Imagine you had spent the last twelve months developing a huge following on Facebook.
You had created a great community of like minded people, highly engaged in the subject of your choice and your Facebook group had thousands of active daily users.
Great ! But, what if Facebook went away ? What if Facebook changed their rules, changed their algorithms ? What if Mark Zuckerberg pressed the wrong button ?
What would you do ?
You have zero control over what happens.
Now imagine you have your own website, your own customers. You have their email addresses. You have your own products you can sell to them. You can contact them when and how you like. YOU are in control. The only thing you have to do is keep paying your hosting every month. (see Hosting for bargain unlimited packages) and renew your domain name every year or so.
What ever happened to MySpace, Bebo, Friends Reunited ? They all went away. So don’t think it wont happen.
When Facebook first introduced the Page, businesses could make a post on their page and everyone who followed them would see that post in their feed. This was a great way for businesses to contact their customers (or at least people who had shown an interest in their brand) for FREE.
Facebook eventually realised that users were not happy with constantly seeing businesses trying to sell to them in their newsfeed, so they made it harder. They changed their algorithm, and in part changed the way businesses could interact with their followers.
Instead of a business being able to contact 100% of their followers they were now down to around 10%. Businesses who had spent time and more importantly money trying to gain as many followers as possible where now forced to pay again to reach their followers, by creating ads.
Dont get me wrong, I dont think this is a matter of greed or something on the part of Facebook, they are of course a company themselves, and their number one KPI is not money in the bank, profit or even growth, but user satisfaction. They want happy users, and if users want less ads in their feeds then thats what Facebook will give them.
Now Facebook, and Google before it, now have enough data on us, they can target ads to a microscopic level of detail. Do you like lemon cheesecake ? Yes ? then businesses can now target users who like lemon cheesecake and you will see an ad from someone selling lemon cheesecake. This is good not just for the advertisers but also for the users, as the ads they now see would be of interest to them.
But, what we need to remember is, we can use Facebook for advertising to people who like lemon cheesecake, but what we need those people to do is buy lemon cheesecake from us, so we steer them towards our website (lemoncheesecake.com ?) and sell them some of our creamy wares.
Without the website, without control over the buying experience, we cannot sell our cheesecake.
You cannot have an online business without your own website.
Why not start today. Grab some bargain web hosting, register a domain name, open an online store and get selling.
Please feel free to comment.