All these pages are a bit confusing. What is a brand page, really? Is your home page one of your brand pages? Is your newsroom one of your brand pages? What about your blog? How many brand pages does your business need? What for? Is the newsroom entitled to exist? Is the page view really dead? If so – how does that affect your “page strategy”? What make sense? What matters really? Which of your pages will survive, when page views dies? Your homepage? Your newsroom?
It all started with the home page. Preferably for business and organizations. Because it was too complicated and/or too expensive for citizens to create their own pages on the web. As a matter of fact, even for the majority of businesses. Anyway, then, at the end of last century, we all could publish and express ourselves on the web, for free, by ourselves. Few years after that, the web literally exploded of abilities to create profiles and pages of all kind. Suddenly the web became social. And the business joined the conversation. The question is how many brand pages do we need? And why do we need them? And is there any need for a “newsroom”? Which of your pages will survive, when page views dies? Your homepage?
314 passwords for different accounts of which 109 originate social media accounts
I recently checked my 1password account to get an idea of how many passwords I’ve stored within that service. Do you know what? 314 passwords for different accounts of which ca 109 originate social media accounts! I’ve no idea how many social media accounts or “brand pages” my business (Mynewsdesk) has, but a wild guess… I would say at least 40. One of them is the home page, another one is the newsroom. And then the blog. And of course Facebook fanpage, Google+ page, LinkedIn page, blog page, Twitter page, Youtube Channel, Flickr page, Foursquare page, among others.
That’s the places to meet, engage, and serve the people that matters to your business
Why all these “pages”? The answer is simple: Because that’s the places to meet, engage, and serve the people that matters to your business, these days. As saying goes: “Be there or be square”. But “be there”…? What does that really mean? How to “be there”?
First of all you need an account to administrate your page. Not the same “profile” account like people in general, but a “page” (brand page”), if possible. As you all know, most of the social media and networks do offer brand pages for business, to be able to connect and engage with their audience.
Brand pages banned on Quora
But not all of them. Not Quora, for an example. Businesses are banned there. Like Quora says on their site: “Quora does not support accounts for organizations”. But that doesn’t really matters because you can easily sign up as a business representative, which, as a matter of fact, might be a better way to do it, even in other social environments. Because, who wants to talk to a brand? After all, we all know, behind that logo, there’s a person, hiding. And these people, the representative for the business, quite often PR practitioners, use to feed these accounts with content.
Content marketing vs Social Marketing
Lots of them usually treat these places like media channels; they just synchronized their mailings, with their social accounts. Ok, nothing wrong with that, really, but you will get what you deserve; tell your story to the world, sounds great, but your audience has something to say and requires some attention as well. And you know that. So, listen to and engage with them. Make them happy.
Some says there is a difference between “content marketing” and “social media presence”, though. In a post on Walll blog, Wessel van Rensburg, says:
“…they both have something important in common. They are increasingly distributed and shared by the public at large. But they differ in important respects: Social media is built around relationships. Content marketing is built around communication that has substance, significance and meaning to a wide audience…”. The social media is based on: “Community, relationships, two way, small, reciprocity”. Content marketing is based on: “Content, audience, one way, scale, meritocracy”. Hm… I only partly agree about that.
Yes, I do think there’s place for one way content marketing. But I do think content marketing is, or should be, a starting point for further sharing, conversation and interaction. Because that’s what content use to do in social media. Everything starts with a piece of content; some piece of news or similar. Which means all the social media accounts are some kind of newsrooms – social media newsrooms, right? Like Facebook Page?
Facebook your company newsroom?
Do you remember Josh Peters, article in Mashable, a couple of years ago: “How to: Make Facebook your company newsroom”?
Josh is a freelance social media consultant who has been deeply involved in the research and application of social media for several years and is the co-author of TwittFaced. He knows what he’s talking about. And he wrote by then:
“Having an online newsroom for your company is a very important way to provide information about your business for customers, bloggers, and journalists. Through a well put together newsroom, you can control the story in order to make sure news about your company reflects what you want out in the public. Unfortunately, most corporate newsrooms are boring, static, and sometimes days late getting info up. Facebook can help you change that.
Facebook Fan Pages are perfectly suited for use as company newsrooms because they have a low barrier of entry, high visibility, numerous customization and automation options, and can be put together in an afternoon. A Fan Page can be more engaging and informative than most newsrooms out there, or it can act as an information portal that redirects customers to other, more engaging product Fan Pages.”
