privacy concerns…this pales in relation to the exodus from Television, Newspaper, Broadcast Radio, and almost every other form of advertising currently. Young people leaving the platform is discussed, but those young folks are the least loyal to brands or platforms of any generation and the generation that is most actively using Facebook, 35+, has the most spending power. 

 

“I meet so many people who only communicate with, or know how to contact their clients through, Facebook. Not a good idea. What happens if they suspend your account? “

I feel so strongly about this because it illustrates a point that I have taught for years and continue to hammer into every class I teach and every client I have: OWN your own platform and OWN your own data. 

Have a website that you own…meaning WordPress or another open source option. That is the only thing you control, that you can move from host to host, that you alone (aside from breaking laws) decide what content you want to produce. Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and especially the domain builders (GoDaddy etc) are not your sites…you don’t control the content you can or can’t add, the layout of your site, or the hosting. 

It is also a stark reminder to have an email service provider (ESP) meaning a Constant Contact, MailChimp, iContact, etc, NOT your personal email address, so you own your communication channel. I meet so many people who only communicate with, or know how to contact their clients through, Facebook. Not a good idea. What happens if they suspend your account?

 Sorry for the soapbox but I hate to see businesses, especially small businesses, end up in a bind they could have prevented. I want to see all of our local small businesses thrive.

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