The strongest way to build your digital space is to own it. Don’t build it on someone else’s terms.
Anyone who thinks that Facebook or Twitter is a place owned and controlled by yourself is bonkers. Whether you’ve taken your time to go through Facebook’s 14,000 word terms and conditions or think that it’s ok for Twitter to consider your photos with ‘worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence (with the right to sublicense),’ you may think that you own your content but someone else can use it whenever and however they want.
Someone Has To Pay For It, So Why Not Own Your Content?
Whilst we all agree that these free services have made our lives easier and quicker to have a voice to our audiences, they have to be paid for somehow. Social media platforms are not a charity, they are here to utilise the information we provide. Building your platform on someone else’s terms is not the way forward to creating an online arena.
The easiest way to own your own digital space and a platform that everyone, yes everyone, is familiar with is still email. Whilst the single most important thing to the success of your business is building a database of people who are willing to listen to you and subscribe to what you have to say, email is still the most reliable platform that everyone is familiar with and understands (there are 3.3 billion email accounts compared to 1.73 billion social network users).
Trusted Email Like An Old Friend
Whilst we all get to grips with the likes of Google+ (by the way liking the idea behind the Google+ and YouTube integration) and figure out the role it plays to communicate our messages and recognition from Google, we can all say that email is reliable, easy to use and straightforward to control.
The world of social media is becoming more and more about building a digital persona of how we want others to see us (I’ve mentioned that it is begininng to become a bit tiresome of reading on Twitter how busy people are, to come across as looking more important), rather than create an authentic voice. Email lets us stamp our own personality and we can get to understand what works for our audience and ourselves.
Email allows us to be intimate and personal and this can be the catalyst to help build relationships and for others to understand what we stand for and earn their attention. The ability for email to connect on a one-to-one level can help support a two-way communication.
The best way social works within your own digital space is where the social media connections can then be moved over to what is yours (by asking permission of the person in contact with, naturally we can’t move Twitter accounts to our email). This is where you are in control of the experience and whether it is to build a stronger direct conversation or to add to your database, you are in the driving seat.
Email marketing relationships have such an important role to play. You own the message, when it is sent, who it is sent to and the outcome for the message.
Social Media Is Just A Distribution Channel
When we consider Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+ as a main source and not a distribution channel (of information), we forfeit any intellectual property rights we thought we had.
When we create and build platforms that we have complete control over, it becomes far easier to let a relationship develop and have an audience who understand what you believe in and the relevant, useful and entertaining content you produce.
It’s time to embrace what is rightfully yours and own your content.