A few days ago, I had dinner with some friends. I told them about our NGO and the services we offer. As far as start-ups and training are concerned, most of them have joined. But when I told them about the free website hosting offer, they had a bit of a bug. But why would you do that ? There’s Facebook, right ? There was another one who added: I don’t know much about it, but a site is not too complicated ?
I was shocked, I’m still shocked
At the limit, I could have understood if such comments came from a guy who sits on a sidewalk all day hoping to get alms. But when it comes out of the mouths of friends with whom I had gone to university together, it shocks me.
The first question that came to mind: but when did our paths or, at the limit, our ways of thinking take such contradictory paths ? Or maybe we haven’t really taken the same notes or heard the same things from our teachers ? In any case, the facts are there. If some of the « Avara-pi », as the Malagasy say to intellectuals, say such nonsense, what about the others ?
Facebook is still crazy…
Yes, Facebook is the trend in Madagascar right now. And paradoxically, the Malagasy people were able to use it very quickly as a tool to earn money without even taking lessons or anything.
I remember, however, that 3 or 4 years ago, European communications agencies did not hesitate to charge a high price for training so that a company could make money with social networks. But in our country, in the land of « Moramora », it’s a bit like the world upside down. There are even stores and boutiques that started this way, selling items on Facebook.
I think this is crazy because I think that social networks can certainly contribute to sales, but more in terms of a communication tool.
Yes, I’ve heard your arguments, but…
But not friends. I will give you a very concrete example. Taking public transport is convenient. But having your own car is even better. The bus, you don’t take it home, you don’t control anything. It is another person who drives the vehicle for you. If the driver is drunk, slow, driving with two left feet, you can’t do anything about it.
So when you tell me that you will base all your digital communications and Internet presence solely on social networks, I will think about it two or three times even if I were in your place. If there is ever a problem with these networks, what would you do ? Worse still, if they are ever closed or their servers go off… goodbye visibility ?
Website = freedom
At least I recognize one thing. You have understood the importance of having a digital presence and visibility on the Internet. So your cases are not lost. You have understood that for a company, even for any organization, it is important to have visibility.
That said, having your own website means first of all taking yourself seriously in the eyes of customers first and foremost, but also in the eyes of business partners. A prospect will be more sensitive to a company with its own domain name than to a company with a social network name as the root of its page.
It is also disturbing to your business partners. Put yourself in their places. Many do not like the idea or even block access to social networks during office hours. So how do you intend to remedy this if you ever want to present your products to them, for example ?
Yes, a website requires a minimum investment, if only in terms of design and hosting. But it also shows your customers that you are ready to invest in making your companies and products more visible and accessible as well.
With your own site, you will not be limited in the information you want to provide. On social networks, you are required to submit to the site’s layout and structure and to comply with the space allocated to publications. Having your own website means having the freedom to modify absolutely everything, from the location of the menu to the choice of colours…
And there, if you still like social networks as much as ever, you can always add a little sharing button…
See also → What are the causes of the failure of Malagasy start-ups ?