There is a good chance you found this post through an online community that you’re a part of, possibly Facebook or Twitter. While having a community on sites like that is a great thing, it’s also incredibly fragile.
Social media accounts get shut down constantly; mostly for good reasons (spammers, etc), but normal accounts can get caught in the crossfire and it can be very difficult to get them back. Your account (or mine!) could be taken down tomorrow, for no good reason and with no recourse.
In many cases, it’s more of an annoyance than anything. Most social media accounts are for social fun, and having to recreate them would be a pain, but not a serious issue. My wife lost her Twitter account for a few months, and while she eventually got it back it was far more of an annoyance than a major problem.
However, if you’ve built up a healthy community online you’ll want to make sure to have solid control of it in case something goes sideways. Chris Garrett sums it up nicely, with three thoughts:
- Build a list. Have an email list outside of your community that you can call upon when needed.
- Build a web asset that you own. I’ve talked about this a lot, but it’s huge. Having something that you own is essential for any real community to be secure.
- Attract and retain. Don’t stop. Continue to use social media and other tools to grow, but always work to take people across that public to private bridge.
Check out the full post from Chris for more great info.