Domain names will continue to be important in a company’s branding and image said Sedo’s Tim Schumacher on day one of the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna last Thursday. However there are alternative means of promoting a company or brand such as social networking services, said Sabine Hoffman from marketing company ambuzzador, that can be complementary to using a domain name.The panel discussion was a feature of day one of the annual Domain Pulse conference, Europe’s most important annual domain name conference. The conference was attended by 350 people (out of 480 applications for the free tickets) from around the world, but mostly Austria, Germany and Switzerland, learned from and networked among their peers.Also on the panel was Christian Kallenberg, chief editor of FHM magazine in Germany, who ditched the domain name for FHM Germany and now relies entirely on promoting the magazine through Facebook. Kallenberg says this move has been very successful, and much more successful than using a website with the magazine’s own domain name. And much cheaper.However this method was not supported by Schumacher and Hoffman. Questions were raised as there is a lack of control over how you can project your brand online. For example, Facebook, Twitter or another social networking site may introduce charges in the future that could relate to the number of friends or people ‘liking’ the page. Should this happen, the business may or may not be up for a considerable fee. Hoffman wondered what would happen if Facebook introduced a charge of $1 per friend on Facebook.Additional problems could be changes in terms and conditions, the introduction of strict regulation of sales such as proposed last week by Apple for sale through applications, the loss of popularity of the social networking site or even the collapse of the website.Hoffman believed that using Facebook was a good idea, but should be used in conjunction with a domain name and website, redirecting from your company website to Facebook through an address such as facebook.brandname.at.