Social Media Alternatives for Business

Following the disastrous crash of Facebook yesterday, it got me thinking. What if Facebook permanently crashed? What if Instagram no longer existed? What are the social media alternatives for business?

How many businesses rely solely on these two social media channels to generate their income??! It would change the face of marketing – all over again.

No more Messenger contacts. No more reaching audiences through targeted advertising. No beautiful images to tag and promote your products. All that data – lost. Muddled up. Eek!!

So here’s the thing. Before the birth of social media there was this thing called the internet. And websites. And whilst there are a million web experts out there who have been telling you for a very long time that you need to make your websites work for you, not just your social media, how many small business owners have taken any notice, whatsoever??!

Your Own Platform Should Come First

The reliance on social media is worrying isn’t it? To be clear: we’re in no way against social media. It is an incredible marketing channel and every business should be trying to use it to its full potential. The ability to generate an entirely new audience whilst building real relationships with that audience at the same time cannot and should not be understated. There is no good reason that businesses should not be implementing a social media strategy as part of their marketing plan (and if you’re asking ‘what’s a marketing plan’, read this post).

But  don’t leave your business vulnerable. Your website – your own platform – should come first. It needs to be informative and effective. And it should be able to sell your services and products without a reliance on social media.

Let me ask you something. How many of you reading this has visited your website recently and really analysed how it’s working? Is it laid out so that people know what you do or sell without having to scroll very far or click too many buttons?

How many of you have Google Analytics installed? In my experience of working with small businesses, SO MANY of you don’t. Which means you don’t really know what’s happening with your website. Which means you’re probably losing selling opportunities daily. Because, after all, who needs a good website when you have Facebook and Instagram? UNTIL YOU NO LONGER HAVE THEM.

The reality is, the crash yesterday was a blip (we hope!), and everything is working as it should today. But as late as 11pm last night it was still glitchy (refresh the page Facebook – show me knew content!!). But those lost hours of downtime meant billions wiped out in marketing and selling opportunities. And for some smaller businesses, another day of the same issues could be disastrously detrimental to them. 

Social Media Alternatives

While social media will likely remain a viable option for delivering messages to your target market, it may be in your business’ best interests to diversify its marketing efforts. Building a brand from the inside out requires that you use a variety of marketing tools and there are many creative ways of reaching an audience.

So here’s some very basic tips to avoid the pitfalls of sole reliance on social media so that, if this ever happens again (God forbid!), you can continue to communicate with your customers and trade successfully.

1

Make sure you have a website, however basic it is. One page websites, as long as they contain the essential information, can still reap rewards if laid out well. Obviously, if you’re selling products you’ll need an e-commerce platform. Shopify, Woocommerce, Squarespace, Magento – there are lots of options for all budgets. If you’re not sure what’s right for your business then get in touch for a chat.

2

Create your own data. Install Google Analytics on your website (or another data tracking system – there are other players in the market available!) and start to get to grips with the basics. Being better informed with data that YOU OWN, means you don’t have to rely on social media to tell you who and where you should sell your products/services. You might be surprised to find that your target audiences aren’t on Facebook or Instagram and are in fact coming from Pinterest or directly from your email marketing campaigns!

3

Email marketing is not dead! Take advantage of email so you can ALWAYS reach your potential clients and make offers whenever you want without being at the mercy of social media and whether it feels like working or showing your posts to 100 or 10 people that day. A well-run email marketing programme will consistently outperform the organic reach of your social media posts.

4

Leverage other forms of digital advertising. Depending on the type of business you own or manage, digital advertising may offer more effective avenues than social media to reach your potential customers. Google Adwords PPC [pay-per-click] marketing is an option as is display advertising. While not always the most effective for clicks and conversions, display advertising can drive a tremendous amount of awareness for a relatively inexpensive cost.

5

Write a blog. Producing written content can help increase brand awareness, drive people to your website and make people see that you are an expert at what you do – and a blog can do this much more effectively than social media. The consistent production of organically discoverable, high-quality content encourages new and existing audiences to interact with your products and services, whilst offering SEO benefits for years to come.

6

Leverage word of mouth referrals. As a marketing agency, we’ve found that one of the best ways to reach customers has been and always will be word of mouth. Offering commissions or discounts to customers who bring new customers to your business is a great way to grow your business.

And if it fits your industry, consider using affiliate marketing. It offers a great way to use other networks for your business’ growth.

7

Optimise your website. Instead of spending lots of money on social media advertising that doesn’t generate results for your business, invest time, money and effort in revamping your website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Making more of an effort with your website SEO will result in the growth of your audience. It’s a longer-term plan but it’s more sustainable too. Most importantly, it could be a more cost-effective way to grow your business.

Summary

A quarter of entrepreneurs choose not to use social media marketing for their business – for a number of reasons. That said, social media has its uses and continues to dominate the marketing landscape. But listen to your grandma: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

There’s a world of advertising and marketing opportunities that extend far beyond Facebook and Instagram.

We hope the social media alternatives offered above are options that you can use or consider for your own business to diversify your risk and gain new advantages. And if your head is swimming with the options or you’re excited to continue the exploration, contact us for a free consultation session to find your own way of authentically connecting to customers and clients – no hype or social media required.

Related Posts

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.