Social networking sites have become yet another outpost marketers use to spread their message and increase their followers/likers/fan counts.
Associations use these large public networking sites to bring in new members. Schools use them to recruit. Nonprofits employ the large audience to raise funds. Many member-centric organizations embrace these large public sites to conduct their day-to-day business and member outreach.
Complaints (from professional organizations) against sites like Facebook have become pretty common. Maggie McGary writes about this frequently. One of my favorite posts that she’s done on the topic is why Facebook will Never Replace Your Website. Yet even with these wise words, there are still member-centric organizations using sites like Facebook as their only outpost into social media. They see the ability to place their message before Facebook’s enormous audience as a necessary evil and they close their eyes to potential data loss, outages and lack of customer support.
Now we are faced with an even greater issue than those just mentioned – censorship. Have you ever considered what would happen to your organization’s information if the social site you rely on to communicate your message and interact with your members was suddenly banned by a government and access was widely denied? Read about Facebook censorship here or the suspension of BlackBerry Messenger service in the UK here. Your organization could potentially face days without an online community and member engagement (with little to no warning). What would that mean for your business? How much do you rely on Facebook and what if it were inaccessible tomorrow?