Why it’s a bad idea to build your business on someone else’s platform (hear that, Facebook?)
I’ll be honest, it’s only lately I’ve been
sucked into using Facebook much, and that’s just because my wife pulled me into it. I really do try to avoid anything that soaks up my time without providing me much in return. And to me, Facebook is just a morass of pictures of dogs needing rescuing and cute kitties.
My wife, however, is addicted to George Takei’s Facebook feed. And it’s funny. Very funny. Thing is, she and I are both subscribed, but only she gets the posts. I, apparently, am not in lucky 15%. What lucky 15% is that, you ask? Well, in case you missed it, only a very small percentage of your Facebook friends get your posts — unless you’re willing to pony up $200 per post to reach all of them. Dangerous Minds has a great explanation of the problem, in which they ask if Facebook is THE BIGGEST ‘BAIT N’ SWITCH’ IN HISTORY?
The root of it is this: when you build your business on Facebook — or any platform you don’t control — you are putting your time and money into building a presence for someone else, and then you’re at their mercy. That’s the root of it. Now, if you’re Pepsi, you don’t care. $200 to promote a post is a rounding error. But for small businesses… it’s different.
I’m not saying don’t make use of Facebook, or Twitter, or any other platform at your disposal. I’m just saying that you need to control your own destiny, your own presence, your own content. Sometimes that means you forego what seems like “easy” traffic for something more lasting. Sometimes that means you take a chance and use someone else’s platform, knowing that you might have to pay to get that traffic back — or give it up altogether.