3 Ways Linktree, Later & Planoly Can Hurt Your Brand

Sometimes the tools we rely upon stop working. Such is the case in 2018 when Linktree went down. It happened suddenly and without warning. Since it was not Linktree’s fault, no doubt it was an unwelcome surprise for the company, too!

Linktree offers a great service. They responded to the frustration many businesses and individuals felt over Instagram’s one and only space for a link. For brands who want to share a lot with their communities, the space for one, and only one link causes some stress.

Linktree stepped in to relieve this. Later Media offers their own version, Linkin.Bio. Both have their merits.

Initially, it seems like these tools solve problems for brands but, there are some trade offs to consider.

1. They disrupt your branding

A few months after I launched a site for a client she came to me with a problem. Her main social media channel is Instagram. This social media platform drives a lot of business to her website.

She uses Planoly to schedule her posts. With an upgrade, Planoly also transformed her beautiful Instagram feed into a pop-up shop. Without leaving her profile, individuals could purchase her unique creations.

This sounded perfect since her feed is quite popular, but the link required took up prime real estate in her Insta bio. For many, this isn’t an easy trade-off, and really, why should it be?

We spend so much time bringing our visions to life, so we shouldn’t be asked to sacrifice them. It feels even more strange when we’re paying money to do so, but, unfortunately, this is one of the downsides to incorporating additional tools.

Though my bread and butter these days is Squarespace web design for creatives and small businesses, my six-years of experience in Digital Marketing often makes an appearance. In those days I serviced the brand.

Protecting a brand’s identity online was always top of mind.

This would come in the form of securing a business name across social media platforms, ensuring bios were on-brand and accurate, too. If there are routes towards a goal that did not involve advertising another company or business on a profiles, take them.

The branding of a tool used to elevate a brand can eclipse our own.

In this post, I show you how you can create your own branded, Linktree-style or Linkin.Bio page fast in Squarespace. ShopLink can be connected, too!

2. Policy Changes

Instagram is known for having some strict policies. It curates a certain type of experience for its users and works hard to protect this.

Instagram protects its brand.

We are free to use the platform but, a caveat is that it is not our platform. Many of us are no stranger to algorithm changes, but what about policy changes?

Instagram has it’s own suite of tools, and rumor has it, accounts that fully use them are “rewarded” for their engagement. Third party tools like Linktree, Later, and Planoly can sometimes fall outside of a social media platform’s policies.

This brings us to July of 2018 when Linktree stopped working. Apparently, Instagram made some policy changes and in the process, Linktree became a little misunderstood.

They worked to resolve the issue but, in the meantime, individuals who relied upon this service unexpectedly went from one Instagram link to no link at all.

In this post, learn how to quickly create your own Linktree-style or Linkin.Bio page in Squarespace. ShopLink works also!

3. More Maintenance

As a result of incorporating 3rd party tools, more maintenance can come in to play. Being a small business owner means wearing many different hats.

We can always make more money, but time, that is a whole other story. When a tool stops working for us, sometimes we end up losing both our time and our money.

Our brand can suffer, should this happen, in the process. We may not be able to be as consistent as we need or want to be.

For these reasons, using additional software prompts us to reevaluate things. Some tools present some big trade-offs that in the end might not be worth it.

Instead of spending time on yet another tool, check to see if there’s a way to extend the use of ones you already have. In Squarespace, it is simple to create your own Linktree-style page for your Instagram.

You will get to keep and protect your own branding while still expanding upon that one link. It won’t cost you additional funds and your won’t have to keep an eye out on another tool.

Check out my step-by-step tutorial on creating your own Instagram bio link page.


Conclusion


  • 3rd party tools can hurt our brands rather than help them.

  • 3rd party tools ask us to use their branding rather than our own.

  • They can go offline without warning, and give us more maintenance rather than streamline our process.

  • For Squarespace users there is a built-in alternative to implementing links outside of our own brand.


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BusinessValarie Williams