Facebook page vs. websites; Guy vs. Todd

Guy Kawasaki, American venture capitalist and ...
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I’ve been following industry oracle Guy Kawasaki for over 25 years and I agree with him almost all of the time. He was right about the Mac, he’s right about Posterous and he’s right about Alltop. He’s right about so many things. When he speaks, I take notes. This time, however, I take issue…

He posted a recent article on the topic of Facebook pages recently and this is one of the rare times I need to take issue…

“Q: I’m a small business entrepreneur, and I’ll be introducing a consumer product soon. Should I create a website for my company or a Facebook fan page?

A: I faced a similar question a few weeks ago for my book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. I had three options: create a site for the book, add a section for the book to my existing website, or create a Facebook fan page.

After five minutes of thoughtful deliberation, I decided to add a bare-bones section to my website (which I haven’t gotten around to do yet—which should tell you something) and create a Facebook fan page but not to create a website for the book. Here’s why I did not choose a website:” Source: Ask the Wise Guy: Facebook Fan Page or Website? : The World :: American Express OPEN Forum

Guy goes on to elucidate 4 reasons why he did not choose a website and 8 reasons why he chose a Facebook page along with 3 potential ‘gotchas’ — go to the source and read the entire article if you’d like…

Here’s where Guy and I part thinking. In business, the answer is rarely either/or. Frequently it’s both/and. Guy’s advice is great for someone launching a product or a book, but it’s not really great long term advice for an entrepreneur launching a company. As a short term strategy I recommend that entrepreneurs buy a domain, set up Google Apps and create a Facebook page. Google Apps will give them the ability to send corporate email from their domain and their domain name can be temporarily directed toward their Facebook page until they build a blogsite. This will give them a total ‘appearance package’ that will allow them to look professional immediately while they contemplate their website and further social media strategy and tactics…

On this issue I side with author Lisa Barone who recently posted…

“Brace yourself: Facebook is trying to take over the world. Or, if not the world, at least the entire Internet. With Facebook partnering up with popular sites like Yelp, many SMB owners may feel as if their load got lighter. I mean, why waste time worrying about your building your blog or your own site when you can grow your Facebook presence instead? If Facebook’s opening up the doors so that people can take you with them, you don’t have to worry about anything else anymore, right?


It doesn’t matter how hot Facebook or any of the other social media sites are looking right now. You still need to be focused on using your blog to create your own authority and brand.” Source: 10 Reasons Not To Ignore Your Blog For Facebook

Reason #1 she cites? “You don’t own Facebook”…

The problem with Facebook from my perspective is that you’re not only a renter, you’re a free renter and you can expect all the rights and privileges thereof. In other words, you have no rights on Facebook — not even privacy. You use it at your own risk. Facebook can — and has — made major changes to their technology without notice or recourse. Using a Facebook page is a great place for an entrepreneur to start but not to stay. I agree with Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse and other internet visionaries who propose an internet ‘homebase and outpost‘ strategy that puts a blog at the center of your online presence. The key is that you have to own that presence and be ‘master of your domain’ name and internet brand…

In the future, these homebases may become less important as more people understand the wisdom of David Sauter and his team at Envano. Their ‘autobahn’ model describes a future where a website becomes less important as a company embraces appropriate social media tools to build their internet presence, but the lack of an ‘easy button’ or unified social media dashboard makes this more of a future vision than a present reality…

Guy, I love you, your thought leadership and your content, but just this once I think your Q&A might have done the reader a disservice. Readers? Questions? Feedback? Please comment, call or use the contact form to connect so we can talk about how this applies to your business…

5 thoughts on “Facebook page vs. websites; Guy vs. Todd

  1. Depending on your needs, Facebook is a great answer. I agree that you need to spread yourself out over all social media, as well as possibly have a .com site. If you are an e-tailer, you surely need a site in addition to social media (well, until FB really gets e-tailing right).

    We all know that each of your sites feed off of the other; if you can get action on one “outpost”, it should spill over to the others. Cross promote – cast out many lines (T.L.)!

    You definitely need to have control over your brand online and “handing” that control over to anyone other than yourself (i.e. FB) could be devastating if access is ever adjusted…


  2. Todd, thanx for the plug. I will comment that you both have it right. Guy is talking about a book by him so it rightfully fits under his brand and site. Then FB is a great addition. I am also on board for your path for a new or small business with limited resources. 1) Google Apps to establish brand tools 2) FB Fanpage for a fast place to point your domain and engage your clients and prospects 3) then a BlogSite or even traditional site that solidifies your brand and market position, also essential for a real Search Engine strategy. The challenge is the Blogsite tends to get bogged down in decisions and thus slowed so get the Fanpage up and running and on the map!

    Also, then don’t forget the rest of The Interactive Eco-System, many opportunities to get in front of your targeted folks!

    Cheers, David Sauter, Envano


    1. Yup. Guy got it right for a book — I was just concerned that he would give
      a small business owner the wrong impression that that was all he needed.
      btw, I hope you’re on board with fb as a short term website strategy — it
      came out of discussions with you!


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