This year the evolution of the content battle between Facebook and the wider internet will continue with pace. With the release of Instant Articles last year Facebook made the move to provide content solely through its own platform. So does the traditional website still stand a chance or is social media becoming our ‘Internet’?
Today we all view content on our smart phones, with the majority of us having said goodbye to desktop completely or using it only for work purposes. With the ever growing popularity of social media, content providers are being challenged to look at how they can deliver their content to their audience where and when they want it.
American newspaper, The Washington Post, announced last year that they will be posting 100% of their news stories using the new Facebook platform, simply because ‘that’s where their audience are’ – publishers closer to home are also following suit, with BBC News, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail all signing on the dotted line to take advantage of Instant Articles.
The Chronicle pushes the majority of their articles onto their Facebook feed for the same reason. The newspaper has almost 120,000 likes on Facebook, more than their total readership and they have increasing numbers who only consume their stories on Facebook.
The trend isn’t solely reserved for Facebook with content providers looking at other popular social media platforms and how content can be delivered to a large existing audience. MTV and the DailyMail.com partnered with Snapchat last year to provide in app content directly to its users through ‘Discovery’. With the latest stats showing Snapchat videos are viewed 7 billion times a day you can’t really blame them!
So does that mean that the traditional website isdead? Or do we continue to treat social media as just one part of a wider digital platform?
Certainly delivering content through social media is a high priority for large content providers ensuring choice for their audiences. At the other end of the scale there are many small businesses using Facebook combined with other social media as their only online presence. There is no doubt Facebook is producing products and services in attempt to extend its reach beyond what we may understand as a social media platform, not only in terms of delivering content but in how it helps businesses interact with their audience/customers and how they transact online.
However, I think that the best approach for most businesses is to run a Facebook profile (and other social media accounts) alongside your own website. Your Facebook content may replicate that of your website or be tailored specifically towards your Facebook audience. In some instances, Facebook may not be a valid channel to push your products or services directly but it can be used to promote your business in other ways i.e. to give an insight into office life to help with recruitment, or to advertise charity events, etc…
It is more important than ever to understand your audience, produce content that is relevant to them and make it accessible to them through the platform of their choice. Although Facebook is making inroads into what a website of your own can deliver, we believe they serve different purposes both of which add value to your business and its footprint online.
We’re always posting on our social media platforms, giving a little insight into life at The Works, but we’re still fully on board the website train, and have just treat ourselves to a little refresh to celebrate our 10th birthday.