Why a Serious Business Should Not Make Facebook its Main Web Presence

One of my clients (a corporate) recently hatched a plan to shift their main web presence to Facebook. Not smart, I suggested – here’s why:

You’re basically renting. You don’t control your content and you can only add content that Facebook approves of.

More than that, you’re building out content on Zuckerberg’s site, which benefits him, not you, and he can take your page down whenever the mood takes him.

An example that happened some time ago:

I’ve had a Facebook page for a while as part of my Social Media efforts and the number of Likes, Views and Interactions has grown steadily.

But about a week and a half ago I suddenly found that I couldn’t access it from within my Facebook account.

Clicking the ‘Adverts and Pages’ link took me to a page on which I could set up Ads, but there was no link to my Page.

Knowing that things frequently change on FB and then revert to normal, I left it for a couple of days and, sure enough, it fixed itself.

Now able to access my page again, I tried to reply to a comment someone left, and was told that I wasn’t authorized to do so.

So I left that for a couple of days too and then, wanting to be able to reply to my commenters, I clicked on the ‘help’ link to see how to fix this.

Here’s what happened:

Step 1: I clicked the help link, which took me to a screen with some FAQ’s and a box in which to type my query.

Step 2: I typed my query, hit ‘search’ and was presented with a series of answers, none of which addressed my problem.

Step 3: At the bottom it asked me if I had found what I was looking for. I clicked ‘No’.

Step 4: I got a message: ‘Thank you for your feedback! Why wasn’t this helpful?’ and a series of links.

Step 5: I clicked the link that said ‘It doesn’t answer my question’.

Step 6: I got a reply ‘Thank you for your feedback!’.

And that was it. Nothing else. How frustrating is that..!!??

Moral of the story

Anyway, it perfectly illustrates the point I made to my client.

If your company wants a professional web presence it must be on your own domain where you control the content and access to it.

Making Facebook (or any third-party-run site) your primary web presence is high risk because you do not control it.

What happened to me is an irritant – little more. But if it was my primary web presence I’d be sweating kittens.

Facebook is famous for changing its policies and then changing them back again. Putting your corporate web presence in the hands of people who can kill it off overnight is simply not smart.

Apart from which, a corporate web presence on a site like Facebook is good for managing reputation and doing the social media bit, but it’s hardly a professional web address.

And, to those who have commented (or may comment) on my FB page, I apologise for not replying – but at the moment I’m apparently not authorized to do so :).


Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • nelley Oct 15, 2010 @ 14:25

    Agreed! I’m creating an internet marketing mix for a small business and I’m in the stages of deciding how to use a facebook page. I think its a great extension on a website as its like a live blog with an interactive comment/feedback forum but never, Never, NEVER would I rest my entire business on a facebook page.

    keep the great tips coming! 😉

    • Martin Oct 15, 2010 @ 15:51

      I just got re-authorised to comment on my own page, all without any human intervention (that I know of, anyway).

      I agree with you about the extension to my sites, and I prefer it to Twitter because I have more space. It’s like a remote blog.



  • Marc Oct 20, 2010 @ 9:26

    For someone like me doing the due diligence in prep. for an e-business presence on FB, this was a solid reminder of the perspective to keep big the social media portals in. Martin, when the rest of your customers realize they can count on you to share the gnarly stuff to watch out for, as well as the great, easier moments and resources, they’ll lend an even closer ear, I’m sure. Thanks for not being another IM tutor constantly just offering all-things pumped-up and sugar coated! This frank approach will help us reach our goals faster.

    • Martin Oct 21, 2010 @ 8:24

      Hi Marc,

      You’re very welcome – I fell for all the hype and BS some years ago and determined (after I got over it) to make sure that anyone entering this business realises it’s a business (if they want to be successful).

      That means it will require work and you’ll have set backs and frustrations – just like you do in achieving anything that’s worth achieving 🙂

      All the very best with developing your business and make sure you keep on keeping on.



  • jennifer@ voip mpls Oct 21, 2010 @ 5:22

    It’s critical to be able to control your own web site! Plus, even though Google likes facebook pages, not having your own domain makes it very hard to do SEO. It makes much more sense to run a site on your own domain and then link to your Facebook page as a secondary promotional method.

    • Martin Oct 21, 2010 @ 8:25

      Hi Jennifer,

      I couldn’t have put it better myself !