Imagine if tomorrow, you went to log into twitter to deliver a #HappyTuesday tweet to your adoring fan base to only discover that Twitter was down.

FOREVER. No cute error message, just the standard 404 message.

That back catalogue of infographics, hilarious comments and content you spent years developing and sharing along with your engaged community that you were bringing round to buying shedloads of your stuff – all gone.

OK this is the worst case scenario and quite unlikely but think back to all those times social platforms stopped supporting certain pieces of content. Facebooks old page format for example. Imagine all the money invested in bespoke apps which would no longer work on that channel .

Owned vs Rented channels

The point I am trying to express is you could spend thousands on improving your company’s social media profiles, developing content, measuring engagement levels and converting retweets into £s. The fact is you don’t own sh!t

Social media is not owned by you, it is a rented channel. The powers-that-be can dramatically change the site, shut it down or ban you at any moment. For any reason. And you can’t do anything about it.

Sounds terrifying but it doesn’t have to be.

Avoiding Risk in Social Media Marketing

This is where your website and company blog become your most valuable assets. These are owned channels.  You control the content hosted on them and how its delivered.

The key to a successful, long-term strategy is to host your valuable content on your owned channels, and then use your social channels to drive traffic to your owned channels. This can help improve SEO as well so it’s a fool proof strategy.

Think of it as a “hub and spokes” strategy. The ‘hub’ is where all of your content sits. The ‘spokes’ are where the engagement happens prompted by the content you’ve shared. You own the ‘hub’ (your website, blog or a microsite) and you rent the ‘spokes’ (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).  The hub is constant; the spokes can change, either by a change in your objectives – or by necessity such as the platform closing down.

By hosting all your important content on owned channels, the risks associated with Twitter shutting down tomorrow become a lot more manageable. And a lot less risky.

That community you’ve worked so hard to push to buy your stuff? Regardless of what happens, they’ll still know where to find you because they’ve been viewing content from your owned channels.

So yes it would be horrendous if Twitter were to shut down but that’s the nature of social media and of social media marketing. A good social marketer knows how to make the best use of the channels available, remains flexible and is quick to adapt to changes – ensuring risk of content loss is mitigated.