If you are promoting your work, business or brand online then you probably already have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Flickr profile, etc. I do, and use them all regularly. I use them as a communication channel, to update users on each particular network, interested in my work. What I don't do is use them as a home or base for my work or brand. We need to see our social network profiles as business premises we can trade from but don't own. In most cases these outlets are free to use, which means we get cosy, feel at home, decorate and quickly forget they don't belong to us. We invest time increasing the number of followers our twitter account has, or promoting our Facebook page to get more likes. This is good, more people to hear our message but we have to be careful investing too much time with any one network and making it our home, as sooner or later the landlord may come along and put up the rent.
Take Facebook for instant, they recently announced that they were investigating charging page owners to make their status updates more visible. In a way, this is a helpful service to businesses to ensure their messages are visible in the crowd. There is an issue however, I have already noticed that I don't see all the updates that my friends post on Facebook. It is not that I miss them, they are simply not on my timeline. There are already rumours that Facebook pages will not now be seen by all of the page's likers unless your pay for the update. I don't personally think this is true yet as all the pages I like are still all showing up in my timeline, but this isn't the point. Many people I follow online have made one or other of their social network profiles their home, driving traffic from the other networks, even their own website, to this one profile motivated by the follower or liker number. I am worried this is a mistake.
For me my home is my blog, a website that I have 100% control over. I decide the layout, the design and how my work and message is presented, I choose what is and isn't visible. I see it like this; my blog is the hub of all my online activities and social networks are the spokes that hopefully channel visitors back to this site. That is the goal, the only metric I am concerned about is whether I am creating content that is of value and easy to find for those that want to see it.
I would love to know your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.
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