More and more businesses are using social media like Facebook and Instagram to communicate with and reach new customers. A lot of businesses are even choosing social media instead of going through the expense of building a website and the discipline of growing your email list. This is fine until one day you ask yourself, “Is Instagram down”?
There are good reasons for using social media for communicating with people. We often use social media in our spare time as a recreational activity. If you run a wellbeing business then what you offer is often an interest or even a passion for many people, like yoga, meditation, coaching or personal development. It’s something people want to do and they do it in their spare time.
Is Instagram down? 3 ways to keep the lights on
But, what happens when social media lets us down (as it’s likely to do more and more frequently)? Here are 3 things you can do to make sure you stay in control of your own business, even when the lights of social media go out.
Own your own website
Anyone who’s gone through the pain of creating a website for their business will know exactly how time consuming and frustrating it can be. Of course, everyone has a friend who builds websites these days, but while your friend might be able to build you a basic site, they won’t necessarily understand your business at a deep level or understand how marketing works.
Even if they do manage to nail your website for you, you’re unlikely to be able to easily make changes to your own site without going back to your friend for help. And there are only so many coffees or beers they can drink before your friendship starts to become strained. But don’t worry, our New Website Package solves all these problems for you perfectly!
So, if building a website is costly and time-consuming, why should you do it? Because, when you buy a domain name and build and host your own website, you own it yourself and have complete control over it. This means that anyone can find your business through your domain name and they can do this even if you’re asking “Is Instagram down?”
Besides having a clear message and easy-to-navigate structure, your website is also where you should invite people to join your email list. Read on to find out more about the often overlooked power of email marketing.
Grow your own email list
Like websites, email is not controlled by one mega-company, such as Facebook or Google. If you collect people’s emails you can still send them messages, even if there are issues with your own website, or when other services like Google go down. Sending focused emails to your audience is the best way to get them to take action. Email marketing is still way more effective than social media (as this recent Forbes article explains), mainly because of how distracting social media is designed to be.
But, growing your email list isn’t just about sending out a monthly newsletter; it’s about creating a community around your business. People who share your interests and passions. Email marketing is most effective when it becomes a two-way conversation rather than a one-way broadcast.
Focus on SEO
Google became the biggest company in the world through paid advertising. So, it makes sense to focus on choosing relevant keywords that matter for your business. For example, before we write a blog post at Wildheart, we choose a topic and then research the monthly search volumes and competition levels for specific phrases within that topic. This helps us to find the best performing phrases that are most likely to generate good traffic to our site.
You should make it a priority for your business to make sure it’s easy for search engines like Google to know what each of your web pages and posts is about. For this particular blog post, our focus keyword is “is instagram down”, because at the time we did the research this phrase had low competition but a lot of monthly searches. The chances are, if you’re reading this article you found it by searching for this or a related keyword. How cool is that?
The power of good SEO (search engine optimisation) is that you can write an article once and it keeps bringing you traffic over time. It’s good practice to keep an eye on the keywords that your website is performing for on a regular basis. SEO is a lot of work but it can really help your business long term. If you’re looking to get started, check out our SEO Package where we do all the hard work for you and get you set up so your website can perform well in organic search results.
Keeping up with the SEO times
Of course, Google has done an amazing job. I remember what the internet was like before Google and it was really hard to find anything twice. You had to be careful to keep bookmarks of websites you liked and wanted to remember. Google solved the problem of not being able to find things on the internet and, off the back of selling advertising to people using its search engine, it’s grown to be the biggest company in the world.
But, Google is also constantly tinkering with its search algorithm to improve it and to make sure it’s not hacked. This means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your SEO, and to follow the latest trends to keep Google on your side.
Here’s the unpleasant truth of running a wellbeing business today: You need your own website, your own email list and you need to be using social media, on top of actually delivering your services.
I’m not recommending you start blasting people on all channels and see what happens. In fact, quite the opposite… Without a strategy, you could be wasting a lot of time. You need to stop and reflect on the kind of business you want to run, and what your values are, and then create a clear message that you communicate consistently to your audience.
Creating your unique message is something that’s best not done alone. We’re often just too close to our own business, or too caught up in the daily grind, to communicate clearly in our marketing. That’s why we created a Brand Strategy Package, which has been a real eye-opener for all our customers!
“My experience with Wildheart Media was fantastic. The Brand Strategy Meeting was very insightful, and offered me a whole new insight into the different possible directions I could take it in. It left me with plenty to think about, and excited about where I will be able to take it in the future.” – Mike Richards, The Travelling Ape
“Wildheart Media asked just the right questions, to bring different answers and therefore solutions to how I could move my business forward in a new light of awareness of who I really was and what my business was giving to my clients. The 2-hour session and the brilliant report that came back afterwards was invaluable. What other time do you get to talk to somebody for 2 hours about your business, which in itself was a marvellous experience!” – Julie Hanson
Take back control
Ideally, you want to be able to choose how and when you communicate with people to get the best results. If you get a good response from sending messages via Facebook or Instagram then you should use this as your channel of choice, but not at the expense of growing your email list. You should constantly be looping people back into your email list and sending them to your website where you control the content and the experience.
Big companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are all prime targets for cyber terrorism. They offer fantastic world-changing services, but do you want your business to be completely tied to their success or failure?
It’s important to bear in mind that, yes, we do live in an integrated world and you absolutely should be making use of all the great time-saving services and tools out there that help you get things done. But, you also want to maintain as much independence as you can and have some kind of contingency plan when things don’t go the way you want or expect. At the very least, you should be aware of the inter-dependencies that can affect your business and marketing so you can make informed decisions.
Is Instagram down? Conclusion
Hopefully, this post gives you a new perspective on how you can approach your marketing across different channels if there are disruptions in service. This should give you more confidence, allow you to make contingency plans and be more flexible when things go south. If this all feels overwhelming and you’d like some help, then why not book a free consultation?