Let’s go back….way back, to the dark ages of 2008 – well maybe that’s an exaggeration. Three years ago, what did the online marketing landscape look like? Myspace was the dominating authority. Windows Live was a massive area but much like Siberia, it was virtually a no man’s land. If you look closely you may be able to spot Twitter, or maybe not.

What does it look like now? In 3 short years, the tides shifted tremendously. Facebook, which had decent beachfront property has taken over the northern hemisphere. With literally 800 million active users, it’s no wonder why they are dominating the social sphere. These shifts could be bad news for online marketers who aren’t prepared for the shifts.

So how do you avoid digital roadblocks?

First, start with a winning combination. It doesn’t make sense to focus your efforts in a space where your target market isn’t interacting. Take for instance the movie Year One. If you had to Google it, then you’ve already proved why their interactive strategy didn’t work. In 2009, the movie was promoted in a banner ad on MySpace. Sure it was a popular forum but it was fading fast and not enough people cared about the site or what it was promoting. The box office sales reflected this. Make sure you’re selecting the appropriate channel. Just because a site has a big name, doesn’t mean they have the following to carry your brand.

Second, stop flashturbating. Flash is not the answer to a “let’s make things interesting strategy” in your interactive marketing strategy. It creates a lag in time as it loads and worst of all, it tends to crash too frequently. This is extremely frustrating for people searching your site for answers. If they run into this barrier, they’ll quickly hit the back button.

If you’re thinking of ways to hashtag flasturbating, then you have already proved Dan’s next point. Fourth, keep calm and hashtag. The hashtag is the time share of twitter. It’s a trend that you can start but not one you can own forever. It’s okay to let go of your hashtag. You can always come back to it.

Fourth, do not pigeon hole yourself into a single digital format. In 2010, Facebook decided to remove FBML from its brand pages. This spelled disaster for those unprepared for the shift. Understand that as an online marketer, you are merely renting a space. The landlord can change what and how the features of that space come together with very little warning. Stay flexible and you’ll be able to navigate online communities easily.

Fifth and lastly, take care of your online properties. There isn’t anything more embarrassing than having your website shutdown because you failed to pay the bill. Unfortunately, Dan wouldn’t have brought it up if someone didn’t fail to do it. The lucky organization? None other than “America’s Team,” – the Dallas Cowboys.

This multi million dollar organization and the wealthiest team in the NFL failed to monitor the expiration date on their domain subscription. A very lucky opportunist bought the domain right from under the Cowboys, costing the organization more than a couple pennies to get it back. Maintaining your web properties is the easiest investment you could possibly make. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it.

Your online digital strategy is not an end all be all. With an agile plan, however, you can be ready when the landscape changes again.

Dan Sturdivant has been an influential part of the digital marketing sphere for more than 15 years. He joined WrightIMC as the Vice President of Solutions in June of 2011. He is also a board member of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing organization a part of his other various associations. You can follow him on Twitter at @dansturdivant.