I read a tweet by beauty blogger Kandee Johnson that read:
"to all 'content creators', 'social media influencers' or even brands that rely on social media. BEWARE: ur always 1 algorithm change or update away from not being able 2 rely on a platform 4 ur success. Plan smarter, bigger & realise numbers mean little when a platform can change".
It reminded me how many social media platforms had come and gone, Bebo, Hi5, myspace, friendster to name a few. When I was in secondary school, Bebo was the hottest social media platform followed by Myspace and our lives pretty much evolved around it, I don't think we ever thought they would die. The nature of the internet is things, come as quickly as they go. If you want to build a brand that lasts the test of time, you have to be willing to further than JUST social media.
The wave of the 'influencer' has allowed young people to create businesses and monetize of their influence, but like Kandi so accurately pointed out, you're always 1 algorithm change from essentially losing your success. Your success is ultimately in the trust that the social media platforms will stay the same and that's a very scary and uncertain place to be.
So what can be done? Two words. Mailing List.
For example, let’s say Instagram is the platform that works best for your business. If you’re spending time and money building your following, but don’t have a website where your followers can get more information. What’s going to happen when Instagram changes their algorithm? Or when people can’t see your posts anymore? You’re going to lose money.
This is something that I can personally attest to, when I first started running my business the majority of my traffic was coming from twitter, I didn't have a mailing list or even an instagram. My thinking was, I'm getting the best results from twitter so why bother investing my time in other sales channels, when twitter is working more than fine. ANYWAYS, long story short, my twitter account was suspended leaving me with no sales channel. It felt like the end of the world, the sales slowed down, the traffic decreased and I ultimately lost money. Now it would be a few years until I learnt about mailing lists and other marketing channels however this is one of the most valuable lessons I ever learnt.
When you build a large social media following, you have to realise that those people are their customers, not yours. They may be following you, but that social media platform has complete control of what they see and do. Building your business on someone else’s platform has led to the downfall of many entrepreneurs.
Social media should be a lead generator with the ultimate goal of getting those leads to visit your website, and sign up for your email list. Email marketing is still the most effective way to close the sale. After all, 100 percent of people on your email list will receive your emails, without you paying to reach them.
When you can get those leads off of social media, and onto your website, they have the chance to see everything you offer. This gives you the best chance to make multiple sales, and create life-long customers. Your website should be your foundation, not social media.
So, how do you convert your subscribers and followers into email subscribers?
Find out in my new eBook 'Got Mail - How to Drive Traffic & Generate Sales Using Email Marketing'