Many small business owners begin their online presence with a Facebook page. Once they move up to a website, many ask if they should start blogging or keep using social media. I’m not sure what prompts this Facebook vs. blog question, but I do know it’s the wrong question to ask. Instead, you should be asking how best to use both.
When your blog is connected to Facebook, Google+ and other social media sites, it is easy to make your blog the foundation of your online presence. Let’s talk about why this is the right choice.
Blog reach vs. Facebook organic reach
Facebook’s organic reach refers to the number of your followers that Facebook will show your post to. Organic reach has been falling steadily for the past few years. Social Times reports that Facebook’s organic reach was down to 2.6% as of March 2015. As the chart below shows, this is a great business decision for Facebook but it’s not great for you.
When you create content on your small business website blog, your reach is 100% of your readers. Everyone who visits your blog will see your new post.
Just like on Facebook, whether or not they decide to read it will depend on the quality of your content. To combine both options, you can post a link to your blog post on Facebook and other social media accounts to reach your customers there as well.
SEO from Facebook vs. your blog
Search engine optimization or SEO refers to optimizing all of the factors Google and other search engines use to decide your rank on their search engine results page (SERP).
When you create a blog post on Facebook, it will have a small effect on your SEO, with the search engines making note of just one thing – that you have a post on your social site.
However, when you create the post on your small business website then link to it in your social media, search engines will take note of much more:
- A new post “tells” the search engines that you have an active site that they should review more often. This leads to faster updates and higher ranking for SEO.
- Search engines will review your post and rank your site for additional keywords that it finds in your new article.
- The descriptions and alt text for any photos will help boost your SEO.
- You can use your blog post to link to relevant website pages, helping those pages get ranked higher.
- In many of your blog posts, you will naturally link to other websites to help support your information. This helps your ranking and also gives you a chance to get noticed by the sites that you are linking to.
If you are only posting to Facebook, you will miss out on all of the above benefits.
Long term impact
Researching and writing content is hard work and you want that work to pay off as much as possible. The content you post to Facebook usually only lasts a few days, maybe a little longer if you are really lucky. On the other hand, content that you post to your blog can show up in search results for years.
Content on your blog gives you the kind of return on the investment of time that you need for your work.
Ask yourself, is it really worth the hours of research and writing it takes to create a great article just to have it disappear on Facebook a few days later? For me, the answer is definitely no. If you want your content to have a long term impact it belongs on your blog.
Not all of your customers use Facebook
Not everyone is a Facebook fan. The reasons people have for not using Facebook are varied, ranging from privacy concerns to simply liking another platform better. But regardless of their reasons, you can only market to 52 percent of Americans through Facebook (Pew Research on Social Media Usage). In January 2014 the Pew Research Center showed that 87% of Americans were using the internet. So by simply creating your content on your blog vs. Facebook, you increase the number of people you are marketing to by 35%. This alone is a huge increase, but when you consider that Facebook’s organic reach is below 3%, the difference becomes monumental.
Does this mean that by starting a blog you’re suddenly reaching at least 35% more customers? No, but you have more people you can potentially reach. It’s important to remember we are talking about your marketing pool, the people that you could potentially reach. Unfortunately, not every person using the internet in America is going to be searching for your product or service. Even considering this, your blog has the potential to make much more of an impact than Facebook.
People are more likely to click links on your blog
One reason you as a small business owner will create Facebook posts or blog articles is to get people to act on the information you give them. One common way of doing this is inserting links to buy products, sign up for services or to contact you directly.
People on Facebook are quick to like posts, they may even go as far as sharing them, but not enough will follow up by acting on your links. People who come to your blog for the content are more likely to follow your links to buy products, sign up for services or contact you directly.
Multiple ways to reach your customers
With Facebook, you can only reach people that like your page. With minimal work, you can reach people through multiple ways with your blog
Ways your blog can reach people
- You can automatically post your blog to multiple social media sites
- People can subscribe to your blog via RSS feed
- Site visitors can read your blog directly
- You can send your blog post in your email newsletter
- Add a link to your latest blog post in your email signature
Better performance tracking
Ok, so most small businesses don’t keep enough data to require a database, even though they should. But every business should be tracking how their content is performing. It is important to know what type of content your readers are looking at the most. While this isn’t impossible with Facebook, it is much harder and much more expensive.
You can use services like Social Sprout or Simply Measured to track the performance of your content and posts. The main problem for small businesses is that the price runs from around $60 a month to $500 a month. Most small businesses don’t have that much money allocated for this type of service.
With a blog post on your website, you can use Google Analytics or other free resources to track just about everything related to the performance of your content.
Blogs should be the central location for your content and social media marketing. They simply provide too many benefits for small business owners to ignore.
Everyone that needs a website should be using a blog to increase their online presence. For the best results, you should be using multiple social media accounts in conjunction with your blog.
Facebook can give a business a huge boost. Just make sure you are using it with your blog.
We would love to hear your experiences with your small business blog and Facebook. Check out our contact page to send us a message.