Let me share a little story with you about why a website and mailing list is so darn important in your business.
One day, Australians all woke up to changes in their Facebook feed. These changes weren’t new colours or rejigging the menus (which we all love! not).
No, today Australians woke up to all their news outlets being banned from Facebook.
No news posts.
No articles of the day.
No important announcements, including health notices, being shared.
All gone. Erased.
You might think that this is the best day ever.
Finally your newsfeed isn’t bombarded with a lot of opinions, bad news days or Harry and Meagan splitting… again!
But, this is a bad news day.
It’s bad because of what it means for every single business out there who relies on social media for their growth, sales and ultimate survival.
Why is Facebook banning “News” bad for me?
If your business relies heavily on sharing news articles or blogs then I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t great. But businesses that haven’t been directly affected should still be worried about the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is the proof that you don’t own your content, your business page, your audience or your ability to communicate with them freely. Yesterday, News broadcasters around Australia were sharing story after story with their audiences.
Today, they are not.
All because an algorithm change meant that their content and everything they have posted since the beginning of Facebook time has been erased. Like it never existed.
Think this is all sounding a bit ridiculous…
But it’s just “News” broadcasters isn’t it?
The thing is, this hasn’t just affected News broadcasters. “News” is a broad subject in Facebook land and businesses such as Government organisations, Health organisations and even charities have been affected.
If big, influential businesses and organisations like this can be affected by an algorithm change, then so can a small business. And it happens every day doesn’t it.
How many people see your posts now compared to 2 years ago?
Now, I’m not going to get into the political side of all this, because quite frankly it’s well above my pay grade! All I want to do is share with you how this is dangerous for small business and how we must think outside the box and not limit ourselves to what is easy or free.
The harsh reality about 3rd party platforms…
You don’t own them or the content you put on them!
As easy as Facebook is and as tempting as it is to use it as the biggest drawing point for your business, to rely solely on it is a mistake.
Facebook will always have ultimate control over your business, even if it doesn’t seem that way. I know that sounds a bit “conspiracy theory” but unfortunately events like today have shown that to be not so “theory”.
The biggest key take home point in all of this is – you don’t own your content!
You don’t own your content on 3rd party platforms!
Let me summarise what we can deduce from all of this
- You don’t own your content!
- You’re a guest on their platform
- Your business page can be banned, blocked or removed at any time!
- The goal posts are continually changing – what worked last week doesn’t work this week.
- Algorithms control who sees your posts, when they see them and if they even see them at all!
- Posts can be filtered, banned or blocked if they don’t meet “their rules”.
So, what can we do about it?
As far as Facebook and other media platforms go, there’s not a lot we can do about it. We don’t run it, own it or even have shares in it. We’re simply just guests who can seemingly be asked to leave at any time!
The only thing you can do as a business owner is take back control of your own business media outlets.
As a web designer, I’m obviously an advocate for a web presence and mailing list. I think I might have even mentioned it a couple of times LOL
But what it all comes down to is this:
Your website and email list are the only real digital marketing channels you own and are in control of.
WordPress is an open source platform, which means you use the tools on your own platform (hosting server). All the content on your website is yours! There is no filtering, no blocking and certainly no banning of your business brand simply because someone doesn’t agree.
Your mailing list consists of people who have chosen to subscribe. They have said “I want to hear from this person”. Not spammingly obviously… but they are your customer base.
They choose whether to open your emails, not have the decision as to whether they see them or not be taken away from them. When you press send, your email will arrive in their inbox.
When you press send on your Facebook post, maybe 10% of your audience will see it – if you’re lucky!
We’re simply just guests who can seemingly be asked to leave at any time!
If you’re thinking you need to future proof your business, I’m holding a workshop where I will hold your hand through designing your own website. It’s called WORDPRESS UNLOCKED and it’s a DIY WordPress Website Workshop where you will learn from me how to get online fast – with your content!
As I said, I’m not getting into the politics of why this happened. It’s a battle between people who clearly have more powers in this world than us. And, apparently, the banning of these businesses wasn’t to silence them. But, if this can happen this easily with a simple change of an algorithm because someone decides that they can, that’s the scary part in all this.