social media: free. oops now not free

We love social media professionally and personally. We use it and recommend it…but with some cautions.

We caution clients (and anyone who’ll listen to us) about keeping all their eggs in one social media basket. There’s a move among some small NPOs, organizations and even churches to use Facebook as their primary platform for everything. And how could that not be a great idea? It’s free. It’s growing like crazy. etc.

Here’s why you should be cautious about putting all your content on a social media platform: the rules are constantly changing. This article from Wired tells that Ning, the previously free social network is no longer free. Pay up or port over to another platform. Probably not deadly but inconvenient and frustrating if you’ve built a strong community on Ning.

Yes free is good. But free always come at a price and that price can be steep if you haven’t prepared for the rules to change.

What should you do?

Avoid using one “free” social media platform to the exclusion of a website you own.

We prefer to not have everything on a single platform that you don’t own. And backup everything on that free platform. Build an active hub-style website that allows you to feed content from the “free” social media platform so that if things change you can adapt.

Free can be pretty expensive if you don’t know how this free thing works in the social media world. While I’m on the subject, if you’re banking on Twitter, you are watching how that situation is evolving, right? I doubt it will have a huge effect on NPOs but it is an example of the constant change in the world of “free” social media.

So what about you, do you know anyone who’s been using Ning? What do you think about putting everything on Facebook (I’ve had several conversations about that one).

As always, let’s hear it!

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: stevendepolo)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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