Don’t Trade Comfort for Security

There’s a reason why so many businesses use Facebook as a primary tool to engage their clients/consumers – because it’s a large, vibrant community that continues to grow and expand, which is a comfort to businesses trying to expand their influence and reach. There are some businesses that like to use Facebook for all of their social stuff – after all, why go to trouble of building a blog or social outlet on your site when you can go where all the people are and have it there?

I’ll tell you why. Because you don’t own Facebook. Facebook owns Facebook, and anyone with a Business Page got a nice little reminder of that last week, when they switched everybody’s page to the new format (significant change from how it had been) without warning, then changed it back before crashing for a little while. When you’re just building your community, it can be a frustrating setback; when your Facebook community is over 300k strong, it can be a much larger problem. No matter which situation you’re in, the reminder is clear; when you operate a fan page on Facebook you’re subject to their whims – if they decide to make changes, those changes are going to be made whether they help you or hurt you – the decision is out of your hands.

Does that mean you should stop using Facebook? No – the advantages of having a  Facebook presence are still there – however, you should think twice before making it the hub of your online activities. I feel very strongly that you should always own your hub – it’s the only place where you have complete control over the experience, look and feel of things – hell, you can even make your own house rules!

Don’t get so wrapped up in the opportunity to expand your reach that you lose sight of common sense. Own your hub and it doesn’t matter which spokes you use; as you introduce new ones and stop using others, you’ve still got the security of a consistent place to engage, capture and convert.

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