No matter what they would have you believe, Facebook isn’t the internet.
Setting up a Facebook page for a brand or product is an obvious first step for many company owners.
It’s a stupidly simple task and like most things on social media it’s been carefully designed to give you maximum satisfaction for the least amount of effort.
So does putting on a brand new pair of sports shoes, but that doesn’t make you an athlete.
If you take marketing on the internet seriously, and if you want your organisation to have any meaningful impact online, then you haven’t moved past the starting block until you have your own website in place.
We’re dead serious: buy yourself a domain name – ideally your company name – then we can finally talk business.
“But it’s free, but it’s Facebook, but… but… what about FOMO?” F*** all that.
You don’t have anything except your big idea when you share it on social media.
You’re just borrowing someone else’s soapbox for your marketing somersaults. Just hope it’s a soft landing when they yank it from underneath you.
With a website you own the implementation of your business idea, whether it’s set to receive customers or you’re simply testing a concept to assess interest.
There’s a piece of virtual real estate with your name on it and you can exert as near total control over it as Zuckerberg does over his algorithms.
One small change in the way Facebook decides which content appears on their users’ feeds can wipe out months of hard work by a marketing team and render useless the most detailed content plans.
Whereas a simple ‘like’ used to ensure that a portion of your followers would definitely see your posts, now users have to press like, turn on notifications, and choose how often they want to see them; and that’s before you enter your credit card details and pay Facebook to boost your content.
We’re all for more privacy and security online, but clearing these new hurdles has made success on social media as unpredictable for genuine businesses as it is for unsuspecting travellers to get past airport security with their pants still on.
But a website isn’t just a home; it’s a city that can be as fluid as a Monopoly board.
You can monitor which pages your visitors click on most often, study the exact paths they take before adding a product to the cart or exiting, and adapt the structure and content of your site accordingly to maximise the desired results.
A website also helps raise your profile on that other internet behemoth, Google, giving you the means to rank your business on their search results for relevant keywords.
You can use your website both as a springboard and a final destination to direct visitors through a personalised journey that plays to their interests and eliminates their doubts by hitting them with great content, page after page, until they see “Thank you for buying!” flashing on the screen.