I’m going to use an analogy for this. Stay with me.
I want you to pretend for a moment.
Suppose you have a store, one of those little independent hardware type stores. A family store. Not too big. A community store. Your not rich off the store but do O.K.
Then one day Tim Hortons opens and they decide that they’re going to change things up. Tim Hortons announces that they are giving away their brewed coffee FOR FREE. Tea and Lattes: FREE. Iced Capps: FREE. but there are some catches; some rules:
- You have to sign this long, long, boring Terms-Of-Service Agreement saying we’re not liable, your not liable bla, bla, bla. Let’s just get a free drink. Sign here, have a free drink there.
- People are allowed to bring there stuff to sell inside the Tim Hortons Store.
- Your only allowed to leave with one cup of coffee
So quickly people realize that Tim Hortons is the place to sell stuff since everyone is there getting free coffee anyway. Soon Tim Hortons is like a mall. Everyone is there buying stuff and drinking free coffee! Why don’t YOU put your hardware in Tim Hortons?? You keep the store but put up a booth at Tim Hortons. Timmies even helps you do it. What’s even better is that Tim Hortons has everyone hand out their coffee at each booth. So, you have a booth at the Tim Hortons mall with their coffee right there beside the checkout. Awesome. Customers are happy.
Later you hear that Tim Hortons is taking the cups out of the trash and collecting DNA samples from each persons cup. What? Why? Who cares. Free Ice Caps and sales are good since everyone is here. At. Tim. Hortons.
Then you hear that Tim Hortons is taking the security camera footage and giving it to the government. What? Who cares. Free Coffee. And they add free Donuts!
Then someone tells your that inside that Terms-Of-Service Agreement you never read, there’s a section that says everything you bring into the store to sell is actually owned by Tim Hortons. Now that’s crazy talk. Tim Hortons has never asked to be paid and you’ve taken stuff out of booth and back to your store without any problem. It can’t be true. But still, you never read the Terms-Of-Service Agreement.
This whole time you’ve had the booth at the Time Hortons mall sales are good except Tim Hortons decides to stop making the dark roast blend. It so happens that most of your customers are Dark Roast fans, and they’re not happy.
The next week Tim Hortons starts to charge for the Cream filled donut. Again your customers are not impressed and blame you. But they come back. It seems like every week there is something that changes with the free stuff. It’s just that nobody ever asks you. It just happens and you have no control.
Someone tells you that your store keeps getting customers who want stuff but your not stocking it properly. People want to go to your store but can’t find it. The advertising is done by Tim Hortons who could care less about your store. The booth inside THEIR big mall is what they advertise. There’s actually a bunch of people who only want to buy from your store because they don’t want their DNA to be sampled and sold to genetics labs (what? is that why they do that? crazy) These people won’t go to Tim Hortons, or your booth.
Do I need to spell it out?
Tim Hortons = Facebook
Store = Your website
Booth = your facebook page
But I hear you scream ‘The web is all about Social Links!’
Okay, as a web developer, I do understand the importance of building social links. [Fresh] links are one of the major ways that you get ranked in the search engines (Google). You can still do all this from your own website. A blog post is the same as a status update – only you still own and control the images on your site. If you are serious about increasing your link ranking I actually would recommend a Facebook page (and Google Plus and ALL the social sites). All you need is a postcard-webpage with all the links directing back to one site – your domain name. There are even tools that will automatically update all of your social feeds when you make a blog posting on your domain.