What is Your True Homepage?

Your Internet is changing – do you realize this?  The days of ending your broadcast commercials with, “visit us on the web at www.yourexample.com” are over.  Next time you’re at Subways and you look at the napkin with their URL printed so nicely under the nutritional information say goodbye to classic website promotion.  Soon it will say, “Become a fan on Facebook for special offers” or “Follow us on Twitter @Subways.”  The “www” is gone – finally.  You’ve seen this evolution of the Internet before – years ago I can remember sitting with colleagues of mine at SportsLine.com, discussing this very subject.  We made wild predictions that home phones would become obsolete because your personalized URL would become your new form of voice and data communication with friends, business partners, and family.  We theorized that the computer monitor would replace the television screen…instead of watching the football game on TV, we would log into our fantasy sports account, watch the game on our media player, and talk trash with friends as the game is being played…almost there, aren’t we?

Consider the question above.  Mashable recently reported about US Weekly selling a sponsor ad on their Facebook page.  Think about what US Weekly is really doing…they are actually circumventing Facebook from any ad share.

 

Not only that, they are making an impression/click and user engagement promise to State Farm on the effectiveness of their Facebook page OUTSIDE their own website, using Facebook analytics tools. 

 If you refer back to my blog post on the “Who Controls the Marketing ‘Asset’,” you will see that US Weekly just might be treading on dangerous waters.  We as marketers have to ask ourselves where we want to drive the user.  The purpose of our homepage is to answer the question of who we are and what we do…and to create a comfort level so that users understand our purpose on the web.  But if we drive users primarily to monetized social media outlets, how much credibility and purpose are we putting on our own website, and specifically, our homepage?  I have a client who is engaged in an offline social club offer – where members play poker at a local bar.  We absolutely put a sponsor ad on their Facebook page (at the bottom long before US Weekly).  However, our strategy includes utilizing the Facebook page as an extension of the overall website.  Our goal is to drive users from the AllInFreePoker site over to Facebook so that members can use a social platform for communication and discussion.  I become concerned when I see a media outlet such as US Weekly putting a sponsor on their Facebook page.  This suggests an opposite, and ultimately contradictory approach by using Facebook as a way to drive users to a website.  Without the proper “mousetraps” on a Facebook page, they are setting themselves up for failure…using Facebook in this way will undoubtedly result in the cannibalization of their website advertising revenue programs.   

Originally Posted on Big Couch Media