If you use a Facebook Page as your main business presence, you don’t own it at all.
|Photo by Paul Swansen|
If you rely on your Google Places listing to tell people everything they need to know, you don’t own that either. You can only add the information they say you can add. They choose what online reviews to display on your listing. They decide what order you’ll appear in search results, and you have to appear along with competitors.
Should you ignore these services? Of course not! You should have a Page and a Place and whatever else makes sense for your business. Those are your outposts, built in someone else’s territory. The main game is a home base. Build it on your own territory.
Only on your own site do you have room to stretch out and tell your story. Only on your own site can you build something of lasting value. Only on your own site can you bring together your other presences. Use the widgets or rss feeds from your many presences to enhance your main site with activity.
“But what about Facebook? Isn’t it the future? I saw a Budweiser ad, and it directed people to their Facebook page, not their website. Shouldn’t I follow their lead?”
[Based on an actual statement by a small business owner.]
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Great observations as usual, Becky. With Facebook having gone down over large chunks of two days in the past week and social providers from Google to Ning tweaking their offerings resulting in user company channel changes (sometimes without notice), it makes sense to use social networking to capture folks and drive them toward a business goal that takes place on the main website, where companies always retain 100% control.