Last year, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp went down, and many of us were left feeling just a little bit confused about where to go or what to do to communicate and check in with our friends, family and even with our customers.
These platforms have become such staple tools for us all, both personally and professionally.
But the outage is such a good example of why, as a business, we should also be communicating via email and not relying solely on social media to deliver our messages.
Social media is a great tool and should be part of every business's marketing strategy. But the thing is, we don't own those platforms and so we are subject to not only technology outages but also the whims of Facebook's algorithms and rules which have a mind of their own and little to no recourse.
I know of businesses who have been shut out of Facebook, temporarily or permanently, for supposed breaches of the rules, and trying to get answers as to why or to get the account reinstated has had them jumping through so many hoops and wasting so much time, and in some cases, not finding any resolution and having to start all over again.
I've heard of other businesses with large follower numbers, whose Facebook reach was halved overnight after a change to the algorhythm, which meant that only half he number of page followers actually saw their post compared to the day before.
In both these scenarios, all the followers they have worked so hard to get, or Facebook group members that have been hard-won, are unreachable.
That's why email marketing should be a pillar piece of your marketing plan. Growing your email list, and actually sending emails of value to that list, should be a priority.
You own your email list while you do not own your Facebook and Instagram followers. They can all disappear in a heartbeat and there's nothing you can do about it.
One thing that you can do to grow your email list is to offer something of value.
We are all very happy to opt-in to email lists in exchange for something of value. We do it all the time with free checklists and guides, webinars, ebooks and newsletters.
You are probably on this email list and are receiving this email because you agreed to give me your email address in exchange for something of value.
If nothing else, start sending out a regular email to your current clients with info and updates around anything to do with business, anything that you think would be useful for them to know about.
It doesn't have to be about bookkeeping (yawn?). It could be new ACC, payroll, HR or tax info, or it could be how to stay sane as a business owner.
Email is not dead. Far from it.
I hope that's given you something to think about and work towards today.
PS: Get in touch if you're ready to build some solid marketing routines and create a bookkeeping business that works for you.