The Value of Owning Your Own Platform


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As a business owner, you recognize the value of owning your own platform. You’re jazzed about the ability to set your own structure and rules, while not being limited by someone else’s platform, to connect with your community. This power creates a strong sense of freedom. It also means owning the behavioral data of your community, which is a powerful benefit.

With more brands and influencers looking to get their own platforms, it’s time to talk about the benefits of owning one and the impediments of stopping most brands and influencers from getting one. If your brand is already exploding and producing epic results on social media, then why go the extra mile?

It’s because the rewards of taking that extra step will not only benefit your business but will benefit your community too. It’s important to remember that

The advantages of owning your platform are outperforming what social media has offered for the past decade.

Owning Your Own Tribe

As you should know by this point, the community on social media that YOU’VE built doesn’t really belong to you. Your community belongs to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other platforms you leverage. If you’re a big brand like Adidas or GoPro with millions of followers around the world, it can be a tough pill to swallow knowing that social media platforms have nearly complete control of your community.

If you’re a smaller brand or micro-influencer with only several thousand followers, it’s a more difficult realization. It means that no matter how big you grow your community, they’ll never be “your community” because you don’t own the platform they follow you on.

Photo Credit: Skylab USA

Isn’t it time for you to take the epic leap to ensure that your community is YOUR community?

With your own platform, you’re able to control your community and enable them to see content that’s relevant to them. You also don’t have to worry about the next social media platform that might replace some of today’s top ones.

Own Your Own Data

Data, as you know, is vital to the success of any business, especially if it concerns how your customers behave, what they purchase and when. When you conduct your business on social media platforms, the data that they offer is often limited to what they want you to know about your business.

It’s also important to note that due to recent events with several major social platforms, you run the risk of jeopardizing your communities information. If the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal taught us anything, it’s that brands that have large followings on social don’t know where their communities data is being often being sold to.

Consumers, for the most part, join a social site without reading and acknowledging the full extent of what’s happening to their personal and behavioral data. That data collected on them is often sold to third-parties which promote their products and services to them without ever having consent from them.

Affinity groups platforms allow the individuals logging on to them the ability to give access to the information that they want to give. Voluntarily information has been around for longer than people realize. For those of you that have a Fitbit, you voluntarily give tons of behavioral pieces of data about yourself on the daily.

The benefit of having an affinity group platform (like the one
Powur leverages with their own community) is that it relies on permission-based data. Now you and your community can feel confident that the data being collected is not being mishandled or abused without your permission. As you may have recently read in the news, Facebook doesn’t necessarily protect your data or privacy very well.

Understanding that data is important is your first step, while the second is taking control of data just like you would take control of your community.

When you’re able to control your data, you’re able to better serve your community in an effective manner.

Ability to Customize

With your own platform, you’re not restricted to the same UI/UX that social media forces you to use. You can customize your business the way you see fit., including using your own color scheme, your own layout or template. And with your own platform, you get to design what your community and tribe will enjoy every time they log onto your platform. If it’s so easy and beneficial, then why isn’t every business doing it then?

The Cost

Most apps, according to Applico, cost an average of $200,000. That includes an entire development team, and a waiting period between 4 and 6 months.

Most companies simply can’t afford to do that while balancing labor, taxes, marketing, and advertising costs.

Ensuring that your app stays current and bug-free is also important. Version updates are always required with the ongoing enhancement of technology. If you can’t do it yourself to cut the expenses, then you must continue to pay a development team to handle technical issues.

Time to Market

You’re already running a business, a team, and building a list of clients to sell or market to. You’ve already got your plate full before you even consider developing an app for your community. You absolutely have to take time into consideration.

Lack of Ownership

As more users around the world are connecting with their mobile devices, the importance of engaging with your core audience has never been greater. Having a platform that is accessible at any time with content that is relevant to your customers is highly attractive. You can skyrocket your brand loyalty in no time.

You also have the ability to track, recognize, and reward the right behaviors of your tribe. This method is called Value Reinforcement System.

42% of small businesses have a mobile app, and over 30% more are planning to get one within the next year.

More and more small businesses nowadays are developing their own apps or platforms. According to a small business survey done by Clutch, 42% of small business have a mobile app, and over 30% more are planning to get one within the next year. The point is, now is the time to stand out from the competition and start considering getting your own app with the capabilities of a platform.

White Label Platform Solutions

Companies such as Skylab and Mindspace have removed the burdens of developing an app by yourself. By leveraging the solutions that these companies offer, brands and influencers have the ability to focus on what’s important and that’s connecting with their tribes and communities

“Platforms are the new disruptors, and when you want to train, track, and reward your community, owning that engagement is a key element to understanding what your users really want.” Dean Grey- Futurist and Entrepreneur

My Wine Society (providing closed communities of wine enthusiasts the ability to be rewarded for the behaviors that they take in the wine community) noticed the advantages of freedom that white label gamification companies offer.

“Having a white-labeled platform has helped us reach out to our community effectively, which has been invaluable. Not only does it help us in the community engagement spectrum, but it also adds value to other areas of our business, which has helped us scale quickly and efficiently.” Sean Evans- CEO of My Wine Society

Offering your tribe something that adds value to them is the key to sustained engagement. People don’t just want like buttons and badges. They want to know that they matter. If you’re creating a platform that adds value to their lives, you’re going to have a big business.

Nobody wants just an app or platform anymore. What businesses want is a process to increase people engaging on their platform.

Successful business owner and entrepreneur David Vanderveen explains the solution that white-label companies offers to forward-thinking companies.

“A big problem for XS is how we leverage and maximize value from our digital and social media communications. Most importantly, we can gamify our business process and incentives which allows us help more entrepreneurs build successful businesses on our platform.” David Vanderveen- XS Energy Drink

For more information on Value Reinforcement Systems, refer to the White Paper (The Science of Engagement) published in the scientific journal Research Gate.

Manuel Solis, Solis
After spending nine years in the military, I decided to move out west to pursue my education. With a B.A in Communications and Media Technologies and a passion for startups, I'm now starting my EMBA in San Francisco. When I'm not writing and interviewing successful leaders in multiple industries, I'm spending my days at the beach soaking up the rays.


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