How Small Businesses End Up Competing With Themselves On Social Media
These days many small businesses feel the need to have a presence on the major social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, and BeBee. They believe that by writing content based articles on those platforms, they will take advantage of the millions of people on those platforms.
That’s fine. Except in the online world, posting the same material to a number of platforms, including one’s own website, may result in actual harm, as you start competing yourself for readers.
Explaining The Biggest Social Media Risk
As a small business you should be relying primarily on your own website as the end point for readers and customers. That’s because you have way more control.
When you post an article on your website, AND on one or more social media platforms, your major problem is that, in the search engines, you start competing for search engine position, and it may be that your own website will be pushed off of the main page. Here’s why.
- Search engines don’t like duplicate content. They tend to eliminate multiple copies of an article, and display only one copy in the search engine results (although there are exceptions).
- Search engines choose what to show a searcher based on a number of parameters, including popularity, number of incoming links, and so on, but the upshot is that they favor showing the material of LARGE sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and BeBee. While this is a tendency only, the risk is that your actual website will end up lower in the search results than the copies you’ve posted elsewhere.
More On Why Social Media Visitors Are Less Valuable Than Those On Your Website
The thing is that readers on social media are not the same as those that go to your website, and that’s why having the same material on social sites and your website is problematic.
- Social media visitors tend to be less “content” oriented than visitors to your website. They are often there either to browse content, or more to the point, they go to social media to be social – interact with others. They aren’t targeted in the same way website visitors may be.
- While it may appear that your reach is larger on social media, it’s often the case that it’s the SAME small number of people reading and/or commenting on your social media posts. Since one of your business goals is probably to reach POTENTIAL customers, you may easily be mislead into thinking your social media posts are reaching more people than they actually are.
- Social media readers rarely click on links that take them away from that particular social media platform. It’s not that they never do, but there’s a strong tendency for those on, let’s say, LinkedIn, to prefer to read what’s on that platform, rather than click to your website.
If You Do Post On Social Media AND Your Website….
If you do use social media, here are some tips to prevent competing with yourself. They also apply to posting on multiple social media platforms.
- Try to avoid identical posts. Consider writing somewhat different articles for different platforms.
- Change titles. It’s a good idea to use different titles for, essentially, the same content.
- Use different images. This may not help you, but it does make each posting more distinctive. It will not hurt you, and it’s worth the extra time.
- Post an article FIRST on your website. Let it get indexed , and then and only then repost it elsewhere. This helps search engines decide that the “original” is the first one it finds, which will be the one on your own website.