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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member baselinej70's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    Does anyone really read the blog of a website?

    In the rush to launch, I quickly added a 'blog' link on my menu bar that pretty much just redirects to my Facebook page.

    I sent friend requests to my photographers/contributors and occasionally posted content around how our stock images were being used, links to interesting articles etc. Nothing too targeted and any content certainly wasn't going to win any Pulitzers.

    I found:
    - only a handful of photographers reached out to me or have 'friended' me
    - hardly any end users/customers liked/sent friend requests or commented
    - Google Analytics does not track clicks of the 'blog' link so I don't know how many people even view the Facebook page from the website
    - it useful to recruit my second contributor, Katrina Brown. I walked her through our website and commission terms over FB messenger.

    My gut feel on my lack of focus on this aspect of the website is that it's not being utilised most effectively. So I sat down to defined my desired outcomes for this 'blog'/facebook page:

    - build awareness of Stockphoto.com for (and if possible, recruit) potential new customers and/or photographers/contributors
    - if I can build a reasonable community, use it to maintain/keep track this network

    I am keen to hear from others on their experience:
    - in using FB as their blog. Should I opt for something like Wordpress?
    - using FB to build a community of users and contributors (is it wrong to target both sides? Should I just focus on one user group?)
    - what sort of content works? Should I be more sales-focused?
    - do users even read the blog via the website? Is it a general waste of time?

    Many thanks guys,
    Jon
    Stockphoto.com
    Affordable royalty-free images

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
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    Be very careful of integrating with Facebook and using that as your primary channel for interacting with your customers. You can control your own blog, but the fate of your social media accounts lies in someone else's hands. Facebook and twitter can and have shut down people's accounts for trivial reasons.

    That said, there's no harm in using them on the side also.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    - in using FB as their blog. Should I opt for something like Wordpress?
    If you can devote enough time and resources to blogging regularly then it may be worth running a blog on your own site, then use Facebook to announce new blog posts to drive people to your site.

    What blogging system you use is really up to you. Wordpress is popular but not everyones cup of tea, you could try http://movabletype.org/ or even http://statamic.com/ if you want a blindingly fast site.

    - using FB to build a community of users and contributors (is it wrong to target both sides? Should I just focus on one user group?)
    Sure there's no reason why you can't use Facebook as the community hub, and a blog on your own site to provide extended information.

    - what sort of content works? Should I be more sales-focused?
    How long is a peice of string!

    It really depends what you want to achieve. Think about your audience and what would help them with their tasks. As you're in the stock images business there is a lot you can do:

    1. How your images are being used
    2. Photo/image of the week
    3. Photography tips, reviews and articles (cameras, techniques etc)
    4. News about Stockphoto
    5. Promotions/offers
    6. Competitions
    7. General photography news/comment
    ... you could probably think of a lot more!

    - do users even read the blog via the website? Is it a general waste of time?
    If it's interesting to your audience and you post regularly then it's possible to build up a regular audience over time. Posting regularly without fail is the key, pick a schedule and stick to it!

  4. #4
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    People are unlikely to read 'corporate' blogs, unless there's a really strong information scent for a particular topic they're looking for. If you're selling it as a blog but it's actually a Facebook page, you've got the worst of both worlds, because most people who click on "blog" will be expecting a proper blog and a significant number will turn away in disgust/disappointment when they find it's actually just Facebook.

    There's no point in having a social media presence just for the sake of it, if you haven't got a plan for how you are going to use it to build community engagement.


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