Somewhere around the year 2008 “Web 2.0” was a really popular catch phrase that was being feverishly spread around the internet.
Everyone kept talking about how Web 2.0 was going to change the landscape of the net and it was of vital importance for all of us marketers to embrace this new type of social media.
And they were right. Social Media, or Web 2.0 did blow up. In fact, it blew up so much that it essentially destroyed many blogs, websites and other social media platforms. Myspace anyone?
When all this chatter began back in 08 I constantly warned people that they should be careful about focusing all of their attention on these platforms that they didn’t own or operate. It was my belief that people should be trying to retain some bit of virtual real estate for themselves instead of giving it all up to Facebook or Twitter or whatever was hot at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally think you should utilize Facebook and Twitter and you should go to where the eyeballs are, but spending all of your time and effort there not only cripples your own virtual real estate but it contributes to ruining others as well.
Because we’re all on Facebook, chatting, liking, and friending each other up, many people have abandoned visiting blogs or external websites. And this is bad for all of us.
We’ve become conditioned to just stay inside the comfy combines of Facebook and to not seek out alternative forms of info. It’s kind of like a Walmart opening up in a small town and pulverizing all the small businesses. No one goes to Joe’s Hardware store because they can get everything they want at Walmart, including all their groceries too. Sorry to see you go out of business Suzie’s Produce Shack. 🙁
Anyhow, I’m not bitching about it, just making a observation. And I’d like to come up with some solutions on how we as marketers can capture some of that attention back to our own websites instead of forfeiting it all to Facebook and the likes.
Yesterday I made a post on this blog and after many hundreds of visitors it only garnered 2 comments (which were using the Facebook plugin coincidentally) and it also got 11 Likes (one of those being myself – yes, I gave myself a virtual high five, don’t judge). No one left a comment in the actual blog comments portion.
Of course this is my fault, not Facebook. I could of made the article more compelling. I could of done more to encourage engagement.
However, the fact remains that people simply do not comment or engage with sites outside of Facebook like they used to. Very smart Mr. Suckerberg. Very smart indeed.
So, I just wanted to address this and start a dialogue about how we as virtual real estate owners can capture back some of those eyeballs and more importantly engagement that has been so cleverly hijacked by social media.
We all play a crucial role in how the web is going to develop, and if we all abandon each others blogs in favor of Facebook aren’t we are really just curbing or limiting all our own success? I tend to think so.
It was a big bummer when Google Reader discontinued it’s RSS reader because it really made it easy to keep track of a ton of blogs and info at once. There’s others out there but I haven’t used them. I tried setting up some feeds in Hootsuite, but like so many other people I got distracted and landed back at Facebook, which is exactly what I was warning people about back in 2008.
Please don’t think this is a slam on Facebook, or social media because it isn’t. I love my Facebook experience for the most part and done right it can drive even more traffic to our digital properties, but I think it’s up to us to show others we appreciate their blogs and website efforts by engaging, leaving comments, and sharing URL’s to things we find valuable. Wouldn’t you agree?
So I’ll make you a deal. The more you visit my site, the more I’ll make a effort to visit yours.
The more you comment on my site, the more I’ll make a effort to communicate with you. Seems like a fair trade right? In fact, let’s do a little something right now to see if we can get some engagement.
BLOG COMMENTING CONTEST – $800 Prize!
Whoever leaves the most insightful comment on how we can increase engagement will receive FREE ACCESS into my Profit Moffatt Portal, which is valued at over $800. (Bonus points if you use the actual comments section over the FB comments section, but either will work).
Also, I’ll pick at random another winner just for leaving any comment at all, assuming it’s not something like…. “The Cubbies Suck” or just a smiley face 🙂 Sound fair? Triple points and consideration for winning if you share the post.
So, what can we do to bring back engagement to our blogs? I’m really keen to hear what you have to say.