As more brands and businesses are creating mini-sites eg Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages etc, it is interesting to see which sites are being promoted on TV, in magazines and on billboards. Should you be promoting your Facebook page above your main website?

This is very obvious with programmes such as those which make up ITV Daytime, which regularly promote the Facebook pages above the key domain of itv.com. Is this a wise move? Surely all this is doing is spreading your potential audience around a number of mini-sites?

It is noticeable that the number of fans to the mini-sites is a mere fraction of those you would expect for a brand such as ITV, and whilst it may bring eyeballs to the wall of the mini-site, it is surely the comprehensive information on the main website that users should be directed to?

For brands who sell online, this dilution of the brand can only mean one thing – a reduction in sales. If all that matters is brand recognition and awareness then the Facebook page is valid, but directing traffic to the Facebook page before the main domain can only be detrimental. Unless, however, you are using Facebook credits. TimeWarner has recently adopted this sales technique, allowing people to pay using Facebook Credits and download movies.

However, many companies have not adopted Facebook credits, and one would ask why any company would give away a slice of their profits to the social networking site when they could retain a far higher percentage of the sales simply by directing users to the main website.

So, a better strategy would be to direct all advertising and promotion (including internet marketing) to the main domain, and then make the Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook a prominent feature of every page of your main domain. For instance, ITV has introduced ITV Connect, which shows on a single page how to interact with each different programme, or genre such as sport.

Making it a simple task for anyone interested in your social media output to follow you means you should get the best of both worlds.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology