How can bloggers reach out with readers through social networks?
In this week’s episode of Future of Publishing, host Murray Newlands interviews Echo Co-Founder and Strategic VP Chris Saad. In this episode, Saad talks about how the popularization of social networks caused many publishers to lose their ability to control conversations surround their content, as the conversations moved from a centralized location on the publisher’s own site to many different social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. But Saad has a solution: Publishers can actually utilize social media to draw readers back to their sites and have the conversation there:
- Publishers have trouble controlling the conversations around their content due to social networks…
- …Because people start the conversations on social networks…
- …But they can recapture the conversation by drawing it back onto their site.
Changing publishing landscape
Blogs were part of the social media revolution in the mid to late 2000’s and they continue to be an important source of information for many people across the world. However, it has become difficult for publishers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, to control the coversation about their content. This is because much of that conversation now happens on social media instead of on the blogger’s own site:
Facebook allows group owners to moderate comments and guide the conversation much like forum owners do. This means that conversations that happen on page walls can be controlled as if they were on the publisher’s actual website. But most publishers do not use their walls to foster conversations, since the walls aren’t very aimed. For example, ESPN has many channels and covers many sports, as well as many highlight shows and analysis shows. Therefore, they do not want people to comment about every single football game on their wall and have a directionless conversation. Making a page about a particular football article would not be feasible, and nobody would Like that page and comment on it.
Furthermore, people have conversations on Facebook about games by writing about the game in their status updates, on friends’ walls, and by posting links to articles about the game and having a threaded conversation about those links. This all happens decentralized, on many people’s Facebook pages, so publishers cannot guide what people say toward a positive goal like they can on forums and blogs.
However, publishers still can reach out to people on social media and draw them back to the publisher’s site. If they can make their site “the place” for the conversation to take place, they can guide the conversation to be positive and productive. The result is a conversation that the publishers can moderate (similar to a forum) but more expanded, as publishers now have the ability to interact with readers throughout their site.