Social media can be a powerful tool for business. It can generate new customers, sales, and traffic to your website. But it shouldn’t be relied on as the end-all-be-all for your business operations online. Why? Because when you put your business on Facebook, guess who has control over your business. If you guessed Facebook, you’d be correct.
In this article, we cover an example of a business owner who relied too heavily on Facebook and ultimately lost her business because of that over-reliance. This is the same story with any other social media platform. When referring to Facebook in this article, you can plug in any other platform and the same point will apply.
How Facebook Cost Brandi Temple Her Company
Brandi Temple launched a successful children’s clothing company, Lolly Wolly Doodle, in 2010, operating solely on social media for sales. The company was able to take direct orders in the Facebook News Feed, and business was great.
But in 2014, Facebook suddenly changed its algorithms, which caused a 50% drop in sales for Lolly Wolly Doodle. The board panicked, brought in a new company president, and looked to change the direction of the business. Ultimately, because Temple and the board had a different vision for the company, she sold to a private equity firm in 2017.
Brandi Temple might have had her own takeaways from the experience, but the trouble all began with her over-reliance on Facebook sales. If she had had a premium domain set up for sales with a strong customer base, Facebook’s sales change wouldn’t have drastically affected her business, and she may still be in control of her company today.
This is not to say that business owners should sware off social media completely. Social media is a great supplement to a professional domain, but it’s just that – a supplement. It’s a tool that should be used to bring people to your website. It should never be used as the foundation of your business, as shown by the story of Brandi Temple.
Instead, the foundation of your business should be a high-quality domain name:
Domains Provide Control
With Facebook, you simply lack control over your data and the way customers interact with your business.
- Facebook determines the tracking analytics you can access. This can make it difficult for understanding your customers’ habits and generating leads. With your own website, you can much more easily access and analyze your data.
- Facebook changes its algorithms regularly. This means that one day, a large percentage of your followers might stop seeing your posts in their feed for reasons dictated by Facebook.
Domains Provide Broader Access
Relying on Facebook (or any other social media platform) is a great way to lose access to a huge chunk of potential customers. Not everyone has a Facebook account, and many Facebook pages hide content from visitors who are not logged into an account. If one of your potential customers has to sign in to access your content, you will have instantly lost their business. Buying a quality domain bypasses the leverage Facebook will have over you as well.
With millennials and Gen Z increasingly leaving Facebook, this problem will only get worse.
Domains Provide Legitimacy
When searching for a business online, studies show that users trust companies with high-quality websites. Potential customers want to be able to find your website, find what they are looking for within your website, and learn about what the company stands for. A cookie-cutter Facebook page doesn’t communicate to potential customers what sets one business apart from another.
Domains Enhance Your Brand
With your own domain name, you have complete control over the look and feel, webpage design, etc. With your own webpage, you decide exactly what your customers see and experience when they visit your business.
With your own website, you can give your customers a unique experience tailored to your exact business needs.
Let’s close this article with a little story.
Imagine you and your best friend are looking for new restaurants to try in your area. When you find a restaurant on Google that looks promising, the first thing you might do is check their menu. If you click the menu button and it takes you to a Facebook page, this is what might happen:
“Hey, I can’t look at their menu… I don’t have Facebook. Do you?” your friend asks.
“Yeah, give me a second – I’m being asked to log in. I haven’t used Facebook in forever… OkayI’m looking now, but I can’t find where the menu is on their page. Let’s look for another place,” you reply.
In this story, the restaurant lost potential business because Facebook provided barriers to entry and a poorly designed user interface.
If you would like to start making the transition from reliance on social media to a premium domain, please contact us. We would be happy to help you make the first step, then introduce you to other vendors who can do the rest.