Social media is a great way to bring exposure, awareness, and traffic to your site.
People might follow you or they might like your page, but essentially you don’t own them. The social media platforms own them.
If one day, for whatever reason -- maybe they receive a false report from your competitors or their auto algorithm made a mistake -- and they close your accounts, your business could die overnight.
- Rented audience
- Owned audience
- Monetized audience
These are traffic you get from places like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, etc.
You have a massive leverage from these channels because your audience is already there.
The negative is that you don’t own them. And as stated above, if you are deplatformed, your audience is wiped out overnight. Often this could mean your business is also wiped out overnight.
Examples of social media accounts closed overnight (without warning):
Coffeezila’s YouTube channel exposes fake online gurus and scammers so you don’t fall prey to them. His channel was temporarily wiped out overnight (his subscriber count was 300k+ when that happened).
Another popular channel LeafyIsHere with 4.9 million subscribers was permanently banned too.
Here’s what a fellow popular YouTuber commented about the risk of solely relying on social media to communicate with your audience:
These are your middle of the funnel audience.
Examples: free email / newsletter list, free community
You own this audience because you have their contact details. If your email marketing tool / ESP closes your account, you can move your database of contacts to another tool.
In essence, you have direct access with this group of people. There isn’t a 3rd party platform (like social media) that can prevent you from contacting them.
These are at the bottom of your funnel and are the most important group of people in your business.
They are your paid customers. They have forked out money to put their trust in you. You also have direct access to them since you have their contact details (emails, phone numbers, etc).
As you can see above, it is of utmost importance that you OWN your audience. Convert Rented Audience -> Owned Audience -> Monetized Audience, so you have total control and not at the mercy of others.