Third party platforms have become the ‘go to arena’ for companies, small or large, to connect with various customers. As these platforms continue to drive innovative way of connecting to customers, businesses are becoming entangled with them.
While this innovation offers opportunities to grow and manage your community of audiences, entirely depending on any of the online platforms comes with high risks. But the adoption of a multichannel strategy mitigates the risks associated with third-party channels dependency.
Without any doubt, building a community of customers on the social platforms is a good idea. However, it comes with its risks as alluded to earlier. So, in this article, I will take you through the list of possible risks you may face depending on third-party platforms for building leads.
What are the associated risks?
One of the best strategies for attracting target customers is seeking them on different community platforms on the web where they mingle. As a business owner, it makes your work less difficult if you find where your customers are based online.
And if indeed you find the right platforms, all you need to do is build your business presence there and watch your potential customers in action. While this represents a great way of connecting with the customers online, it also comes with a big risk. Being prudent is one way of avoiding serious damage from unexpected shock.
To make you understand how dangerous it is to lean on other platforms here are some possible risks you could face when depending on them:
- Unexpected termination of your account: Building a large community of audience on any social platform takes time and enormous investment. Your account can be terminated instantaneously should you violate the terms and condition stipulated.
- For this, you have to be cautious of the type of contents your share and how you operate on that website. Besides, you have to keep yourself up to date with the terms and conditions of the company at all times.
- Unexpected dissolution of the third-party business: This point explains itself clearly. The platforms you depend on for leads may dissolve due to financial problems or as a result of shutting down by the government.
- One good example of the government shutting down a company is the blocking of Telegram app in Russia. The shut down affected many users, including those using it for business, in Europe and other parts of the world.
- Lack of total control of what you do: Third-party platforms have control over what happens on their websites. So, they control what you can share or post. In most cases, they control what type of data you can gather on their platforms.
- A negative financial effect to your business: Since you do not have control of the platform you are using, a change by the owner of the website can lead to a financial downfall.
- If you recall Youtube demonetisation programme, many vloggers depending on Youtube for revenue, lost a significant amount of their income. Another example is the ban on Uber taxi app in some major cities around the world.
- Legal and regulatory risk: In this day and age where geopolitics has turned sour, governments attack each other through sanctions and restrictions on business dealings. Undoubtedly, this is a danger if your government has scores to settle with rival governments.
- Sanctions or other restrictive measures, placed on your country by its rivals, can impact your business. Should this happens, it automatically means your business operation ends on the platform, with few or no remedies.
The risks associated with third-party platforms are not limited to the ones listed above. In case your revenue stream is connected to one channel which is not controlled by you, then it is appropriate to diversify or build your business platform.
How to solve the third-party dependency problem
What could be more fulfilling than having total control of your activities on the web? Imagine investing a large sum of money in building an audience on the third-party website. Then comes a change to their policy, and this change significantly drags up your expenses. What would you do? Comply or leave?
Logically, you will comply in order to avoid losing everything you have built. And this puts your business in an awkward position, except you find a way to make up for the additional cost.
Without absolute reliance on other platforms, use these recommended solutions to strengthen your presence online. It will help you avoid the risks of a negative effect on your business.
- Use e-mail lists: As more clients or customers get to trust your business, put them on a list. Then use the list to share updates about your business, just as you will do on social media, directly into their inboxes. You can set up a list using an e-mail tool available.
- When selecting the tool, choose the one that has a feature to export contents, and make sure the contents are saved on a personal drive. If not, should your account get deleted, you will lose everything you have worked for. With the backup, even if your account gets deleted, you have lost nothing.
- For this strategy to work perfectly well, a good copy is needed to persuade the visitors to your website to leave their e-mails.
- Build authority and relevancy through link building: This is a much better strategy. Instead of creating contents on a third-party platform, create them on your website and share a link to the web page on social platforms with briefs description of what the contents are all about.
- With this, your target customers consume your contents directly from your web pages. And over the course of time, your audience go straight to your website in search of your latest posts, and not the other way round.
- Use multichannel platforms: Building a community of audience from scratch is laborious. Some business ideas may not have the luxury of time waiting to build own platform. Should this be the case, have alternatives without depending on one company.
- Do not confuse a company with having different platforms. Having Facebook, Instagram and Messenger is one company. It is better to have your platforms on separate company’s platforms. Example: Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
This strategy works, and it works perfectly well if you understand how to craft that compelling story. Business owners have been doing so over the years. You can do the same. What it will cost, in addition to money, is time and effort.
As digitalisation of companies increases so will competition. For this, the competition will push third-party platforms to make some policy changes that may impact your business negatively. There are no easy solutions to independence on the web apart from creating your own space.
All in all, never depend on third-party platforms for your business leads generation. If it is unavoidable due to your business sector, have a backup platform where you have absolute control. In short, it is highly recommended not to put all your eggs in one basket.
If you want to take control of your contents and have less dependency on the third-party platforms, contact me today to learn more.