Most gurus (and real people too) will tell you that you’ve go to maximize your online presence with social media. And that’s true as far as it goes. But it’s only part of the story. So here are my words of caution:
Never build your empire on someone else’s property.
Facebook is not yours. Neither is Google+, Twitter, Linkedin, or WordPress.com
Yes, they are all great tools, but have you noticed something? They change the rules constantly. (Especially Facebook) One day anyone can have a “fan page,” the next, only people with 10,000 fans can have one. And then they change it back again the following week.
And why not? It’s their turf after all. They can do whatever they want. Willy-nilly.
For example, Facebook recently extended the ability to pay to promote posts to fan pages as well as personal pages. And while the rumors that this is mandatory if you want your fans to see your posts seems to be unfounded for the moment, there’s no doubt about it that if you pay, your posts will be much more prominent in your fan’s news feed.
Now I’m not bashing FB or any other online social mecca. Like I said, their game, their rules.
The point is, your online strategy should always point your audience back to your own website and so they can start receiving regular direct communication from you (i.e. emails, newsletters, blog post on your site, etc.)
Those 500 or 5,000 fans that liked your page? Get them to sign up for a free offer on your website and thereby get permission to add them to your list and contact them more directly.
That way you won’t be caught completely off guard if Mark Zuckerberg suddenly decides that all businesses must pay to play on Facebook. It could happen.