I recently noticed that the new Twitter Blue account allows up to 4000 characters per post rather than the usual 280. In other words, “tweets” have been replaced by “very long squawks”, more like full blown blog posts rather than micro-blogging.
And then this got me thinking. So many social media platforms now offer space to publish articles as an alternative to blogging. It doesn’t even have to be on their allocated spaces, but in the update section on their profiles.
Which one of these zones is the most applicable for reader reach? I will have to do some extra research to find out, but if any of you know, tell me in the comments below.
Publish posts directly to the public
Yes, this does sound like a good idea. Place what you have to say directly under the noses of your readers. In the old days this used to be your blog, which would be a good place to store your posts, but not any more. Social media algorithms have replaced how content is delivered to readers.
Social media platforms have made it so easy for you to write a good rant to your unsuspecting public, telling the world exactly what you think of it. You don’t have to spend time thinking about SEO, applicable keyphrases carefully placed strategically around your content, or even how long your post will be.
You just open up, and start writing. Dangerously spewing out stuff without thinking about it first. As long as it is entertaining, so what? The idea is to get people reading and responding, which they can do as commenting is in real-time.
Why squirrel your posts away on your blog?
This is so last century! Why would you store your posts in a place where it is most unlikely to get seen? Once you’ve published your piece, then you have the hassle of having to promote it on social media to get any readers. And we all know that dumping and leaving links is not good practice.
It makes far more sense to publish in situ, where the target readers hang out. People expect things to be instant, delivered immediately to their phones, they don’t want the hassle of clicking elsewhere to read new content.
And blogs are expensive to start up and to maintain. They require updating to keep them secure from hackers and spammers. Social media does this for you. It transforms its platforms to make it easier for you to post, and offer other functions to make your content more entertaining and accessible.
But what about keeping your posts safe?
The trouble with social media is that it’s ethereal. Here today and gone tomorrow. Especially on Twitter (for very long squawks), when its ‘life’ may be very short. Surely you want your content to stick around for a reasonable amount of time so it can be seen by your readers?
Not on social media. There is so much content flying about, good, bad and ugly, it is easily superseded before you know it. Someone else writes a funnier, more relevant, more relatable post, and yours is banished to the depths of “forgotten” and “old” within a twinkling of an eye.
Now this may be OK with usual rants, but what if you posted something which is relevant to you, your business, your objectives, your treasured strategy? You want it to be available for longer, for posterity, easily accessible for future reference should the occasion arise.
What about keeping a copy on your blog?
Hang on, isn’t this duplication? We don’t want to get caught out with plagiarism! You can’t just go about pasting posts from social media into blogs, that is if you have one? The last thing we want is the search engines coming down hard on us.
But with the rise of Open Source AI and ChatGPT, etc, there is going to be so much duplication all over the place. The concept that Google doesn’t allow this is a myth. And if you still don’t want to believe me, all you need to do is to make a couple of changes to fool the spiders.
But you do need to have a safe place to store your posts. Social media accounts can easily be blocked, penalised or deleted. You don’t own your content there, it belongs to the social media platform. They are just allowing you to publish it, because new content helps with their SEO and reach.
Can you find old posts quickly and efficiently?
Not easily on social media. Your profile may show a limited supply of recent content, but what about something from a week, a month, a year ago? You may have more luck with your photos than with your written content. Finding old content is extremely tricky.
Not so on a blog. A good categorising and tagging system allows the search mechanism to deliver old, relevant posts back to readers for research purposes. You just need to understand and make the effort to categorise your posts and add in relevant and helpful tags before you publish them.
Internal linking within posts is also another excellent SEO method to keep old posts alive. You will need to use the search to find them to add them in. And another method is to repurpose old posts for a different audience or to update them regularly to mention something new.
But blogs aren’t as visible as social media
Yes, that’s true. You will have to rely on reputation, authority and constant promotion to get your posts seen. It will be necessary to continue to engage on social media, to work on your brand visibility, your credibility as a go-to expert in your niche, and recognition for what you stand for.
But it’s a good idea to maintain a hub to house the most important content you produce. There may have plenty of fly-away communications on social media, as this is all part of engagement. But it is necessary to have somewhere to store your posts which really matter to you and your readers.
Somewhere where posts can be easily found when needed. A place where readers can still engage with you via the comments. Your blog is not a piece of old fashioned kit, it has the potential to outlive your social media content with the longevity and staying power which they don’t have.
Where can you store your posts and get them seen?
There are ways and means for getting your posts read as soon as they are published. This is called RSS, and encouraging your readers to subscribe to feed readers like feedly.com. However, this does require some action taken on the recipient’s part, as there is no automatic method delivered by an algorithm.
Nowadays people expect everything to be delivered to them without selection or choice. They depend upon what content bots think they should see. It doesn’t matter if this is irrelevant or inappropriate. They find a platform they prefer and stick to it, and consume the content regardless.
Whereas if you researched a selection of excellent blogs, subscribed to their RSS and readily read whenever they published, you could guarantee to receive quality. This is what you need to train your loyal readers to do, so you know where you store your posts is not only visited, but your lovingly written content can be found whenever necessary.