While there are many lessons a small business should take away from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach, one stands out above all others: Never fall into the trap of thinking that a Facebook account or page can be your company’s home online. Your home online should be a website that has a domain name that you select, register and treat like it’s one of the most important assets your company has.
As we’ve noted many times, a Facebook page should be thought of as an account you have on a service that is owned and operated by someone other than you. It’s like a Twitter account or, to use a metaphor from olden days, an ad in the Yellow Pages. Also, as we’ve noted, you shouldn’t even consider a Facebook account as a means to reach your own customers unless you want to purchase promotional ads each time you post something you’d like your customers to see.
Facebook is not a ‘home’ for your business
Because it is so easy to set up and manage a business Facebook page, many small businesses are lulled into believing what Facebook says on the page above: that Facebook is a home for your business.
While a Facebook page is a good thing for most local and consumer-oriented businesses to have and use, Facebook is home to only one business: Facebook.
It is a means to market your business to a fraction of the people who have “liked” your page or you have purchased advertising to reach. Only a fraction of your customers will ever see an update you add to Facebook. However, all of your customers who come to your account page will see ads for other businesses embedded in your feed.
Again, we are not suggesting that you join any movement to #DeleteFacebook. Far from it. We have a page and we’re not taking it down.
All we are saying is this: Your company’s home online should be a website with a domain name of your very own. It should be the place you post things first. It’s the online place you should care for most.