Home sweet home…
We all have a place we call home. If we live a life of travel there will still be one place we refer to as home even though we are mainly spend our time elsewhere.
So what does that have to do with your online content? Traditionally your online content has lived on your website a single-lane communication road.
Now you can choose go have a bespoke gallery developed but why not just use the readily available Flickr? And you need to maintain that Facebook/MySpace/LinkedIn profile so you are where your friends are. Social media is changing where your content live and the options are all good.
But it can become an increasingly bigger task to maintain your content as you start to have more and more online presences, often with duplicated content.
So how do you harness the power of social media channels and save time?
I think you need to look at each of your content blocks independently from your website and find a suitable home that may well be outside your website. Let’s look at a simple example:
You want feature your videos both on your website but you also know your viewers are heavy users of YouTube. You can either upload to both channels, or you can decide that the home of your videos is actually YouTube and get your site to pull them in automatically leaving you one place to manage the videos.
Imagine the time saved if your video is a daily video blog.
Let’s look at another more complex example: Your news.
Your website has a regular news feed. You know a broad section of your users are on Twitter and you also know a few but very valuable customers are on Linkedin.
As your news is quite time sensitive manually uploading to all three channels is slowing this process down and you realise that adding channels in the future will only slow it down further.
You already have a news feed on your site and the CMS you use has a plugin for posting automatically to Twitter. But as it turns out there isn’t a plugin for Linkedin.
You could choose to commission a company to build an auto-post-to-LinkedIn functionality, but before you rush off with that RFP document stop and think a second; If you news is that time sensitive maybe you need to post on the go and your CMS isn’t really cut out for mobile browsing.
There are lots of mobile apps for Twitter so maybe the home for your news should be on Twitter to manage it the easiest possible way. This also works in favour of auto posting on Linkedin as well as the two networks support each other.
What does all this mean for your website?
I think there will always be a need for a website environment where all your content is gathered in one place, but thinking smarter about where your content lives will speed up your site and reach a bigger audience.
Ofcourse all channels don’t have to feature identical content. For example while your Facebook group posts the same news as your Twitter, LinkedIn and website, you could also post Facebook exclusive offers only to your Facebook users.
There is a social media app for each type of content these days and you probably know them all so make sure to keep them in mind.
Here are a few I can think off. Please feel free to share any other useful ones:
- News: Twitter, Delicious, Google Buzz
- Profile: Linkedin, Facebook, MySpace, Google Profile
- Blog: Blogger, WordPress, Posterous
- Links: Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon
- Photos: Flickr, PicassaWeb
- Video: Youtube, Vimeo, PicassaWeb
- Forums: Ning, SocialGo
- Microsite: Flavors, Facebook, MySpace
- Presentations: Slideshare, Prezi
- Glossary: SpringNote