This week, my team and I have been lamenting some recent changes to Twitter. As a result of these changes, we need to find new solutions to serve our clients.

Here’s an example: we’ve been experimenting with Twitter chats, using an app called Tweetchat. Tweetchat uses Twitter’s API to pull in tweets from a hashtag in real time. It’s possible to participate in a tweetchat without but not very fun or efficient.

If using tweetchat were the center of our social strategy on behalf of clients, we’d be in trouble!

As it is, we are new to using tweetchats on our clients’ behalf and can experiment with a different way to add buzz when changes take effect on June 11th and is obsolete.

This story illustrates a simple fact that I have said before (and will likely repeat):

Every social media strategy needs a center. The center must be a place you own, your website or blog, because it is the only place you control.

Building a social strategy for your book or business with a social media platform as the center is like building a home on the edge of a sandy beach — you’re likely to drown when your house slips into the ocean.

There are no guarantees that social media channels will be constant, no guarantees that the functionality you’re depending on today will work the way you want it to tomorrow. So when you invest most of your time, energy, and resources building your presence on community out there (on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc), when the landscape changes, you may be scrambling to find new ways of connecting.

Instead, it’s best to invest your time/energy/resources into drawing people to your online home — your website — the place you own and control, so that your connection to them remains no matter what happens elsewhere online. Create content that is so compelling that people will come to you to find it. Create conversations that are so inviting that people come to you to participate in them. Reciprocate by meeting people at their websites, as well. And use social media channels to help you in building those relationships, but don’t become so dependent on any one channel or function that you’ll be sunk if it changes.

Know your center. Own your domain. Give your best energy to building a community and content on your own website. Stay centered.

Tell me something! What frustration have you encountered when social media channels changed functionality? How are you building community on your website?