In general, I’m not a great Facebook fan.
I know that Mark Zuckerburg is the Antichrist and that one day no one will be able to buy or sell save they bear his mark.
Even now he holds sway over vast portions of the world’s population and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals of absolute domination and control.
However I’m able to put these facts to one side when it comes to advising clients on their best marketing options.
While this social network will one day help usher in an age of darkness which its founder will rule alongside Satan himself, it can be a great place to market your business.
We’ve all witnessed the uptake. Initially with surprise and then with a sense of inevitability as well known brands have established a presence on Facebook and leveraged that audience with success.
So, yes, go for it. Get on Facebook and market your business.
But don’t use Facebook as a place to build your business.
What’s the difference? Here’s one simple test.
If Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, what would happen to all your efforts invested in that platform?
The same question could be asked of any social media platform you use.
It’s a little like building your house on someone else’s land… without any guarantees or agreements as to who really owns your house.
Your investment is on shaky ground. Anything can happen. And in the world of social media, it often does.
You have no control over the social networks and platforms you use to promote your business. Their goals are not your goals (go read their terms and conditions again). There are no guarantees around the content you post there, how it will be displayed and who will see it.
That’s become especially so on Facebook where the percentage who will actually see your content may be quite small.
There’s only one place that you have complete control and ownership of your content, how it’s presented and how long it will be there: Your own website.
Common sense would suggest that your marketing efforts centre around and point towards your website. Your property. Your home base.
Taking this approach, virtually all of your content building will be done on your website and your social media – and other marketing – will point back to that content.
If all the social networks disappeared overnight (God forbid) would anyone visiting your site be able to see what you’ve been up to and what you’re doing right now?
Aside from the fact that significant portions of your audience will never visit the social media platforms you use, this seems like good business communication.
Having poured so much effort into your website and SEO, why would you then send visitors away from your site to find out what’s going on? Madness. Right?
It’s like having a restaurant on the main street but sending people to the news stall down the road to find out what the soup of the day is.
Yet it seems like this is how many businesses are using social media.
So, how can Facebook best serve your business needs?
Use it for what it does best – as an advertising platform. Advertise and market there but don’t set up shop. Build quality content on your site and invite everyone over for a nice cuppa.
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We’ve also seen that what the experts say is true; most small businesses struggle with the basics.
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