Facebook YouTube Twitter are NOT your brand

I touched on this topic around the same time last year. I’ve never understood why companies over the years have started completely running their brand messaging and customer interactions through websites they don’t control. I understand using these services as promotional tools to get eyeballs on YOUR website. But I do not see the advantage of giving Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others YOUR customers. Which is exactly what many brands have been doing for years.

It is logical that many larger companies can negotiate some sort of profit sharing for advertising revenue. But in most cases these websites have started charging companies for various promotional services. So these brands are now paying extra cost on top of what they pay for hosting their own websites. Instead of looking at your product offerings or advertising they are looking at someone else’s.

My thoughts are this is just the lazy way of running promotional content. It saves time in developing your own resources to do the same thing. I’d assume many managers see the popularity of these sites as where their customers are. But that popularity doesn’t last forever.

Many people would state that Facebook, Google, Twitter and others could never fail. Even though history has shown completely the opposite. In years past we have seen some of the biggest most hyped players crumble and become nothing. What happens to all the content you have placed within these websites?

At best you will be given time to backup your content and be provided with a method to export it. There have been cases previously where even this option wasn’t provided. You have put all this time and energy into a website you DO NOT control. Doesn’t it make more sense to use these sites as promotional tools to get customers on your Internet properties? Where you control the content and are less likely to have to worry about losing your company data.

I don’t understand putting all this effort into a service you DO NOT control. It boggles my mind that large corporations don’t see they are offering up their customers to these services. That these consumers are spending more time on a website that is not their own. Which is where you should be always trying to get those eyeballs to. The longer those customers stay elsewhere – the easier it is for them to get distracted and move away from your brand message.

On a daily basis it becomes easier to setup websites to run your own branding, promotions and product offerings. It has become much easier to run your own video content WITHOUT using various online properties that control YOUR content. This can all be done with open source products available for free – that anyone can use. The only expenses are hosting cost and time to setup the website.

The barriers to controlling your products and brand messaging have been reduced greatly in the past decade. Yet companies large and small still seem to want to allow others to do the work for them instead of taking time to do it right on their own. All this does is include you in the clutter and does nothing to set you apart from the competition.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many others thank you. Because without your laziness – their profit margins would be much less.

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