A few weeks ago when Posterous, the once lauded blogging platform, decided to close up shop on April 30th. While reading the comments, social media conversations and anger thrown out there to all the brands/companies/individuals that had invested so much time & marketing budget building their presence on Posterous, I realized that I nearly had a few clients that wanted me to build Posterous sites for them.
That got me to thinking about those companies, what are they going to do now? They insisted on sticking with Posterous because they were familiar with it, it ‘worked’ for them. Now, they’re going to need to migrate to a WordPress site (or something similar) to continue the conversation with their clients.
I was having a conversation with a local business owner a few weeks ago about the importance of website design. He doesn’t see the point in having a web site. He runs his business solely on Facebook. Doesn’t have a website, doesn’t have a domain – just a Facebook page. I’m not the type to get into a long winded discussion of my opinions on why I think that’s a bad idea with someone I just met, but since I’ve got room to rant here, I will rant with you 🙂
Placing all your faith in one company for your online marketing is dangerous at best. At the least, it’s not a good use of the tools that are available to small business owners these days. Would your financial planner suggest you put 100% of your stock funds in Apple? Would your gardener suggest planting only daisies in your front yard garden? Would you buy a bag of Skittles if there was only orange ones in there? (Well, I might – Orange Skittles are delicious). But as my man GZA said, “Diversify yo Bonds..” – any financial planner (including Wu-Tang Financial) is going to have you invest in several different markets to ensure some stability, a gardener is going to have flowers that bloom throughout the year, and your internet marketing shouldn’t be any different.
Let’s put this in a perspective that most of us can empathize with: MySpace. Remember MySpace? Not the new MySpace, the old MySpace – the one that everyone was on, wasn’t ever going to be anything better than MySpace. Every band with a garage sound studio had a page there and knew that they would hit it big, because there wasn’t anything else out there better to market their business. Along comes Facebook and.. oops. Web traffic plummeted and all the money that was flowing into creating MySpace marketing rock stars was wasted.
Don’t think there will be something big enough to take down Facebook at some point soon? Consider the fact that many Facebook page owners are seeing a significant drop in engagement over the past 6 months. Some owners noting that they only seem to reach 20% of their fan base without purchasing ads. In my own studies with my page, as well as some of my clients, I’m seeing similar numbers. So how can a business succeed when they are only being viewed by 20% of the fans that have already opted in to hearing their message? Believe me, Facebook won’t be around forever – nothing online ever is.
So what is a small business owner to do? Diversify your marketing.
Have thoughts to the contrary? Please – let’s have a thorough debate down in the comments. I’m all in for being told that I’m crazy.