Lately I’ve seen more and more of the top industry experts saying to remove the social media distractions from your website. Hell, I’ve even removed all the social media icons from my blog. That lead me to thinking; “Is there a blogger revolt going on against Facebook and other social media sites?”
The answer is “yes” and for many good damned reasons.
Before facebook existed there were blogs. Once facebook arrived on the internet scene, blog content was predominately shared across people’s posts and social media sites, this became a great source of traffic for bloggers. Every social media site out there encouraged bloggers not to build an email list but to build a “fan base” of likes and followers. It seemed like it was a good idea at the time, and it was.
Until facebook flipped the switch and pissed all the bloggers off.
This whole new “pay to play” mentality that facebook subscribes to now, in regards to posting, mirrors the BIG google slap of 2009. People, especially bloggers, don’t like being cut off. You know as a content creator, you spend all this time putting in designs and hard work only to be at the mercy of someone else. You can never escape it all (we will always rely on someone else’s technology) but you can reduce the bullshit to a minimum.
It all made sense in the beginning. Our content was being shared all over social media and we wanted to connect with everyone on every outlet we could. It was like a massive land grab for friends/fans/followers. All any blogger wants to do, is connect with their audience. After seeing how fast content could be shared and how easy it was to connect with fans, social media became the most convenient way for bloggers to connect with their readers.
We all fell for it. We took down ad space on our blogs and replaced them with “like us” “follow us” boxes treating them as if they were opt in options. After all, that’s basically what they were. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers put it in the best perspective. In a recent interview with Think Traffic, Derek mentioned that if people want to find you on facebook they will, but do not give your readers any choice but to opt in on your blog. Bloggers work hard for traffic and it sucks to give that traffic away.
So a few top marketers and purveyors of online influence decided to test some theories. Turns out Facebook was stealing traffic and not reciprocating. After these studies were released, many people have gone back and removed their “like me, follow me” boxes , and went back to business as usual with ads and only one option to connect.
After you watch the video below and decide if you are going to remove social media icons from your blog, make sure you still allow your readers to share your content on social media. Never remove the share button, just the “connect” buttons. We bloggers have to stick together and facebook is trying to bully some of us into paying for something we built. This, my readers, is the high price of building your content on a site you do not own. My friend Stephan Garner is a huge advocate of this.
If you decided to remove social media boxes from your blog, you will see you opt-in rates go up. You will build your email list faster simply because if your readers want to stay updated, they will have to subscribe only. Not rely on facebook or twitter to deliver your work to them.
Take a look at the video below and decide for yourself if facebook is stealing traffic. I believe you will find yourself doing exactly what I did. Removing all social media icons from your blog.