Staying connected when social goes dark

Staying Connected When Social Goes Dark

It’s happened again! Another major outage on social media. This time three big ones were down at the same time (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outage of October 2021). For much of the day individuals, businesses and organizations were left having to pivot unexpectedly. This shows you just how much we rely on social media. But with that reliance, comes the realization that we’re at their mercy when things like this occur.

This is not new. It’s happened before when Facebook went dark for a day in March of 2019. There have been other outages, slowdowns, and features going offline across many of the major platforms over the years. That’s not to say including social media as part of your marketing and business strategies is a bad thing. After all, it is a major way we stay connected with audiences. It’s when we have no other recourse to connect – that’s a problem.

So how do you create new channels that YOU control? Here are 3 ways:

Get an email list – THERE IS MONEY IN YOUR LIST.

At every step, you should try to gather email addresses of potential customers, people you network with at events, and anyone interested in what you offer. WHY?

  • If they show some interest, they’re telling you they want to know more. Strike while the iron is hot. Get their email address so you can provide them with the information they seek through personalized email campaigns.
  • When they “opt-in” to your list, you get their undivided attention, sort of. They’ve given you expressed permission for you to contact them. Now you can craft specific messaging about your product or service to move them down the funnel. Since they’re expecting to hear from you, they won’t mind receiving a series of communications. Keep in mind they could also receive a myriad of other communications from elsewhere, so ensure your emails clearly identify who you are, remind them of how you connected with them, and what you offer.
  • Lastly, you can sell directly from your emails. 58%of all revenue is generated by segmented & targeted emails according to Gemstone Data. Think about it. You can set up ‘Buy Now’ buttons from your email directly to your offerings. Noise-free of other posts, tweets, news feeds, or ads.

Work your website

If you have a website, you own space online where people can find you, reference your materials, validate your existence, and use it as a repository for all your content. Here are some things you can do:

  • Run contests – Having visitors signup to be part of a contest or sweepstakes is a great way to grow your list of potential clients.
  • Blog – You can feature a series of long-form content here without the stipulation of character counts or hashtag limits like on social media. Having visitors subscribe to get first dibs on what you publish builds excitement around your topics while growing your list.
  • Offer gated content – You can provide your audience with free downloadable media that’s gated, meaning they must fill out a form first to get it. This is one of the most widely used and effective ways to grow your audience list.

Host virtual or in-person events

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar, online business, or consultancy, nothing beats that personal connection you make with clients and potential customers. Make it fun but informative so attendees will remember it. Requiring them to register for your event provides you with another opportunity to grow your audience.

Don’t feel like you’ve missed the mark if you don’t have an email list, website, or even hosted an event before. Everyone has to start somewhere, as long as you start!

Creating your own channels not only helps you withstand the changing winds of social media but gives you more control over the success of your own platforms.

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