Today, I can’t use Outlook. Why? My ISP, Verizon, is not working. A colleague can’t access her email. Why? Her web host is having server issues. So we sit and wait and pressure these service providers to fix these things because it affects our business.
Although we can’t control everything, on some communications-related issues, we have more control than others. I can pressure my ISP to fix my email issues, but I can’t do a thing about Facebook and its ever changing rules and features. (Facebook has changed EdgeRank, affecting brand pages) I don’t have any control over Twitter and its decision not to play nice with Instagram (Twitter will no longer display Instagram photos on its site).
I also can’t do much about Google, Gmail or any number of Internet-based applications and software that we are becoming increasingly dependent on.
Marketers who enthusiastically recommend having a Facebook page, or an Instagram account, or signing up for Pinterest MUST take into consideration that these are services and that as a brand, you are putting yourself at the mercy of their decisions, which do affect you, often without your input or control.
Many of the most problematic outside vendors (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are free to use. As users, we have no leverage. We are getting what we pay for.
A few years ago, a local website decided to get rid of its URL and use Facebook exclusively. Guess what, that website did not survive.
Be aware that by using the cloud, or using third-party services, you are agreeing to give up control. You may want more of that control than you realize.