Own Your Content – Blogging vs. Social Sites

Where are you focusing your efforts this year?

In the social world there has been much buzz around Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social properties for some time. The buzz has led business leaders to focus efforts on creating content for the audiences on each of the social channels.

The question is – should you be focusing your publishing efforts solely on channels you don’t own?

Blogging vs. Social Sites

Recently businesses seem to be gaining a grasp on how they can use Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites to generate buzz, leads, and sales. There are countless case studies of how businesses are successfully using social sites.

The other day, though, I was reading a great post by PR professional Adam Singer on his company’s blog: 3 Ideas For Social Media Content Creation Efficiency

The article is full of good tips on creating content, but one part stood out to me:

A self-hosted platform like a blog (or even company newsroom) provides benefits to your brand far beyond Micromedia like Twitter. Self-hosted publishing should be organized as a hub within efforts, with a focus of your time here.

The entire article is worth your time.

The idea of starting inbound marketing efforts with your blog is not new and Adam’s written about it before on his own blog.

I thought it would be beneficial to mention again how important it is to have your own publishing platform on your own site rather than starting the publishing efforts on other channels and properties.

Just today I came across two more examples of why it’s important to focus on blogging and not only social channels.

The first example is from a popular Chinese blogger. He had his Facebook account deleted without warning the other day.

Anti, a former journalist who has won fellowships at both Cambridge University and Harvard University, said he set up his Facebook account in 2007. By locking him out of his account, Facebook has cut him off from a network of more than 1,000 academic and professional contacts who know him as Anti, he said.

That’s right. Here today and gone tomorrow. All of effort, connections, and content lost.

Anti still has his own blog where he owns and manages the content. He isn’t completely at the mercy of the Facebook gods so he hasn’t lost everything.

But think about this happening to your business. When you focus much effort on someone else’s channel you are at their mercy. Get back some of that control by focusing on your own site and blog.

Beyond losing an account there are other reasons to walk carefully on social sites – downtime, rule changes, and other changes can happen without much notice or without any notice.

Blogging isn’t without its risks.

Google and search engines can block you for no apparent reason. It’s a good reason to have a good mix of traffic sources – something I’m constantly working on with all my blogs and sites.

The point of the article is that despite some risk – blogging is the place to start when you consider strategy for social, SEO, and customer acquisition.You can figure out how to work in sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others, but the focus should be on your own content assets.

Even research today shows blogging has great ROI.

What are your experiences with social sites and bringing in revenue?

Where does blogging rank in your company’s priority?

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