I recently finished building a Custom WordPress Blog for a client that had quite the sad story. For the past 2 years he has poured his heart and soul into creating an awesome blog. He worked diligently on making his content rank well in the search engines. He was starting to see results and his business was starting to grow.
But, there was one small problem. He had created his blog on a platform that he didn’t own. The blog was built on Blogger. Granted, he had no issues with setup, that only took 5 minutes to do. Another few minutes and he had a pretty nice looking theme chosen. He was now ready to start his blogging career. And best of all, it was FREE!
Then, one day when he woke and went to log into his blog to write his daily post, he had a slight problem. The login was not working. Also, when he tried to pull up the blog, it appeared everything had vanished into thin air! He tried feverishly to contact Blogger and get things reinstated. But, they felt that something he was doing on his real estate blog was against their terms of service and shut him down. Now, what he could have done in writing about a listing or a neighborhood that breaks their TOS, I have no clue.
Two years of work down the drain. Lost forever into the thin air of cyberspace. After several months of fighting to get his blog reinstated, he finally realized that it was time to move on and start on a platform that he had control over and owned. He contacted me & we began the construction of his own Custom WordPress Site. We began the work and now he has his own site that he never has to worry again having a terms of service violation.
As unique as this story sounds, this is something that is a regular occurrence across many of the social media platforms that are out there. Remember the Facebook Page that was shut down for a trademark violation? This same sad story I have seen happen numerous times on places like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress.com and many other playgrounds within the social space. The problem comes when you are using other networks other than one that you own as your primary business builder.
Instead, you need to use those areas to push traffic to your home base. Here’s a graphic from a recent presentation I created for speaking at a few Inman News Agent Reboot events:
If you own your space and use all of these other rental networks to drive people back to you, then you will not be as devastated if something happens to one of the small outer pieces. Here’s the way I feel you should set up your entire social media strategy. Have your domain that you are in complete control of and use all the other platforms to drive everything back to where you can convert it into business. Besides, can you actually sell something alone on Twitter? I suppose it could be done just through a conversation, but more times than not, you are going to come to a point in the discussion that you will share a link with the person you are communicating with. That link is going to drive that person away from Twitter and more times than not, directly to your own personal website where they can go from being just a potential lead into a converted customer/client/member. If you drive them to a space you aren’t in complete control of, it taeks only a moment for them to misclick and buy from a competitor.
On blogger for example, there’s the next blog link at the top. I just clicked on it 3 times in a row. The first place was an accupuncture, followed by a consumer advocate site with Google Ads down the sidebar, and finished with a mortgage site. You can’t control where they go, and what they might see next. I’d hate to work so hard on my stuff ranking well in the search engines and spend all that time creating great content to lose the consumer to one accidental click.
So, would you rather own your space, or rent somewhere else that you cannot control?
photo by: joeltelling creative commons 2.0