The $119 billion dollar loss is simultaneously shocking and expected. Facebook faced a major trust violation, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, which has left it with fewer users than ever and more investors fearing the integrity of the company. With Facebook plummeting 20% in stock values in one day, it’s no wonder small businesses are frantically wondering what they should do if Facebook disappears? (Don’t think it can happen? Remember MySpace?)
The biggest problem I see with some small businesses are their over-reliance on one means of communication. Some simply use Instagram (another Facebook company, by the way), or Facebook groups, or Twitter to try and sell their products. This is not an effective marketing strategy for the current tempo of our country. With the justified Orwellian backlash of social media and Tech tools (like Amazon’s Alexa having a laughing fit), people are reverting their trust back to “comfortable” technology – reliance on email, visiting regular websites.
The time is NOW to take advantage of this opportunity. Yes, I say opportunity, because as a small business, you probably don’t have the funds or means to function as Big Brother to your customers. Even if you click-track their actions on your website, you’re not transferring across all of their web-browsing experience; you’re not following the groups they’re in or judging which ads they click – and while analytics are valuable data, people are tracking-fatigued. Americans, especially, have spent nearly 20 years searching for their Fourth Amendment to return, they’re tired of the telescreens. As a small business, your power is in your smallness – your ability to care and empathize with your customer.
These are some steps you should be taking now, just in case the empire falls:
- Create Your Own Content on Your Own Website. I am a big fan of WordPress for blogging and Shopify* for e-commerce (and there’s an app in Shopify* where you can marry the two). I have hosted my e-commerce store, Scents the Moment, on Shopify for three years and owning my own platform ensures that I am in charge of my own content. I don’t have to worry about anyone closing down because I have created a customer-base who knows how to find me, despite changes from conglomerates. This especially applies to combined blogging and e-commerce, because when you blog on your own site, you become the authority and you demonstrate to your customers where they can always find you.
- Use Multiple Social Media Outlets and Push to Them All. The beauty of your own website (and this is something I love about WordPress) is that if you create one new piece of content – let’s say a blog post – you’re able to push it to your Twitter, Linked In, Google Plus, and Facebook. That one piece of content can be reused multiple times across so many platforms, which maximizes the work you’re doing – and better yet, if one of them disappears, you’re not losing all of your content!
- Build Your Email List. This is an oldie-but-goodie. Having an email list of customers who are interested in your content is an invaluable tool that still works. Even with email lists that have 20% or fewer opens see more ROI (return on investment) than those who do not send any emails at all. The best part – most email services are free for a certain amount of subscribers. I’m a big fan of MailChimp*; they allow you up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails before charging!
- Start Recording Videos and Podcasts. This tip aligns with the idea of creating your own content. I recommend you create these videos and then use a publishing software (Windows Movie Maker is perfect for someone who has novice-level technological expertise) to polish them up before posting on YouTube. I suggest pre-recording these videos because you can then host them on your own platform or even use a sharing service like Dropbox or Google Drive to store them. While I love Facebook lives (and they’re still very valuable right now), should these platforms lose their gusto, you’ll always have this content that you could find a way to recycle.
What are you doing in your business to create content? If you need help, click services to see how we can grow your own individual content specific to your business.
*This is an affiliate link and I may earn a referral fee if you use it to register for this service.