See it, click it: the follow up

By: Bruno Cordioli - CC BY 2.0
By: Bruno CordioliCC BY 2.0

This post I wrote six months ago may be the most important thing I've written all year. Remember the part where I said this?

What does it all meeeaaaaan

It means that while much of my work and business expenses go toward producing NEW content, ultimately when it comes to people following us via social media like Pinterest and Facebook… no one cares. Ok, ok, I'm being a bit hyperbolic: if we stopped producing new posts, people would notice quickly…

Funny you should say that, Ariel-Six-Months-Ago… because you stopped publishing new posts on Offbeat Families in September. Then traffic and revenue then went UP… and it's all because of shares on Facebook. People DID notice, but even though we're very clear on Offbeat Families' Facebook page that we'll only be sharing links to archived posts, people keep following the page — almost 1000 new likes since the site ceased publication.

families fb likes

We're sharing more than ever on Offbeat Families' Facebook page, and even though none of them are new posts, they consistently get heavy traffic. Our posts linking archived content are frequently some of Facebook posts that get the most engagement across all the Offbeat Empire sites. In fact, looking at my high performing posts today across the Empire, it's a post from a now-archived site (linked from FB today), another post written four years ago (linked from FB today), and an Offbeat Families post that went up this week.

So yeah. You know how I've always hated Facebook? I still find it a buggy, frustrating business tool, but in terms of results… there's no arguing with the fact that it consistently performs better than RSS and Twitter combined. For years, I was super frustrated that readers were trying to use Facebook as an RSS tool, but now I'm settling into the fact that most of y'all are NOT using it as an RSS tool… and completely shifting my content marketing strategies, as a result. Folks following the Empire sites on Facebook don't follow us to get the most recent posts, they follow to get the most relevant posts.

Wait, now I'm just repeating myself. Just go read this post again. Seriously, it distills the biggest lesson I've learned this year. I'll be musing over this more next week…


UPDATED TO ADD:

Many thinks to Kevin Fanning for sending this to me: Facebook Drives Massive New Surge Of Traffic To Publishers. Looks like it's not just me experiencing a big up-tick in Facebook traffic.

  1. I mentioned this yesterday (on FB, natch), but … I completely agree with you. It's made my job as a content distributor (okay, fine – social media manager) WAY more interesting, and has provided all sorts of fun editorial avenues.

    It's a Whole New World, but I am so digging it.

    • Totally! It took me six months to fully understand what was happening, and then another six months to fully embrace it and optimize to it, but now I'm like FUCK YES! Offbeat Families has gone from a site that cost a lot and made no money to a site that costs almost nothing and makes decent ad revenue… all because I realized that most social media followers don't actually care if the content is new. They just need it to be awesome.

      8 agree
      • Yup. And I am in a very related field professionally (parenting) and honestly? There's nothing new under the sun. Teething is teething, and guest list stress is guest list stress no matter what.

        I have a post I wrote on my personal blog back in 2009 (!?!) about bridesmaids and uninviting them (spoiler: don't, unless you are cool with ending a friendship) and to this DAY, I get weekly emails, asking for personal advice about the issue. I think it's the #1 referrer to my blog. That, and advice about Jewish funerals. It's a weird blog.

        3 agree
    • Yep, I read that post yesterday and sent my entire staff a group email saying HOLY FUCKING SHIT:

      A more recent post linking to this older content might be favored in the News Feed, having proved itself once (or twice!) before.

      This is happening a LOT across all the Empire sites, and it's pretty weird to see.

      1 agrees

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