Your Brand should live in your own web property. Social Networks are not intended to be the platform on which you operate your business. I feel Facebook is the best platform around, currently, from a marketing perspective. That being said, you should NEVER put all your eggs in one basket, especially when someone else owns the basket.
Like all social networks, Facebook is a great place to interact with your target market, promote your Brand, and even offer customer service. The issue comes in trying to use the platform itself as a place to operate your business. Let me give you a couple examples.
These can be great, as long as they are not your primary sales outlet. My wife has a store tab on her Moxie4Fashion Facebook page, but that is not her main sales channel. It simply links to her eBay store. This is a good way of using such a feature. It is another way to gain exposure, but if Facebook were to cut it of for some reason, the effect would not be devastating.
In contrast, if the store page was the primary place sales were made, and Facebook decided to cut off that feature, your business is gone in an instant. I know that isn’t an option on Facebook, so of course this is a hypothetical. Shopify and others have the capability to add a store on Facebook too, but again, it’s only a copy of an external store, and not a store actually hosted on Facebook.
Learning the Hard Way
We had this crazy idea, that had it worked, could have been great for branding. Facebook announced a new tool that was going to allow people to post items for sale directly in Facebook Groups. You could have a classified ad right on Facebook. So, we jumped at the chance and set up 53 groups, each revolving around a major US city, and branded them all the same. The idea was that people could shop classified ads right on Facebook, get notifications about them and make life simpler.
We selected cities, registered a domain to have a place to link from, and got everything all set up. They were gaining popularity fairly quickly too. But apparently not with Facebook. One morning, all 53 groups were just gone. No warning, no notice, just gone.
It’s Facebook’s right to delete anything they want. They own the site, and you have to play by their rules. But a little common courtesy would be nice. Besides, this project would have only served to cause people to spend more time on their site, exposing them to more ads, and potential making Facebook more money, but I guess they had their reasons. We were not making a dime off it. Fortunately, all we had invested into it was some time and the cost of one domain name, buyersclub.us, which now redirects to the home page here at MuchSocial.
It’s Your Brand – Make it Your Own
It’s fine to use social networks to further your brand presence. It is only a danger when you rely on that platform as the sole method for doing business. It is highly difficult to do much today if you do not own your own piece of internet real estate. Even if your business is all about making apps for networks, such as Facebook, you will need to have your own space to host them.
Grab a relevant URL, and build Your Brand. don’t build a brand for someone else, who can then pull the rug out from under your entire operation at a moment’s notice. Or if you do, be aware that this is a risk you take. Are you willing to take that risk?
Branding is, and will continue to be, a recurring theme here at MuchSocial. It is THAT important. If you need help with your brand, we would love to talk to you. Visit our Services Page and fill out the form to request a Quote. We look forward to it!
Here are a few questions to ponder:
- What do you do to build Your Brand?
- Does Your Brand have a consistent message?
- Do you monitor what others are saying about Your Brand?