The Freelance Writing Jobs Facebook Group ( I prefer the term “Group” over “fan page” or “like page,” don’ t you?” ) is a rousing success. Every day More new members sign on and we participate in discussion topics and visit issues affecting freelancers. We also throw in some fun stuff too, in order to break up the day and even share our favorite resources. Watching this social network grow by leaps and bounds is so rewarding, but it also has me a little troubled.
The Freelance Writing Jobs community is growing more each day. Between our feeds, blog readers, RSS readers, Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers, we have over 15,000 members. However, I often wonder if all the social networking and bells and whistles are keeping readers away from the blog, instead of driving them here.
Don’t get me wrong, the Facebook Group and the newsletter absolutely send traffic this way and have done wonders for the community. What if they didn’t exist though? Would we have more physical traffic? Would the community interact with each other more here instead of elsewhere?
Do the Different Social Networking Groups Drive Traffic Away from Our Blogs?
When the Facebook discussions hit 60+ comments, I get a thrill. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have everyone interact here though? If I create Twitter lists, Facebook groups, Ning groups, Yahoo and Google groups, or an outside forum, won’t that serve to keep everyone off the blog? I often wonder if we create cliques instead of communities. Everyone has their social network of choice and keep the conversation there rather than where it should really be happening. Sometimes they’ll show their faces on the blog if a controversial topic comes up, but the majority of the community reads and runs, only chatting with those in their networks.
Again,I’m proud of our online communities, especially the Facebook group. I sometimes think we’re doing more to drive traffic away from the blog than to bring them together.
I wrote about this before if you would like to take a look…
What are your thoughts on different social networking groups? Do they drive traffic towards or away from blogs?
Keith Burtis says
Deb, the long and the short short of it is “Yes” you are losing traffic to your blog and “No” your not losing traffic to the blog. The reason I say this is because it would actually take more in-depth 2.0 type analytics.
I think the question should be polled here. Insert the question into all of your communities with a link back to the blog. Ask what you need to know. Have people found out about you from the blog and then moved to commenting in the community? Have people found you in the community and stayed there? Are people reading the blog posts from the communities?
Use these answers to your advantage. Maybe you need a more community style discussion page. Maybe you need to add more Facebook connect and cross-commenting features. Hope this helps.
.-= Keith Burtis´s last blog ..Don’t forget to recharge you batteries! =-.
This is an interesting question, one I’m not sure I know the answer to. I mean, if you link blog posts on FB and people respond w/ specific references to pieces of that article, you know they’re reading. But if the discussions aren’t anchored with a link to the blog, there’s no real value for FWJ there. Perhaps the FB group is a place for people to share gifts. It think the key is in your strategy and in subtly leading readers back to the FWJ site (or other your blog for others reading this).
I also usually read FWJ on my Blackberry and haven’t actually visited the FB group.
Some people will visit the blog, some follow you on twitter, some will connect via FB and some (like me) read the articles in their reader. I don’t think that one cannibalizes the other, it only increases the way that you can spread your message. while it would be nice to have a way to link all of the various comment together in one pace, overall, a follower is a follower, and no matter where they hear your message the important thing is that they get it not where.
P.S. Jones says
I think that the answer is yes, it will keep some people from your blog because they will rely on other ways to hear your message. But many of those people wouldn’t visit every day or even every week. I like to read so many different blogs on so many different subjects that Google Reader has become my lifesaver. If I had to check your blog regularly, I’d never see it. Instead, I get the RSS and if I’m interested in the subject, I read the post. And if I’m really really interested in the subject, I come here and post a comment.
Naw. I tend to comment wherever I happen to land first, but I read them both.
Rae Francoeur says
At the #asja2010 conference this past weekend in NYC, I brought this up at workshops because my blogs are often essys and I’m advised to write shorter. Discussions that followed led me to think of it as an info-gathering process. People first seek the 140 character microblog or condensed info. I’m starting to equate blogs with books–for the reader who wants and has time for more than the “headline.” I learned that some well-known bloggers are blogging less and tweeting more, and that it’s serving them well.