Does Social Media Own You?


Recently I was asked by a school administrator whether Facebook should be used as the platform for communication with another school in another part of the world. Great Idea but I can think of a better one and here’s why.

This morning I was reading an article by David Rogers about whether it was time to shut down your website and go social instead. He measures the benefits of having a social presence versus  just a static web presence. Yet one of the points that he made and its one that I have maintained for a while now is this:

Social might be the cool new alternative to a static web presence but what If Facebook, Twitter and Youtube go away tomorrow? I know it seems farfetched, but the point is, what would you do? To Rogers point he states the following as a benefit to the old school web site. And it’s simple really. Own the data.

Social media platforms are owned by the companies that run them, and, as such, they are the only ones holding all the data on your customers and your interactions with them. On your own website, you own all the data.”

The point I made to the administrator was this. Facebook is cool but why not create a proprietary channel in which you own and control the data? Create a profile that is more indigenous of the classroom, the subject matter and the student instead of relying on a profile that reveals  whether a student is in a relationship or not.

We need to take our lips off of the baby bottle that is the big 3 of Social Media(Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) and own the data and own the channel. We need to quit treating Facebook like a crack pipe that no one seems to be able to put down. Own the data and control the channel and the better you can control the platform.