Digital Platforms vs. Social Media: The Ultimate Showdown for Business Success - OCO Connect

Digital Platforms vs. Social Media: The Ultimate Showdown for Business Success

When was the last time you checked your social media channels? Not that long ago is probably the answer. 

More than half the world’s population is using social media, with Western Europe leading the way with 79% of people checking their ‘likes’ and the average time spent on social media each day is around two and a half hours. 

So the figures speak for themselves; social media is everywhere. With this in mind, there is a temptation for businesses or membership organisations to develop a business community for members within social networks. However, before jumping into social networking, have a think about some of the drawbacks. 

Drawbacks of social media for online business communities 

First and foremost, social media platforms are not specifically designed for business organisations. While they offer community functions that allow for sharing information, networking, and collaboration, they are primarily intended for social interactions. As a result, the functionality may not be comprehensive enough or bespoke to your specific needs.  

Linked to this is a lack of control over your content. Social media platforms operate on algorithms that prioritise content based on engagement metrics. As a result, your content which is specific and important for your particular audience may not be seen if it doesn’t receive a lot of engagement from a general audience. This can be particularly challenging for specialised sectors or smaller business organisations. 

Thirdly, Social media companies make a significant portion of their revenue by selling users’ data to data collection companies, who then sell it to other third parties for targeted advertisements. That explains why, once you like something on Facebook, you may see ads pop up for it every time you go online. While this is not in itself wrong, there is a better way to use personal data to maximise the value to members. To direct them to relevant content rather than ad brokers.  

Finally, social media platforms are subject to frequent changes in their algorithms, policies, and functionality. This can make it difficult for community managers to keep up with the latest developments and ensure that their business community functions are effective. 

Finding a different path 

A white-label online business community platform, on the other hand, is specifically designed for business and membership organisations. These platforms offer a range of business community functions that are tailored to your needs, including member profiles, discussion forums, resource sharing, and event management. This makes it much easier to create a vibrant and engaged community that is specific to your members. 

In addition, these platforms are not governed by algorithms. You have access to your own analytics on a platform that can help you drive user value, directing members to the content and interaction that they want. Understanding how members are using the platform is essential to creating a valuable experience.