Why Brands Must Take Ownership
of their Digital Real Estate

Liz Dennery takes ownership of her digital real estate and followers through her website, blog, email list and text community, not just social media. Pictured: Liz posting to her blog and website

Can you access your audience if your social platforms implode?

Yesterday, Facebook, FB Messenger, Instagram and Whats App went down, leaving millions of content creators and influencers without access to their largest audiences. Too many people – and brands – are relying heavily on social platforms without leading their customers down a path that they own.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that you cultivate a community around your brand that doesn’t rely on someone else’s business model.

For more than a decade I have been telling clients that they don’t own their fans and followers – the communities – that they build on their social media platforms. If you listened in on one of these conversations, you’d hear me say, “If Facebook and Instagram went dark tomorrow for an indefinite period of time, how would you reach your people?”

Well, we got a taste of exactly that yesterday.

Millions of online advertising campaigns came to a screeching halt. All of the sponsored posts and stories could no longer reach their targets and millions of entrepreneurs, content creators and influencers lost contact with their audiences.

Liz retweets Twitter's social post saying hello literally everyone, and writes you win the internet today, literally
At least Twitter had a good day.

The lesson: You can’t rely too heavily on rented virtual space. You must build your own space – your website, blog, email list, SMS text community, app – so that you have direct ownership to customer access.

Social media platforms should be used as an enhancement to a community that you already own and as a tool for growing that community.

You should use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to connect and engage with potential customers, and ultimately drive traffic to the platforms that you DO own, like your website, email list and text community.

If you lost business yesterday, take heart, it could be worse. According to NetBlocks, the global economy suffers $160 million in losses for each hour that Facebook, Instagram and WhatApp are down. It is estimated that Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, lost $7 billion due to a selloff on the stock market because of the outages.

I don’t feel too sorry for Zuck, do you?
 


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