While it may seem like a great idea, focusing all your attention to build a presence on a single social network could actually be a huge risk. Regardless of how it happens, a social network has the power to delete your account with no warning or explanation, thus erasing all hard work and attention you’ve put in over the years. It may not happen often, but it does happen. And if it does, you’ll wonder why you didn’t spread your presence more evenly across the social web.
In August, 2008, I was eagerly attempting to log in to Twitter to catch up with my friends. It was still early days, and the excitement of connecting on the growing “micro-blogging” site was contagious. I had regular interactions with hundreds of people. Suddenly, the unthinkable happened.
My account was suspended. There was no explanation why Twitter decided to lock my account, and there was little I could do about it. For the record, I did not break any written (or unwritten) rules.
It was simply an error.
It was shocking to consider that for many people I conversed with, Twitter was my only way to contact them. I didn’t have their phone numbers or email addresses. There was no backup of my Twitter followers. It was as if someone stole your address book.
Today I reflect on the experience, which ended up lasting for an entire weekend. When I work with clients on social media strategies, I emphasize the importance of your email list. Email is more important than any social network, because you own your list.
I will give credit where credit is due, and throw two thumbs up in LinkedIn’s direction. If you scroll beneath your connections, you will discover that you can export the list. That’s right, you can back it up. Go do it now.
I am not suggesting that social networking sites are to be ignored. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the last person to write this. However, you must always consider why you should not put all of your eggs in one basket. What if the basket breaks?
Remember that the services we use and depend on so much are usually free. I cringe when I hear so-called social media experts recommend that businesses turn from their blogs and sites to depend solely on their Facebook pages. It’s nuts!
Don’t spread yourself thin online, but always try to find a way to keep connected to your friends, clients and customers, just in case that basket’s bottom drops out.
How are you making sure you keep connected?
Broken eggs photo via sashas/Shutterstock
Dave Delaney is President of Delaney Digital Marketing Consulting in Nashville, TN. He writes frequently about new and traditional methods of business networking at New Networking on his blog. Dave is also the founder of Geek Breakfast, a multi-city tech meetup where locals congregate over bacon, eggs, and plenty of coffee once a month to discuss topics like social media, digital marketing, design, programming, and ways to better their communities.
VentureBeat is studying social media marketing
, and we’ll share the data with you.