Many Black business owners mistake having a Facebook page for having an actual website. Facebook is the largest social media platform in history, so its easy to understand why everyone would want a piece of that. The problem arises when entrepreneurs rely on Facebook as their only professional online presence. This is a mistake for several reasons you may not have considered.
Facebook Is Pimping You
Facebook uses us users to generate advertiser revenue. Advertisers aren’t going to pay Facebook if no one sees those ads. Makes sense, right?
Here is where you come in: if Facebook was all ads, no one would use the platform. Ads have to be sandwiched in with content you are likely to see. That means Facebook needs you and me to create that content. Your videos, your posts, your memes, and your podcasts are all ‘ranked’ and shown by how likely it is that other people will see and like your content. Just as the more television you watch, the more commercials you will see, the more Facebook content people see, the more ads they will see.
Back in the days when newspapers were still relevant, journalists put in time and effort to create content to keep the public informed. Publishers took money from advertisers so they could pay the bills and help advertisers get their name out there.
Then, all of a sudden, Facebook comes along. “Friends” post a bunch of stories 24/7 from all over the world that they think you should know about. The people actually creating the content don’t own the distribution (Facebook) and are getting pimped out of advertising dollars.
Pimped, big time.
Instead of giving money to you as a business page owner for dropping dope content, Facebook makes you pay to increase your reach. That means you are working to create content and paying Facebook to get that content out there. Its a win-win for Facebook and a lose-lose for you.
Thats the very definition of pimpin’.
You Don’t Own Facebook
You probably already knew that, but think about what that really means:
If Facebook doesn’t like your content, they can secretly hide it. Anybody who has run a page knows this is true, but is powerless to stop it from happening (unless you pay to promote your posts).
If they really dont like your topic, they can suspend or delete your page. That means all that work you did to get your numbers up was for nothing. If you have been promoting your page all over the place, potential customers and clients will go looking for your page, wont find it, and will go elsewhere.
Facebook could crush you, your reputation, and your business with the push of a button because they can. Don’t let that happen.
So What Should Black Entrepreneurs Do?
Facebook should definitely be a part of every Black Business strategy (for now), but you must have a platform that you own and control. In other words, you need your own website. The only thing you should use Facebook for is finding your target market and sending them to your site as fast as possible. Facebook users have short attention and memory spans. A new post could pop up from their best friend and they are on to the next page. If you can get them to your site quickly, the only content in their face is yours.
Be sure to capture their email addresses when they get to your site and you are guaranteed to have a captive audience, no matter what Facebook does on their end.