It's been a few weeks since there was a great disturbance in the force: Yahoo announced internally that Delicious, the popular bookmarking service that I've been using since 2005, is a service in the "sunset" of it's life with Yahoo. And of course, the news was leaked and we all went ape shit.
Delicious has since responded on their blog that they are not immediately shutting down the service, but the announcement certainly got a lot of people thinking about where their content lives and what the longevity of those platforms is likely to be.
It's a question to ask about your overall social media initiatives. Sure, right now it may seem impossible that Facebook would ever go away. Or Twitter. But we've all heard "too big to fail" before.
If you didn't have Twitter and Facebook, would you have a social media strategy?
This is why it is so important for businesses to own the platform that is the focal point of their social media strategy.
I'm not saying don't have a Facebook page or don't run a contest on Twitter or don't experiment with new social media. Your customers are there right now, using these services. You should be there too. Listening and engaging.
But what happens when Facebook isn't all the rage. And Quora has lost its appeal. And gloofr is where all the kids are hanging out now? How much will you have to scramble to re-establish a presence with solid content and knowledgable community managers?
Here's what you can do to get a start on owning your own social media platform:
2. Put that blog on YOUR URL. I simply can't stress this enough. Why would you want your corporate/professional brand be associated with someone else? yourco.blogspot.com is not as professional as blog.yourco.com And to the whole point of this article - what happens when Blogspot (or Typepad or Wordpress) goes away? Even if your blog RUNS on one of those platforms, by owing your own blog/social media URL, you could migrate it to another platform if you wanted/needed to.
3. Use that blog as the starting point for your corporate social media hub. What's a social media hub? Dave Fleet offers a great diagram and model for understanding the place of a social media hub within your larger online presence.
A number of companies offer good examples of using their blog as a start for their social media hub - Whole Foods comes to mind. Other organizations have taken it a step further - including their blogs and other social media profiles into one large hub. Possibly the best example I've seen is Doubletree Destinations (Pizza Hut and H&M are also doing some interesting things in this area).
How are you mitigating risk vis a vis your social media presence potentially being owned by someone else and possibly going away? Or do you think this isn't really a risk - Facebook go braugh and all that?