Most Dangerous Threat to Digital Marketing | Digital Sharecropping
What is Digital Sharecropping? Here is my personal definition - a Digital Marketing phenomenon whereby marketers place their digital marketing assets on another company’s web properties and relinquish all rights and control to their marketing and, at times, to their business model.
Sonia Simone from Copyblogger wrote a piece on Digital Sharecropping that I felt compelled to cover in my blog, partially because I loved the article and partly because the risks she talked about are something I have been raising on my blog and to customers for years: Giving up control of your digital marketing assets.
Now, Sonia and I are not ignorant of the value of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest to elevate your brand, connect with current and would-be customers, disseminate information…etc. We are, however, very concerned with companies who use these social outposts as their primary means of branding and marketing.
What I really enjoyed about Sonia’s article was how she clearly points out that the content creators – YOU and ME – we make these huge sites valuable and we do it for FREE. Think about it… What would Facebook be worth if the only people posting content were Facebook employees and paid affiliates? What about LinkedIn or Twitter? They would be worthless. It’s the user-base creating and sharing content incessantly that makes them valuable. But here is the kicker…
Facebook owes you nothing. LinkedIn and Twitter owe you NOTHING. They are the owners of the channel and they can change the rules, implement penalties, charges as much money as they want at any time. They can kick you off their “land” at their sole discretion and there is nothing you can do about it. They are holding ALL THE CARDS.
For this reason, it is imperative that you are able to own and control what you work so hard to build. Sonia suggests building 3 critical things:
- Your Website (and I would add, your blog – on your own domain or sub-domain)
- Your Email list
- Your Reputation
These things are yours – you own them, you control them, you make the rules.
You can then use the free social options to promote, encourage, communicate, extend and do all those great marketing things that drive your three core owned properties.
Click here to read the blog post I wrote about this very topic called “Suspended from Twitter, When Free Sucks“