So Facebook page is as much a newsroom, as a brand page, right? Exactly like Linkedin company page? I guess you don’t agree, because there’s a huge difference between these two, when it comes to interaction and media features! But who knows what’s around the corner. For an example, John Battelles wrote a interesting blog post recently with the headline: “LinkedIn – the media company?”. He said:
“…LinkedIn has quietly built itself into a significant media business. It’s added a newsfeed, status updates, and “top stories today” features. Late last month, it added “following” as well. And I’ve begun to notice the LinkedIn share button popping up all over the web – it isn’t quite the attention engine that Twitter has become, but its power is rising…”
Are they entitled to exist – the traditional newsroom suppliers?
But I guess that’s not the kind of newsroom TekGroup is dealing with and talking about in their “2012 Online Newsroom Survey Report”. TekGroup says it’s “The top online newsroom software company”. In their report they say that “Journalists expect your organization to have an online newsroom. In today’s digital era, where news breaks around the clock, millions of people are sharing news stories using social media and fewer journalists are responsible for more content — your organization needs an online newsroom to remain competitive.”
I guess they haven’t included either Facebook or anyone of the “page providers” as “newsroom providers” in this case
Because they believe a newsroom is equivalent to be the service for journalists to get access to corporate content.
98% of journalists think it’s important for a company to have an online newsroom
The survey reinforces that hypothesis:
98% of journalists think it somewhat important (15%), important (33%), or very important (49%) for a company or organization to have an online newsroom available to the press.
98% of journalists say it’s somewhat important (8%), important (34%), or very important (56%) for a company to provide access to news releases within their online newsroom
98% of journalists agreed the ability to search news archives within an online newsroom is
somewhat important (10%), important (36%) or very important (52%) to their work.
The respondents strengthens the hypothesis that “one of the biggest values of an online newsroom is that it can store all of your valuable communications content”.
94% of journalists say it’s somewhat important (14%), important (28%), or very important (52%) to have access to photographs – both web and print ready – within an online newsroom. They also want access to product information within an online newsroom with 90% indicating the availability of such information would be somewhat important (25%), important (34%) or very important (30%) for their work.
Although journalists and similar are increasingly using the brand pages on social media as sources, they’re still looking for the corporate information on the homepages.
Homepage – still king as source for information and research – so far
According to PRWeek Media survey 2010, 90% of the respondents (journalists mostly on newspapers) says they’re acquiring information about a specific company on its homepage. And that 94% of them are using the the homepage in doing research for a story.
When I was in Orlando, U.S, for the PRSA International Conference, I took the opportunity to interview some of the attendees, in this matter. And I also created a minor poll (only 50 repsondents) in question.
I asked them: What’s the main purpose of your newsroom?
57% said: To serve journalists with content to get publicity.
38% said: To find, connect and engage with people that matter most to your business. And 29% said: To serve any visitor with content to get buzz?
76% would you like to improve their newsrooms.
86% of them would like it to be more social, interactive, and engaging for the visitor.
64% of them would like it to be synchronized with other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others.
57% of them would like to be able to engage with the visitors.
As far as I understand, there’s a great need for a newsroom, as TekGroup define it, particularly if it serves its stakeholders with great and comprehensive content. But the audience, whoever they are, are demanding human businesses and social treatment, these days. Which requires social home pages and newsrooms, as well. Mitch Joel recently wrote on his excellent Six Pixels of Separation Blog: “Death to the Page View”. He believes that “there’s still something inherently wrong with the page view model” and says:
“How a user engages with the content in the digital format is so fundamentally different than print that it’s almost laughable that we’re still even thinking about page views as an advertising metric at this point.”
So what we can conclude, is that the content is moving into the social space, and the sociability is moving into the content. I believe the reason for why journalists looking for content on the homepages, is because these pages use to be the places where the content is. And because the home page normally is one of the top hits on Google.
Will your homepage survive, when page views dies?
But I guess that has come to and end. If the page view as a measurement for success is dying, the page without social features will die as well.
The homepage and its newsroom have entitled to exist as long as they treat the visitors as they like, with a lots of understanding, humanity, engagement, knowledge, and great content. But what happens if Google+ adds the ability for business to upload and organize all kind of corporate content, with far better social solutions and usability than web pages can offer. And furthermore prioritize these pages on their “social search”?