There’s been a great deal of talk lately (or “noise” might be the better word) about Apple vs. Facebook vs. Google vs. Advertising vs. Privacy. I could sit here and try to dissect the entire hot mess, but really you just have a bunch of billion dollar companies fighting with all of them trying to look like the “hero” to the court of public opinion.
It’s kind of like when Directv would fight with a network like ESPN over money. Each side would tell you how the other is the “bad guy” and how you need to go complain to them to “do what’s right.” Simple fact is, no matter who “wins” this battle of digital privacy, there’s still going to be a million ways to track individual users and “new and improved” ways to squeeze money out of small businesses for ad spending.
I bring all of this up to hammer home this message … Stop just relying on other resources to reach your audience! OWN YOUR AUDIENCE YOURSELF!!!
Yes … using companies like Facebook and Google to advertise to a targeted audience is a useful resource, but don’t let it be your ONLY resource. When you do that, you are always at the mercy of their system. They control the algorithms and will in turn control who sees your information and how often. When you own your own audience, YOU have that control.
It is absolutely essential that you explore ways to gather the contact information of your customer base, and then use that information strategically in ways that reward your customers and increase your revenue. There are many ways to do this … email databases, loyalty programs, and text message reward systems are some examples. And the beautiful thing about systems like these is that when you send something to your audience in these ways, EVERY single one of them will receive it.
Meanwhile, Facebook will sit here and squash your organic reach down to about 10% of your audience and then tell you to spend money for the “privilege” of reaching the rest. Why? Because they own the audience and get to decide how to utilize it. When YOU own the audience, you’re the one who calls those shots.
When done right, social media marketing can absolutely be an effective way to boost your business. However, things are always evolving and changing, so it’s entirely possible that there will be a day that social media marketing doesn’t exist or it least isn’t the shiny new marketing toy. When you’re the one who owns your audience, you’re already prepared for that evolution and can continue to reach them in the most effective ways possible.