Why blogs still matter in the age of Facebook
With Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and many other forms of social media now on our radar, do we need to be blogging anymore?
In the beginning, there were blogs. Well, not really. But for my illustrative purposes, the first meaningful way that businesses were able to reach a wider audience and create a community with their clients and potential clients online was through web logging (or blogging). We all embraced the ability to easily and quickly create content to interact with our audience, and hopefully start a conversation that would build trust, and eventually sales.
Then came other forms of social media, and particularly Facebook, which provided an easier platform to communicate quickly (and hey – you were already on there anyway checking your friends’ status and photos). The viral aspect of Facebook meant that you could reach a larger audience, as your Liker’s interactions with your business page appeared on their newsfeeds for all their friends to see.
So! With the benefits of being easy to use, viral and addictive, the poor old blog goes by the wayside. Should you revive the blog and split your time, or just pack it in altogether for shiny Facebook?
I believe that dividing your time and dedicating resources to both blogging and Facebook will reap the best long-term rewards for your business for a number of reasons:
Facebook is well known for changing both the design and the functionality of the site on a regular basis. The latest change sees Facebook business pages appearing only in a limited number of Liker newsfeeds, based on an unknown algorithm of user interaction. To promote your business Facebook updates to your full Liker base, you are now required to pay a 3-day advertising fee. These type of changes can have a huge effect on a small business that relies entirely on Facebook for outbound communication.
Writing content (status updates, comments, notes) on Facebook creates a whole slew of valuable keywords for the social media platform. Those keywords are beneficial to attract users searching on Facebook, but even more beneficial when on your own website, to harness the users searching on the major search engines. My rule of thumb is to keep the majority of content on your own site, and add teasers and summaries to Facebook and other social media. Search is still the most important acquisition tool in most of our marketing tool kits.
Currency and Credibility
Updating your blog on your own website keeps your content fresh – an important indicator of credibility for search engine ranking. Users also attribute credibility to businesses that are represented with a professionally-managed website, rather than just a social media presence.
You have complete control over how your content on your website is displayed, and the ability to change it to suit your business needs. You don’t have this control over content that is uploaded to Facebook, which could prove a branding issue. Additionally, as the platform changes, your content may not always be optimised for the new functionality.
So yes, blogs are still important in the age of Facebook, but social media platforms are also valuable for their viral benefits, ease of use, and community-building capability. Have you noticed a drop in comments on your blog as comments on your Facebook page have sky-rocketed? Community may in fact be the strongest advantage of using Facebook, and one worth investing time in. The trick is in finding the balance. As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this too.
P.S. I help small businesses navigate their way through digital media through my consulting business Bondville Media.