I've said it before and I'll say it again. Free platforms can come at a much greater cost than just shelling out for your own web properties to begin with.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, Typepad, WordPress.com, etc. are all free platforms with their own rules and restrictions. What do they all have in common? They make the rules and their terms (which most people don't bother to read) clearly state: These rules are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of changes by occasionally coming back to reread them.
It's their ball, their yard, their rules. Anything you do is subject to losing everything you have there. And you never know when the rules are going to change or if you'll arbitrarily be found in violation.
When the rules can change from one day to the next and what was not a problem is now verboten, you can end up like this guy. He had a free blogger account and google shut down his account erasing 14 years of work.
I do use some of them like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. But I do not rely solely on them. These are channels of distribution for me, nothing more.
If one of these platforms decides to change the rules, or in this case, delete your account today, what would that do to your marketing? Could you just unplug that channel and plug in the next? What about all of your content?
This isn't just about social media sites, but any website you don't own. Sites you don't own should only be built up for three main purposes. Those are:
That is where the people are going naturally, constantly, and consistently. Conversion rarely takes place on social sites. That's why you want to drive traffic back to your website so you can convert that traffic to sales.
Having your own site means you don't have to comply with strict, arbitrary, and ever-changing rules that can shut you down. Your own website gives you options when it comes to adding on systems that benefit you without begging or waiting for them to become available.
And if you want to do something, it's just a matter of can it be done and finding the right person to do it. You don't have to then try to figure out how can it be done within their sliding scale of compliance.
A few months back, I did a training session for a marketing automation company (LeadOutcome) where I spoke specifically about the solution to this problem. Click the button below to see the training.Build Your OMS