The Internet is so littered with Like buttons that a brief outage at Facebook resulted in thousands of websites redirecting their own visitors to an error page on Facebook. Well, that can’t be good for business.
Some sites go so far as to use a comment plugin from a third party social networking site, losing control over the comments appearing on their own website. Of course, that means the site owner has no ability to deal with issues that might arise, leading to poor customer service.
Those Inbound links from small business sites create lots of traffic for the social networking sites to sell to their advertisers. That’s very good for the social networking sites, but the value provided to the small business owner is at least questionable.
In real life, no small business owner would send a customer in their store to a separate business somewhere else to find out what good things other customers are saying about them. They would simply tell the customer what people are saying. They might even print some signs showing their rating from that other business, but they would never send a customer away.
Lookupbook recently began a social networking campaign, the purpose of which is to drive traffic to our sites from the social networking sites. To accomplish that, we offer lots of links from those social sites to content on our sites, but no links from our sites to content on others. Maybe we won’t have a lot of followers, and maybe we won’t have as many Likes, but our sites’ visitors will remain on our sites, which is where we have the greatest opportunity for sales.
Business isn’t about making friends, and it isn’t about having an envious reputation. It’s about making money. Socializing and developing your reputation can be an important part of developing a customer base from which to make money. Social networking can be an important part of that, however, only when your suppliers begin accepting Likes for payment should you allow the social value of your customers to exceed the business value of your customers.
About The Author
Richard Draucker is the founder and CEO of Lookupbook Publishing which operates the Lookupbook New Business Directory, the leading Internet directory for new business startups and incorporations.