Publishers figuring out where the next silver bullet is to capture and attract readership is still a work in progress. One of the most evident clues where to find your target audience is on social channels. In a fight to stay relevant, improve business opportunities to drive traffic to websites Viglink launched a collective intelligence platform called Publishers Roundtable designed to provide insight to how publishers should use social sites like Facebook.
Since the increasing popularity and adoption of using social media the rules of engagement have changed forever. Trying to increase readership to a publisher’s website has to be more than just good storytelling, but really capture the hearts of audiences.
With more than 250 publishers that participated in filling out a short survey they were asked short questions about their website traffic, where was it coming from and how well it performed. All of this collaborative effort was to shed new light on how the masses navigate social media, according to Allfacebook.com.
Aside from using good strategies for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) there were three fundamental trends or takeaways to pay close attention when using social platforms like Facebook. These are as follows: Facebook drives traffic, social media is key to retaining an audience, and social media traffic isn’t always quality traffic.
The results from the Viglink’s Publisher Roundtable assert the success of Facebook can be verified and 99 percent of publishers claimed to receive traffic from the social network. According to Gigaom.com post about Facebook’s launch of newswire, they have become the new mass media along with Google.
Retaining loyal readers and developing long term relationships with them seems to be through social media. You can develop a great number of followers depending on the platform, but it is clear repeat visitors will help boost your business and engagement. However, other social channels like Reddit and Digg have come to be complementary and valuable component in addition to Mark Zuckerberg’s company in the mix.
If social media traffic could be translated into measurable, tangible sources of revenue the struggle would not be ongoing to figure out what is not working. Out of the 250 publishers surveyed just 41 percent had expressed satisfaction with the traffic they receive from Facebook.
The Pew Research Journalism Project published earlier this year a report about the difficulty with converting readers on social media to dedicated readers. In other words, the percentage of direct visitors to a site via Facebook ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 percent. This is the part that becomes difficult to predict and understand how to develop new products at times that complements the way readers navigate social media.
Technology in tablets, smartphones and desktop computers continue to push the envelope on innovation. With that being said social media will play a symbiotic role with all of these platforms. Creating a one-stop, one-shot platform for readers to consume a particular website for a publisher depends on how the entire online infrastructure continues to take shape, and how all of these companies put the sound investments to get a reasonable share of the readership that is distributed widely throughout the web.