Social network content management in webdesign
A few years back, managing website content was simple. Not any more!
Provide your clients with a world-class management framework - Easibuild for example - and they could update their sites with ease. But with Facebook, Twitter, and the other social networks, today's content management landscape is a bit more complex.
A few months back, a Belfast-based customer questioned the value of their website. Sure it's highly designed, they said - it works well and looks great, but we're getting traffic through Facebook .. why waste time updating the website too? And why shouldn't they ditch the website, invest their time in keeping Facebook up-to-date!
With social media and apps more prevalent than ever, this is in fact an increasingly common scenario. But there are a couple of factors that aren't being addressed.
First, control. By ceding all your photos and text to a social network, you're not only handing the owner copyright ownership of that content: you're actively inviting them to use your personal data in order to generate a profit from advertising. In fact, as corporations they are legally obliged to do so. People often don't realise just how much their privacy is being invaded - a fact increasingly evidenced by court rulings.
Second, presence. Sure, it's easier to maintain a Facebook site. But if users can't see a dedicated organisational presence, it undermines your brand. Perhaps more importantly, all your hard-earned business loyalty is transferred to the social network. One very clear way to visualise this is your search engine ranking: if you don't control the flow of information - directing users through the social networks and back to your own website - then your ranks will plummet against your competitors.
So what's the solution? How best to harness the incredible networking potential of these social networks, whilst maintaining control of your identity? Well, over the past few years we've been syndicating our websites with the various social networks and services out there: embedding Facebook/Twitter feeds within our websites, interacting with Flickr galleries and seamlessly integrating with Pixlr for online image editing.
This all works really well, but it still leaves the issue of resources: where do we find the time to maintain multiple presences? This is where Easibuild's latest content management developments shine.
With its new Channel Application Programming Interface, our clients quickly take a snap on their phones, type a few lines of text and post it to their personal channel. Once there, clicking the "website" button will post it to their website; tapping on "Twitter" or "Facebook" icons reformats the info and posts to those networks too. Our clients maintain control over all their social mechanisms - including their websites - via one simple interface.
OK, maybe this isn't critical information to the layman. But it's the best solution we've found to an increasingly time-consuming problem. Whether it proves a decisive change-of-direction in the long-term, only time will tell.