Building Your Business On Facebook Is Insanity

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by Robert Tyson

This was so predictable it’s not even funny.

In case you’ve missed the chatter of the last few weeks, lots of small business are angry because they suspect Facebook is now restricting the access they get to their ‘fans’ through the platform by up to 40%… unless they pay up.

NEWSFLASH: Facebook is a business too – and what’s more, it now has the stock market to please.

Did you think they’d just go on forever, offering a marketing platform to businesses without planning to grab a slice of the action at some point?

Like others, I have been banging on about the risk inherent in the misuse of social platforms for a while.

Here’s the thing:

  • Social sites like Facebook can be great sources of traffic…
  • They can deepen the relationship you have with your audience…
  • They can be viral marketing tools…

…BUT you’d have to be totally INSANE to make a social platform THE HUB for your business’s online presence.

Because you don’t OWN your Facebook or Twitter followers.

And the latest Facebook controversy demonstrates very clearly that you can’t CONTROL what access you will have to them in the future.

That access can be taken AWAY from you at the drop of a hat.

Don’t get me wrong - I have a Facebook page.

I’d encourage you to join and I like interacting with readers there.

I also enjoy using Twitter and the 25,000 following I’ve built up there is very valuable.

But I also realise that, if Twitter changed the rules (and decided, say, to charge by the follower or tweet), this could change very quickly.

So please commit this simple three point blueprint to memory:

1. Build up YOUR OWN SITE as THE destination.

2. Build up YOUR EMAIL LIST as your number 1 ‘permission asset’.

3. Use social sites to push traffic to your website and NEVER put the social cart before the website horse.

Simple, no?

You’ll find the resources you need to build up a compelling, high performing site of your own, build your email list, use email marketing effectively and use social media in the RIGHT way in my VIP Member Area.

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  • http://twitter.com/tonyrestell Tony Restell

    Great points Robert. We had a situation a few weeks back where our corporate twitter account was suspended for sending too many thank you messages to those who’d been sharing our content (see: http://www.social-hire.com/social-recruiting-advice/1287/social-media-scare—a-cautionary-tale-of-our-twitter-account).

    We got it reinstated thankfully, but the whole experience really made us imagine what it would be like to lose a major asset like this just because one of the platforms decided to change the rules, start charging, etc.

    Your key message is spot on – as a business you HAVE to own your main assets, so social channels should be seen as a means of growing that asset, not as the main asset themselves. Thanks for reinforcing our view with this post!

    • TheTysonReport

      Thanks for your sharing your thoughts and experiences Tony which really bear the argument out.

      We are all of us skating on thin ice when it comes to social sites and what’s more, small businesses often don’t have the clout to challenge an arbitrary decision like the one you describe in the same way that a massive brand spending big money would.

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    Pretty straightforward. I couldn’t imagine pouring all my eggs into the Facebook basked. Facebook is just a tool, something I do on the side… It can be good for maintaining connections.

    • TheTysonReport

      Agreed Bojan – I’m not against FB per se but it’s not a panacea for all your marketing woes.

  • http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com Cendrine Marrouat

    Great article, as always!

    You know, in my workshops, participants often have this “duh” moment, when they finally realize that putting all your eggs in the same basket is the biggest mistake of all.

    It’s interesting to see that people are finally realizing that social media is a lot like what happens offline. There is no gaming the system. Either you understand the value of diversification, or you are bound to fail.

    Thank you, Robert!

    • TheTysonReport

      Thanks fot stopping by Cendrine – and you’re right, diversification is the antidote.

  • http://twitter.com/MarthaGiffen Martha Giffen

    SOOO true! I’ve been preaching this since the beginning. If you don’t own it, it ain’t yours! Your website is the only real estate you need to be concerned about. Use the social media platforms to BRING people over to your playground. Fantastic post! Sharing everywhere!

    • TheTysonReport

      Thanks Martha! We are obviously singing from the same hymn sheet on this!

  • http://www.youbrandinc.com scottscanlon

    Tyson, good concise post. I usually tell people that they need to own the platform, in FB, Twitter, LI, etc. as you stated its not your platform.

    • TheTysonReport

      Thanks Scott – and you’re bang on, that lack of ownership is the nub of the problem with social sites.

  • http://twitter.com/KoreSocialMedia Carole Wozny

    Great article. I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook but as you pointed out it is still necessary to have a Facebook page. I was an early adopter of Google+ ( which I love) and now I find myself using platforms I never would have bothered with in the past, like Tumblr and Pinterest. I keep hoping that FB will go the way of MySpace!

    • TheTysonReport

      Thanks for commenting Carole. It will be interesting to see where FB goes from here.

      As a personal user I find my stream is increasingly filled with annoying ads that are irrelevant to me (my friends like something? So what? I find that totally irrelevant in most cases); but business users demand exposure too… I don’t know how they reconcile those two conflicting forces.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cale.sinfield Cale Sinfield

    Great article Robert. I use them all, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest not just for business but personal and for my running club and local half marathon. Still yet to find a tool that helps me view and work on themall. I use tweet deck at the moment. Any suggestions?

    • TheTysonReport

      Hi Cale, thank you. I much prefer Hootsuite to Tweetdeck – Hootsuite will let you manager all those accounts from one place, with the exception of Pinterest.

      Have you downloaded my free social media ebook from the ‘Get Free Workbooks’ page? Lots of advice in there I think you would find helpful, including a summary of Hootsuite.

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