Every time Facebook or Instagram make a change to their platform, we see outrage across our timelines and people talking about how this change is going to ruin their business.

Remember earlier this year when Instagram announced that they would be altering their algorithm to move away from the chronological display? People lost their minds and freaked out. The response was EVERYONE posting ridiculous images telling people to turn on their notifications, which only aggravated users further.

The exact same thing happened with Facebook in the not so distant past, with a similar reaction. Cries of these companies trying to ruin small business run rampant every time, but really, if you are running a small business and relying solely on one social media channel to drive all of your traffic or sales, you need a crash course in marketing.

How to avoid being impacted by social network updates

One of the most important things that you can do when marketing a business of any size is to diversify. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling t-shirts or houses, YOU NEED TO USE MULTIPLE CHANNELS. With social media it’s easy to fall into the trap of just posting something online and assuming that your marketing is now done. This is far from the truth.

This has drawn a lot of attention in this music industry where a lot of modern bands assume that having X number of followers means that they can just put up a post, which will automatically result in sold out shows. This is far from the truth and bands that do this may have tens of thousands of followers, yet struggle to fill a room that holds 100 people.

Bands that still go out and promote their shows with flyers, newsletters, competitions for their fans, and a using a range of ways to reach their audience are always going to reap the rewards for their efforts, and the same goes for your business.

If you are going to rely only on Instagram or Facebook, you are going to be in for a bumpy ride. The key to surviving any updates to a particular network is to not be putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Use a range of ways to promote your business. Use all of the the social networks relevant to your audience, promote yourself in groups, create a blog or write gust blog posts for others talking about your business, work on the SEO for your website attend events and showcase your work.

There are so many ways that you can promote your business, and you can do all of these things for free, with the only cost to you being time and effort.

Fast growing businesses don’t just happen. If you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort, maybe you shouldn’t be running a business in the first place.

Networks are evolving and THINGS WILL CHANGE

Whether you like it our not, social media platforms are going to evolve and update how they run their platform. You know how you are running a business? Well, so are they, and they are constantly making changes to stay alive.

By diversifying the way you sell your products or services, every time that anyone makes a change to their network, the impact will have less of an effect on your and your business.

Make adjustments to adapt with changes

Just because a social network has changed that way that it displays posts, doesn’t mean that you need to abandon ship. Instantly there will be a number of experts commenting on the updates, as well as providing tips on how you can change the way that you use the network to promote your business.

Spend the time reading about the updates and new ways to utilize the service, then tweak your strategy accordingly. It all comes back to doing your research and putting the time and effort into adapting, as opposed to throwing your hands up in the air and complaining about how X platform is trying to ruin your business.

Don’t freak out and make your audience disappear

When Instagram did their algorithm update, did you spend time to understand how, or even if this would effect you? or did you just spam your followers with ‘Turn on Notifications’ images for the next week because you saw everyone else doing it?

Freaking out and repeatedly posting to get your users to change their following settings can do more damage than good. What was your feed like on that day? It was just the same post over and over again which personally put me, and a lot of other people off a number of brands who panicked.

If you do feel the need to post about these updates, make it personal. Use your own images and be creative about it. Don’t just copy and use the same image as millions of other users.

Key takeaways for your business

  • Don’t rely on one network to drive sales/traffic
  • Use methods for promoting outside of social media
  • Do your research and learn about how to improve your reach
  • Don’t over react when networks make updates
  • You don’t have to follow the masses, do what’s best for you

I hope this information will help you to take your business to the next level and avoid living in fear of that next social network update. If you would like more information about anything in this article, feel free to contact me for a chat!

This article was originally published on Medium