I’ve been away from blogging for a long time, but after redesigning the site I’ve started up again. While I maintain a Facebook Business page, for the long term I think maintaining a blog is a better long term strategy for sharing information and for cultivating followers. Here are five reasons why.
I Control Who Sees Content – Not that I have a huge number of followers (in fact, my follower numbers are small), but Facebook through it’s EdgeRank algorithm only shares your content with a portion of followers. Even if it shared my content with 50% of the people who like my page, the other half don’t see the update. Plus the 50% that do see it, will only see the post if it passes in their NewsFeed at the right time. By blogging, it’s entirely up to me how I choose to promote my content.
Facebook’s Love Hate Relationship With Small Business – At times, small business owners aren’t sure whether or not likes them. Facebook regularly bites the hand that feeds it. User generated content still is the primary source of posts on Facebook, but since the IPO it has de-prioritized content from small businesses. It regularly changes the size of visual elements on pages, forcing small business owners to take the time generate new images and layouts or risk looking outdated.
By increasingly favoring paid advertisers over the small businesses that popularized pages, Facebook is making it harder for a small business owner to justify the time spent on managing their page. Because Facebook owns the platform, they can do what they want.
Writing Good Content Helps You, Not Facebook – There are SEO advantages to publishing the content on my website. By having the content directly on my site, I’m helping my search engine ranking by having new, fresh content. Of course, it can be shared on Facebook and other social networks to help get the word out and creating additional inbound links. Think about it: which would you prefer, your blog post becoming viral and people coming to your site, or a Facebook post going viral and driving traffic there?
Your Blog Commands Attention – Facebook is like the all you can eat Chinese Food buffet, there’s always something else that catches your eye. By drawing visitors to my site, I can better control their experience and demonstrate my expertise without distraction. Compare this with Facebook, where your business post has to compete with a virtual goat farm or the latest cat video. By having the content on my website, visitors are more likely to spend time browsing other items on my site. Time on site and bounce rate are indicators that are tracked in Google Analytics and again are things that help determine search ranking.
Blog Posts Last Longer – What was your favorite Facebook post last week? If you can remember it, how do you go back and find it? Blog posts have a longer lifespan. By having them on your site, you can share links with customers and clients. You can reference topics you have discussed previously and link to them to reinforce your point. Your visitors are able to search for older posts by looking through your archives and find the information that they need. The typical Facebook post has a shelf life of a few hours, as social bookmarking and curation sites such as Pinterest, Flipboard, Delicious and Evernote continue to grow in popularity, your content becomes an archived resource for many readers.
Certainly, I’ve go no plans for abandoning Facebook anytime soon. It is and will likely remain an important part of staying in front of current and potential customers. However, like many other small business owners, marketing my business is just one of many things I have to do. With limited time, I expect I’ll be investing more of it blogging and building the value my of site, rather than providing content to build Facebook.