If you were living under a rock this week, you probably missed the hubbub about Instagram, the Facebook owned photo sharing app. It seems, they decided it was time to start making some money, so they sent off a new privacy notice.
Some people read this noticed and interpreted it to mean that 1) Instagram could use your photos in ads sponsored by companies you Like, 2) Instagram could sell your photos, 3) Instagram would own your photos 4) any other number of wierd conspiracy theories related to Facebook and the Mayan end of the world.
This resulted in much Sturm und Drang, with many of the big names in the online marketing world vowing to leave Instagram, including instructions for how to download your photos and close your account.
Instagram, sensing the shit storm late in the day (seriously, they don’t have a team of people with Google Alerts to let them know their brand was taking a beating in Social Media circles?), finally released a statement clarifying what their policies were and vowing to change the language to make it seem less like they were stealing your pictures and more like “Hey, you’re going to start seeing some ads around here because we’ve got bills to pay, yo.”
Crisis averted, right? Yes. Lesson learned? Probably not, but let’s see if we can fix that.
If you are relying on a social media outlet for the majority of your online marketing – you are going to get screwed!
So what’s a small business to do?
Get yer own friggin’ website, fer cryin’ out loud!
Seriously, if you have your own massage practice and you don’t have a website and that website isn’t the absolute center of all of your online marketing – you’re screwed. You may not know it yet, but you’ll really start feeling it in the next 12 months.
More of the stuff you now get for free will start costing money. You’re little website might run fine on $5/month hosting, but I’ll bet Facebook’s hosting costs are well into 6 figures by now. You try paying that half a mil hosting bill on good will and cute pet photos, I dare you.
The best thing you can do right now is either get a website or take a hard look at your current website. Make it the center of your online universe. Photos, announcements, articles, scheduling, and information should all originate from your website.
And if you’ve got the free website from AMTA or the like? You might want to evolve and get your own. Why? Well, what happens if they take that perk away? All of your information and your traffic gone in a moment.
I’m sure that you’re tired of people like Allissa Haines and me telling you to get a website of your own. We’ve both quit suggesting it and are now practically screaming ourselves hoarse. I’m begging you: take your business destiny in your own hands. Don’t give anyone the power to screw you over.
Not sure how to go about this? Don’t let that be an excuse. There are any number of people who can help, including me. You can even see some of the websites I’ve done for other massage therapists at the portfolio page of my site.
Do you have a website? Are you happy with it? What are your plans to make it more effective next year? Let me know in the comments.
I’m going to be covering more online marketing and website specifics in the future. Why? Because, it’s the future! See you there.