Why Social Media Can’t Be Your Only Online Outlet

When was the last time a university research paper went viral? There are many papers about interesting research that I would think would qualify as great content. But for their distribution to interested readers, we still rely on standard publishing processes via journals and university websites. Social media has failed on the promise to delivering “good” content and is now focusing on delivering “shareable” content. Meaning we all spent more time on making the headlines catchy than on making the content valuable.  – The Social Ms We recently read this article, which discussed the problems with the direction that social media is going in.  While we are still strong supporters of social media marketing, we think there was a stronger underlying message that could be derived from this post – your online marketing- and content creation efforts cannot be limited entirely to social media.

Perhaps this is the answer that we should start giving when asked if it is absolutely necessary to have a website. You need a place on the web that allows you to share valuable content with those who are interested, even if that information isn’t likely to go viral.  Because, as this author so adequately explained, good quality content isn’t always shareable content.  People aren’t as likely to share the research document as they are to share the silly, short joke that made them laugh.

It’s not that people aren’t interested in the content, but that they are sharing – as you are – to appeal to their audience.  Instinctively, they know what content is most likely to be read, viewed, shared, and commented on. They are being social, which is the point of social media.

So, you can continue to be social on those platforms, posting the content that you know will be deemed shareable, but you should also have a landing place for those who are interested in the more detailed aspects of what you do – the people who want to learn more, but that aren’t necessarily looking for something to share on their social feed.


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