I’ve really been saying this from the start – more than a decade ago:
Even I started to waiver when it seemed that maybe Facebook would sort of “take over” the web. I’m saying Facebook because – while in a steady decline – they are still the biggest social media service. You can swap out another service, but the information below still all applies. For example, if you didn’t know: Instagram is owned by the same company that owns Facebook.
Facebook did a lot of things right. They were often in the right place at the right time, and I’m sure their employees work very hard. They did make it easy for small businesses to put information into Facebook by creating a “page”. There are loads of problems with this, of course.
- You don’t own Facebook.
- Your customers may not use Facebook.
- You may need more than they can give.
You don’t own Facebook.
This might not have seemed like such a big deal when business posts were more easily seen in feeds and advertising was significantly less by volume. Now, however, I think people are starting to realize the issue: when you are not paying for a service (or perceived service), you are the product. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snap – it really doesn’t matter which service. All of them that are advertising supported can never provide you the security you need as a business. They can and do change the rules on a whim. This is totally unacceptable to anyone invested in the logistics of running a business.
Your customers may not use Facebook.
So, maybe you’re ok with Facebook and other social media companies changing the rules right underneath you. Hey: cash flow and expenses matter! You can get Facebook for “free”. There are a couple problems with that.
- What if Facebook does something offensive in this increasingly divisive world?
- What if your customers – out of preference – just want to use a different service?
Obviously, you can never control what the management of a company does – especially if you aren’t even an actual customer. This keeps becoming more and more impossible. But it isn’t just Facebook you have to worry about. What if there is an offensive ad or post near your materials online? A simple screen grab associating you (unfairly) can put your company at unnecessary risk!
There are always more and more social services. Humans are social. Developers and designers like to create new things. Are you going to be on all of the services? Are you going to make a big time investment in a platform only to jump when your clients do?
You need more!
OK, so back to that first list, here is the kicker: Facebook cares about their advertisers. They are an ADVERTISING company. They aren’t a business services company. They aren’t a “free business bulletin board” company. They want you paying EVERY TIME someone sees your message. That’s just silly when the Internet is built on open standards that allows for you to have your own presence built.
You need your own website. This is where your videos, photos, testimonials, and client interactions should increasingly take place. With the web, you don’t need to worry about iPhone vs. Samsung, Windows vs. Mac, or Twitter vs. Facebook. You control your own destiny to a much larger degree.
Hit me up, and we can discuss this and more in terms of your individual experience. Let me help be your Entrepreneur Energizer.