This is pretty common these days. We faced that issue before, and we plan not to face it again.
Something happens, a popular social network (at that time) changes how it works, and businesses get slaughtered overnight. This is due to the “single point of failure” strategy many companies adopt. Which is a stupid strategy to start with.
Let me explain.
Businesses should be resilient. Should have an existence and a weight of their own. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
If you go to the casino (something I do not recommend in any way) and you put all your money on 14 black, what do you think is going to happen?
Let me tell you. You have 1 out of 37 or 1 out of 38 chances of winning (depending if this is a French or an American roulette). Not an easy bet, if you ask me.
And, let’s assume you do win the first time the ball gets spun, are you going to move your bet to another number for next spin?
People tend to think that things will never change. That the status quois not a living and breathing thing.
And in an online world, nothing could be further than the truth. Things online change by the second. It blows my mind when people put all their marketing efforts on one single platform.
Be careful, platforms owned by a single company, are considered to be one entity. For example, Facebook and Instagram are not different platforms risk-wise.
Yes, you should execute very differently on each of them, telling your story in a compatible way, but the recent history taught us that a company that owns multiple platforms may change them all at once. No questions asked.
For example, in the Cambridge Analytica case, Facebook did kill a big part of its APIs, following by killing almost all of Instagram’s public API.
Do you know what that means?
Hundreds of thousands of businesses simply died. Just like that. Millions of people lost their jobs in a snap.
So, what do we do?
Simple. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It doesn’t make any sense in any case. Especially in marketing. Why would you target only one platform or one demographic?
And even if you do, you need to create a kind of a private asset out of it. Something you manage or you have control over. A tool that will let you keep the connections you created via any platform after that platform is old news.
The web is very volatile, so you have to be the stable piece in this equation. Because all you can control at the end is you and your actions.
Create real and meaningful relationships, collect valuable data (the GDPR compatible way) and bet on long-term goals. Facebook or Pinterest cannot be your whole business. These are tools that you should all use wisely, but always have in mind that these tools will change soon. Maybe sooner than you think.
Do you remember Friendster? Hi5? mySpace? Vine?