What do you think when I say “Relying on social media is bad for your business?”

It’s funny isn’t it. There’s probably not a day that goes by that we aren’t on some form of social media – whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Tic Tok (not me!) or any of the other platforms that come and go. It’s hard to even remember a time when it wasn’t part of our lives.

Oh how I wish some days I could go back to those good ol’ days. But alas, it’s here for good.

Social media is generally regarded as a positive for business. It helps us reach more people and helps us showcase our products or services easier than we once could. Our reach is endless.

Social media – along with email marketing, our website and other business avenues we have – should be that, an avenue. It should NEVER be your strategy or backbone to your business.

Let me say that again – social media should never be the backbone of your business.

Let’s go through it.


Reason 1:

You don’t own social media

Social media platforms are owned by a 3rd party –  and usually quite a rich and influential one at that. Because of that, you have no control over the platform, no control over the algorithms and, to some extent, no control over your content. If you write one thing that said algorithm or a reader doesn’t like, you could see you post removed, reported or your account suspended. And I’ve seen it happen to enough people to know that account suspensions or blocks are all too common – and some unjustified.

The other reason relying on social media platforms is bad for business is you have no control over when they go down. We saw about 12 months ago Facebook go down for no apparent reason. Lots of people panicked, especially those who solely rely on the platform for sales or marketing. We’ve also seen Facebook block news media outlets – one day we all logged on and saw no news posts in our feeds. We’re at the mercy of a company who has no vested interest in your small business. They make their money from the big corporate clients, not us sad to say.


Reason 2:

Having one line of marketing is bad business

You’ve heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Well, you shouldn’t put all your marketing in one basket either. Relying solely on social media for your marketing is a narrow minded and risky strategy. A business I once associated with had this strategy. It was a big ecommerce store that had consistent traffic and sales. From the outside, the business looked to be flying. And it was. On its good days. But the flaw in the marketing strategy was this business relied solely on Facebook Ads. Over 90% of traffic was generated from Facebook Ad leads and subsequently so were the majority of sales. This business invested $500 a day on Facebook Ads and marketing through a marketing company. That money had to be paid on agreement.

So what do you think happened the day Facebook went down? No sales. No traffic. No business.

Needless to say, the business owner was stressed about losing money and having to pay for a service that couldn’t be provided through no fault of the marketing company. The business model for this business was flawed. I know Facebook Ads is a strong marketing tool for any business and I highly encourage it. But it’s a tool to be used in conjunction with other tools like email marketing, Instagram marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). That way, if Facebook goes down, you still have other avenues to focus on.


Reason 3:

It doesn’t scream trust me

A business that is solely built on social media doesn’t exactly scream “trust me”. It doesn’t give hope to your potential customers that you are going to be around for the long haul. Anyone can open a Facebook Shop or Etsy Shop, but having a lead generating web presence takes time and investment. And people see this. In a competitive world, it’s vital to stand out from the crowd and yell “HELLO,  LOOK AT ME!”. A website can do this, social media can not. You don’t own your social media page and you have no control over it’s appearance, functionality or reach. Your posts are at the mercy of the algorithms, and let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly business friendly these days.

A website is controllable. You control the environment it is hosted on and you control the content and reach. Building a website with good SEO will give you solid business growth and reach – tailored to your ideal customer. Targeted keywords will have you showing up on Google every day of the week, not just when a social media platform feels like it.

In short…

Because you don’t own a social media platform, you have no control over your own business page. Sure, you can put up pretty pictures and informative posts, but who will see them? You have no idea. It’s chook lotto with the average reach being 10% on a really good day. Your email list is guaranteed to reach the inbox (or promo folder if you’re unlucky) of each and every subscriber on your list. Of those, 20% – 50% will read it. That’s a big improvement on social media. And again, you can control what’s written in there – no filters!

Social media is a good tool to have in your business tool belt. It will help grow your reach, boost your profile and grow your business. But it should not be your only weapon. Relying solely on social media is bad for business.