Social media has been ubiquitous in our lives since the dawn of the Internet – even if it wasn’t always called that. Before platforms like Twitter and Instagram there was MySpace or Neopets. Before that chat rooms and forums ruled the world. The landscape of the wild worldwide web is ever-changing. How will you maintain a consistent online brand?
Your social media accounts don’t belong to you
The harsh reality of social media is that none of these platforms belong to you. They belong to huge corporations who, at the end of the day, couldn’t care less about you and your content. Beyond using it to make money to line their own pockets, of course!
In the long run, you have very little control over what happens to your content and your audience on social media. Platforms change their algorithms. They favour paid advertisement over organic content. And sometimes even they lose their key audiences (remember when Facebook wasn’t a platform for your mom and aunts?).
If your favourite social media site went down, would your friends know where to find you?
Imagine that you’ve worked for years to build a substantial audience on a single platform. You most likely will have more audience members than you could ever dream of remembering and they likely follow a few hundred creators themselves. You’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears to grow this audience and then one day… the platform goes bust. Every server is wiped. Every byte of it is gone.
Would your audience know where to find you? Would the people you consider to be friends know where to find you?
Think of your website as a long term investment
Your website is the opposite of everything above. It’s your own space. You make the rules. You decide what your user will see first and influence how they will interact with your content. And websites are more or less timeless. I’ve had a website for the last 20 years and it has not failed me yet.
It hasn’t become tragically uncool, or been sold to a different mega-corp with new rules, or started charging me to boost my content.
It’s adapted as I’ve needed it to: from a personal blog to a portfolio to a place where I can write about design. I can experiment with crazy colourful layouts, or go for a more sleek approach.
Investing time, effort and resources into your website is going to see you through in the long run.
Use social to supplement your website
Of course, social media isn’t useless. They’re great platforms for connecting with your audience, and hopefully converting them to frequent visitors of your website.
I’ve always loved being part of a forum (RIP), Twitter (which I, admittedly, use a lot less now, unless it’s in an activist space), and Instagram (my favourite). I like creating for these platforms and messaging the friends that I’ve made there.
I imagine that many of the people visiting this website are people I’ve met through those mediums (even as far back as my forum days) – hi, guys!
So, yes, social media definitely has always had, and will continue to have, a place in our online lives. But it should not be the be all, end all of your online presence!