Your Business Plan for Failing Social Networking Sites

email-marketing-tipsIn recent weeks social networking services seem to be maxed.  Twitter continues to have struggles as the fail whale has returned in full force, I’ve found posting updates to the site has become slow and challenging, and as a result I haven’t been updating as frequently.  Facebook has it’s own share of issues with the recent interface enhancements, as well as cracking down on suspicious accounts, and locking users out whom they deem a dangerous, even LinkedIn has been slower than normal.  All this instability rightfully puts internet and small business marketers on edge if they are using social media to grow their business.

Your Business Plan for Failing Social Networking Sites

SPECIAL UPDATE: Here is a great example of someone who was “devistated” when Facebook shut down a page he managed.

In a post last month in the post Why Email Marketing Should Be the Hub of Your Social Marketing Efforts it spoke of the common understanding in social media circles of driving social media traffic to your blog.  Of course a blog is good, as it serves you or your companies own social real-estate, however, as the post suggests it is not enough, you need an email list.

Email Marketing Strategy – A Lost Art?

Don’t get me wrong, all the buzz and interest in social media sites is mostly warranted.  Social marketing presents a great opportunity, and while business owners and online entrepreneurs figure out how to apply this to their business (no doubt some are ahead of others- but it is still early), they are also subject to the kinks and bugs of any early adoption technology.  What is concerning is the unpreparedness that exists for any number of circumstances that might render your favorite social site (and your profile and contact information) unavailable.

Many out there are espousing building large profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and others.  This is great, but with that emphasis what is often left out is an important piece of your email marketing strategy.  Lead them to your special offer for joining your email subscriber list.  As they connect on a social network, the next step is to connect further into your rings of intimacy (see diagram on last months email marketing strategy post), good news is, they will be more likely to opt-in because of their other connection with you.

10 Advantages of Having Your Own List

The main benefit of having your own list of subscribers is, you control it.  If Twitter, Facebook, or any number of social sites become unavailable, those with a list can rest at ease.  To encourage you to take action, here are a few things you can do with your email list, many of which impact profits:

  • Promote an online event or webinar
  • Announce a new blog post (RSS readers are still cumbersome for many)
  • Promote and sell products
  • Subscribers who become customers often become repeat customers.
  • Customers can become affiliate partners
  • With a vibrant list – attract joint venture partners
  • Ask for customer testimonials
  • Subscribers only information, which you may not want on a public blog or social site
  • Testing a product offer to your list (or segment)
  • Track open rates and clickthrus on your emails

Social networks provide an unprecedented opportunity for small business and online marketers to extend their reach, but don’t stop there.  Leverage your social collateral and web traffic to build your list and draw subscribers, you won’t regret it.

What say you? What other advantages are there to having your own list? Am I making too big a deal here?  Is this idea too overwhelming to consider?

*Image credits to buzz.bishop

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About Travis Campbell

Husband. Dad. Marketing automator. Author. Educating and coaching others in their online business endeavors. Here's his Google profile.

View all posts by Travis Campbell
  • Dave

    That is an interesting list of advantages for having your own list. I hear aweber is a decent service, but I’m just not sure that all the fuss over social networking sites going down and such is realistic.

    • Travis Campbell

      Dave-

      Nice to see you here, there are likely others for that list, perhaps some will chime in below.

      As for a service, Aweber does a decent job, and is a great start for most.

      As for the *fuss*… perhaps your right, I’m often a worst case scenario player. I’ve seen others get burned. I’ve been frustrated when, say, twitter is unusable…yet relieved I have a list so I can communicate on my terms with those who joined this site. For sure it is a longer-term strategy (and investment).

      Others?

  • http://egoist.blogspot.com Martin Lindeskog

    Important things to take into consideration.

    Have you seen the new version of FriendFeed?

    • Travis Campbell

      Hi Martin-

      Glad you feel it is important.

      As for the new FF, saw it in beta, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I see it is active in my account, will check it out.

  • http://www.abramsonlegal.com Fred Abramson

    I don’t believe that social networking sites have peaked. For example, of my over 1300 followers on Twitter, I only know 4 in person. Therefore there is lots of room for growth.

    However, converting followers into clients is extremely difficult. Your article provides good practical advice about converting Twitter users to your e-newsletter list.

    • Travis Campbell

      Fred-

      I have to agree with you. The top sites are starting to go main stream. In fact I saw the NBA playoff game last night and they were encouraging visitors to visit their twitter handle.

      To your point, here is a supporting post One More Reason Your Business Should Be On Twitter

      As for converting them, my tests thus far have found Twitter followers are signing up to my newsletter at a rate 6.5% higher than Facebook friends, and 21.2% than YouTube subscribers. I might consider a more detailed post after I have more data (would that interest anyone?).

      Consider these 3 Rules for Using Twitter for Business

  • Travis Campbell

    Update the post (near the top) today with a recent story of someone “devistated” when their nearly 3 million member fan page was shut down by Facebook. http://cli.gs/p9G1UM

  • Terry

    List building, while important, is not as easy as it sounds. Thanks for brining this to my attention, I need to get on this!

    • Travis Campbell

      Terry-

      If it were easy everyone could do it :-) List building is what sets you apart from your competition. There are great strategies to build a great targeted list. Start small, and build from there.

  • Jack

    To your point, today Google had a “fail day” with services dropping all over the place. Gotta have a plan, I know.

    • Travis Campbell

      Jack- Indeed, although my understanding was AT&T had outages that affected many (iPhones) from reaching Google servers, don’t quote me on that though.

  • Ashar

    won’t they eventually become more reliable to where it is fine to build a business around these services?

    • Travis Campbell

      Ashar-

      Technology is prone to failure, it will fail. My desire as a business owner it to put myself and you in a position to succeed whenever it does, while your competition scrambles. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but there can be drama associated with a business owner who cannot communicate with his/her market.

  • http://www.idesigntutorials.com/ NIFT

    Thanks for the list, You can also add http://Ioch.org (Valid PR 4) social networking site that share & deliver News & enable user to publish & share their articles with other users.

    • http://www.MarketingProfessor.com Travis Campbell

      What did you like about the list? Never heard of that site, looks interesting. Who created it?

  • http://www.statistics-homework-tutor.com/ statistics help

    Very very good list of social networking sites. Probably the best so far i have seen on the internet.
    Thank you so much

  • http://www.statistics-homework-tutor.com/ statistics help

    Very very good list of social networking sites. Probably the best so far i have seen on the internet.
    Thank you so much

  • http://www.azfinetime.com/ Campanola Watches

    I think it's a good point that if a blog goes down or a website disappears, you will still have contact if you have an email list. Of course, when people have to register for a blog, I think they are less likely to be interested because some of them know they will get emails from the blog owner.. As a blog owner I think it's a good idea, but I think it's hard to sell followers on it.
    -Sylvia

    • http://www.MarketingProfessor.com Travis Campbell

      Sylvia-

      Part of the reason an online marketer gives the visitor a *reason* to sign up. Give a valuable and relevant piece of information and build rapport with visitors. That is the aim.

  • http://www.azfinetime.com/ Campanola Watches

    I think it's a good point that if a blog goes down or a website disappears, you will still have contact if you have an email list. Of course, when people have to register for a blog, I think they are less likely to be interested because some of them know they will get emails from the blog owner.. As a blog owner I think it's a good idea, but I think it's hard to sell followers on it.
    -Sylvia

  • http://www.MarketingProfessor.com Travis Campbell

    Sylvia-

    Part of the reason an online marketer gives the visitor a *reason* to sign up. Give a valuable and relevant piece of information and build rapport with visitors. That is the aim.

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