It was interesting to read the other day that The Guardian newspaper has decided to kill off it’s Facebook newspaper app, deciding instead to use Facebook to drive traffic to that content on its own website. I think we’re going to be seeing this happening a lot more over the coming months.
It’s something I’ve been preaching about for a long time. It pains me when I see companies who post a substantial amount of content on social media sites instead of publishing it on their own sites.
This is particularly true of websites that use plugins such as the Facebook comments plugin which enables people to comment on articles or blogs using Facebook. When comments are post like this, the comments belong to Facebook and not to the website where the comments are made. Why give valuable content away to a third party?
Temporary Social Boost
These tools are great for getting some instant gratification in the form of traffic from the likes of Facebook and Twitter but after the moment has passed the content no longer appears in people’s news feeds and is more or less lost forever.
The benefit of the share is generally only temporary.
Wouldn’t it be a much better idea to ensure that that content remains on your own website for search engines to discover and potentially continue to drive traffic to your website for weeks, months and even years later? Of course it would.
Social media websites should be used to simply share your content, not to publish your valuable content on them; YouTube being the exception as it’s very expensive to host videos. But this is particularly true of Facebook who are making it increasingly difficult for businesses to get a free presence in users’ news feeds.
So don’t give away your content. It’s the most valuable thing you have as a website owner and it can work for you for many months down the road.