Putting a human face on a company is crucial to growing a business. Creating engaging, social Web content will draw in potential customers and clients and give them a feel for the business through the eyes of its representative. But which medium is best for the busy business owner or manager to use to interact with the public -- a blog, which offers the chance to weave a persona through stories, or the smaller, more colorful bites offered through Facebook?
Benefits of Blogging
A blog is an excellent way to get across who you are as an individual and how you shape your company. With an established blog, readers will relate to your experiences, listen to your ideas, laugh at your quips and ponder your points. You can say as much -- or as little -- as you want and you control the presentation. Content-marketing specialist and blogger Patricia Redsicker of Baltimore says she loves Facebook, but firmly feels blogging is better for businesses. She has created an infographic of the top 10 reasons why, including archived posts, SEO and control over content (link in References).
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Benefits of Facebook
Facebook offers more opportunity than blogs for interaction and social identity. Because of the social nature of Facebook, status updates (which could be look at as mini-blogs) can spark lively conversation that can draw in friends of those responding. These comments offer businesses the opportunity to connect with people and keep them coming back. Facebook can be a less intensive involvement than a blog as it only takes a moment to share a quick status update, post a link or share content found on another Facebook page. Facebook will also share your content with users who have "Liked" your page.
Drawbacks of Blogging
A blog can be much more time-consuming than Facebook if you're creating substantive blog posts with multiple photos and links, and blog readers don't leave comments as often as Facebook users do. Without comments, there's little personal indication that people are reading your content. The depth of communication found in a blog can't do anything for you if no one's communicating with you.
Drawbacks of Facebook
Facebook may have 1 billion users, but your Facebook page is competing for their attention with many, many other pages. Even among the people who have "Liked" your page, there's plenty of competition. After all, they've likely "Liked" a lot of other pages. And even when you have their interest, you have a finite amount of space in which to engage them and Facebook really doesn't offer anything that approximates blog posting (this is one area where MySpace outperformed Facebook). Long posts are cut off in your stream and the little-used Facebook Notes are all but hidden.
Benefits of Both
While blogs offer more control and depth of content than Facebook, the best answer may be to use both a blog and a Facebook page. You get the best of both worlds, and you can publicize one with the other. Sharing your blog posts on Facebook provides a richer experience for your Facebook fans and drawing blog readers to Facebook offers them a different atmosphere with more interaction. If time is an issue, keep your Facebook interactions short and sweet but still frequent.
- Blog Bloke: Blogs vs. Social Networks: 15 Good Reasons Why Blogs Still Matter
- Patricia Redsicker: 10 Reasons Business Blogging is Better than Facebook [Infographic]
- Freelance Weekly: Blogging Vs. Facebook
- Social Media Examiner: 10 Top Business Blogs and Why They Are Successful
- Social Media Today: Facebook for Business: 10 Tips to Rock Your Brand!