Your Facebook Page is Not a Website

Facebook is Not a WebsiteFour reasons why social media will fail you (if you don’t also have your own site)

Giant corporations. Regional musicians. Your local barbershop. They’re all promoting themselves on Facebook — and rightly so. Facebook is an essential part of any business’ online marketing toolkit. But it’s NOT a website! Or, more precisely: it’s not YOUR website.

If you’re relying solely on social networks like Facebook to manage all your customer/fan interactions, you’re missing out on a number of crucial things that only a dedicated website can offer, things that can take your business to the next level.

If we think of your social media marketing in terms of sound, Facebook can be a great way to amplify your content’s reach — but it shouldn’t be the original source. Your news announcements, special offers, blog posts, photo diaries, and other content should all originate on your own website. Then, when you share something on Facebook, the best possible outcome is that your Facebook fans click the link to follow that content to its source.

Why you should favor your own website to Facebook

1. You Need Design Control

With Facebook, you get a generic blue & white page plastered with advertisements and other distractions. You don’t have a say in how Facebook looks or functions — or when it might change on you (probably overnight).

With your own website, you can create an awesome (and stable) design that suits your style and visually communicates your messages to visitors.

2. You Need to Own Your Fan Relationships

When you have your own website, you get to decide where and how you want to collect email addresses: on the homepage, at the bottom of blog posts, etc. Then you can use your email newsletter to talk to your subscribers according the way that makes sense for your business and customers/fans.

When a visitor provides you with their contact info, YOU own that fan relationship — NOT Facebook. (Or maybe a better way to say this is you co-own the fan relationship with the person who entrusted you with their email address.)

On Facebook, you can only reach your fans if they’re regularly checking their Facebook news feed, and even then — because of Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm — a large percentage of your fans won’t see your content unless you pay Facebook to promote your posts.

3. You Need to Create a Rewarding User Experience

Remember those ads and distractions I mentioned above? Facebook wants users to click on paid ads for smartphones, laptops, and blow dryers. They want you to play MafiaWars and Farmville. It’s how they pay the bills (oh, and shareholders too).

What do you want your fans to see and do when they’re interacting with your content? On your own site, you call the shots. You can design a rich experience for your fans which feels focused and personal because it’s clutter-free.

4. You Need Your Own Dot Com

What’s more memorable: “Facebook-Dot-Com-Slash-Your-Business-Name” or “Your-Business-Name-Dot-Com?”

When you have your own domain name, not only is it easier to say and easier to remember, but it establishes a certain level of professionalism — which establishes a certain level of trust. You’ve created  your own website to blog, collect email addresses, and peddle wares right from a digital storefront — and in the minds of many potential fans, that fact alone is impressive.

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There are a number of great things social media platforms like Facebook DO offer you — but they’re most effective when used in conjunction with your own website, not in lieu of it.

Where does Facebook fall short? How’ve you used social media to drive traffic to your site? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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