Just how secure is your business marketing that you do via social media?
This might seem like an odd question to ask, but given just how many small businesses rely solely on social media for promoting their goods and services, it’s absolutely a vital one to be across.
Some background as to why I’m talking about securing your social media in this blog – I got thinking about this when watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix. And if you have seen it you will know what I’m getting at with that question above. And if you haven’t watched it, I’ll give you a brief run down (and recommend you add this doco to your watch list asap!).
The Social Dilemma is a documentary about how technology has been made for us but also to make money for them. And in the documentary the techs behind the businesses of Facebook, Instagram, Google etc are explaining how it works. It talks about why we are addicted to our phones and how that’s no accident. Basically, it’s like they are saying “Sorry we invented it but now can’t stop it!”
So if you haven’t watched it, I do think that you should. If you have children, I think you should watch it a second time with them (give yourself the space to watch it by yourself first), but I’m not recommending you watch it, for you to then freak out, far from it in fact!
It’s interesting because WE are the saleable product in social media – yep you and me. Humans, or our time and our habits and our thoughts, are the saleable item.
There’s never been a time when this was true before. Trafficking in humans is illegal – clearly – but here, via technologies we use every day, we are for sale. Not physically of course, but our time and attention 100% is up for grabs.
So while The Social Dilemma documentary itself is not what I wanted to talk to you about, it leads into my actual topic – building empires on other people’s real estate.
It’s something I find myself talking about more and more and more.
So, what does that mean – building an empire on other people’s real estate?
Basically, it means building your brand, your business, your “empire” on “land” that’s owned by Mark Zukerberg or Microsoft (as in LinkedIn) etc.
Which is space you seriously have no control over, and never will – hence why I recommend watching The Social Dilemma!
My real-life world isn’t very big, it’s actually quite small – clients, acquaintances, and friends/family.
But – my social world is probably bigger than most peoples, with around a million impressions a month overall for my brands.
And via my social media world, I hear, see, read, touch base with at a number of people each month who have had their social media hacked or lost access to their accounts because of other reasons, like competitors playing hardball, or have someone pretending to be them, or scaled “hate” attacks on the account – all which potentially can ruin the brand they’ve worked so hard to build.
I’ve had a personal experience with a “hate” page being made against one of my brands – so I know from this that it is not fun and frankly didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Despite my best efforts, and calling in all my big guns, connections, and friends, there was nothing I could do – nothing that Facebook hierarchy was prepared to do to help.
Ce La Vie!
I am at the point now where I just ignore it. It no longer concerns me and rarely think about it (except like now when using it as an example on this blog or in my podcast!)
Which is where I’m leading you to in this blog post.
This blog is around warning you, alerting you and pleading with you to these following three things, to make yourself and your “empire” safe on platforms you don’t own or control.
These tips can help secure your social media presence, and possibly save yourself the heartache of losing what you’ve worked so hard for, either temporarily or forever.
TIP 1. Start an email list TODAY.
No excuses, no arguments, no “I don’t know how or why or what to do with it” – just DO IT.
I cannot tell you how vitally important an email list is going to be in your business if you have a fall out with social media, get hacked or loose the ability to control your empire online. It’s so important I’ve briefly mentioned it in some of my other blog posts and podcasts.
Ask yourself, “if social media disappeared tomorrow, would you still have a business?”.
If the answer is no, you have a problem. A serious problem.
Would you physically build a house or business premises on a piece of land you don’t own? Of course not! And your business marketing isn’t much different.
My most recent experience with an acquaintance who lost control of their social media led to tens of thousands of dollars lost in revenue, each day through 100% no fault of their own (except they didn’t have a contingency plan – aka email list).
After 3 weeks of heartache they got in touch with me and I spent hours working on getting it back. I called in favours, I reached out to my network, I sat on online help lines patiently talking to robots to get to a human, I made calls, I did everything I knew to try and help.
After 1 week of my assistance (and 4 weeks overall in total and hundreds of thousands in lost revenue later) it’s all sweet again.
There’s no phone number for the help desk of Facebook – it’s just relentlessly trying to get someone to empathise enough with you to escalate your problem in order to get it solved.
All this heartache, when, if they had an email list, could’ve been a lot less stressful with a series of emails out to their loyal fans, past customers, future customers, that said, “Hey guys, we’re offline from Social Media – but we are still here though! Lets go back to the old fashioned phone. Call me if you need me, here’s my direct number.”
As much as I felt for the business owner I was working with, I was also a little frustrated that it had to be so stressful, when being more strategic with your marketing and how you communicate with your customers, could’ve made life a little easier and perhaps more profitable during the “no social down time”.
I have so many examples of this, I could go on forever, but please read the pleading in what I’m writing, start an email list TODAY.
I have a couple of other blog posts around list building that went out in January – the blogs were Email List Building for Small Business and How To Get Your Emails Opened and Read, If you haven’t read those posts, please do – they cover why email list building is so important! I believe it’s so important that I even launched a 6 week course around it. (Keep an eye on my mailing list and social media and I’ll let you know when I am running it again!)
TIP 2 – ALWAYS have TWO admins for your Business Social Media accounts.
If Facebook or Instagram is a precious resource to your business, then you absolutely need to put some security around it by having another trusted person listed as an admin. Not just as an editor etc – they must be another admin.
Having a person you trust (even if it is a family member or close friend if you don’t have employees), means if someone tries to hack you, they need to hack two people to get full control over the account. Well in theory anyway.
But the chances of a full “hacked” takeover are much less when there is an additional admin on the account!
TIP 3 – Set up your two-factor authentication.
This is really important for both your personal Facebook and Business Instagram accounts.
Go to your settings and makes sure two factor authentication is enabled. Again, it’s safety in numbers when it comes to hackers!
If you are not sure what Two Factor Authentication is, then do a Google search that will explain it all. But basically what it does is that if an unfamiliar device tries to log into your account, you will be sent a code to either an email or phone number to authenticate the access. It’s a vital security step you can take to help against unwanted access.
So – pinkie promise me you will do all three of these things ASAP within the next 24 hours!
Not sure how to start an email list?
Or, you simply could just start to organise email addresses in a spreadsheet. You’ll just need to make a sheet that has separate columns for:
- Last Name
- First Name
- Mobile number (optional)
If you’re emailing your clients regarding work, quotes, bills etc – you have email addresses – so sort them into a spreadsheet and then you have your list!
I truly want the best for you and your business – so think of me as your business fairy godmother – just looking after your business bits!
And as a reminder, I do recommend you watch the Social Dilemma – I am always about information being power, and the more informed we are the more informed our decisions are.
Got questions? I would love for you to join in my Like Minded Business Owner Facebook group if you aren’t already part of the community there, and ask away, or head to Instagram and send me your question via a DM, I’m at @smallbusinessmadesimple or head to LinkedIn and do the same – you’ll find me at Jenn Donovan!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast