Some attorneys ask if they should carry out their content marketing program on a blog versus Facebook. To get a real following, get search results high up in Google and generate real business, a blog is the obvious choice.
Facebook truncates long-form content. Facebook is not a great place to post an in-depth, thoroughly researched article. In fact, the maximum limit on Facebook is 63,206 characters. However, no one is going to read that much on Facebook. Facebook truncates content at 400 characters with a "See more" link. Updates with 40 to 80 characters or less (8 to 16 words) are considered the ideal length for Facebook.
On a blog, the sky is the limit in length. With a blog, you own the site and can change a post's length, its design, the marketing, and anything else you could want to change. With posting to Facebook, you're limited in all of those things. Longer blog posts provide more text for Google to index and more information to readers. Research shows that 7-minute blog posts (1,600 words) capture the most total reading time on average. Although there is still a demand for short-form blog posts, the demand for long-form content has increased dramatically as posts tend to rank higher in Google.
Facebook posts are not sent to all your followers. You may have 5,000 followers, but when you post an update, only 2% of your fans will see it. This is because Facebook wants you to pay to "boost" a post. On Facebook, your carefully-prepared article will appear to a tiny segment of your fans and then be overwhelmed by the social torrent. However, if you have 5,000 followers of your blog, all of them will be able to see it.
Blog posts last much longer. A blog post will be an evergreen resource for years, while a Facebook post is essentially seen once, and is then lost in the feed. A Facebook post has a steep drop-off in readers, is virtually valueless after a week, and might as well not exist after a month. In contrast, a blog post will generate readers on the first day it's online and will continue to turn up in Google searches year after year.
Blogs are more stable. Facebook is known to update its algorithm, change its layout or even ban people at a moment's notice. Facebook is constantly changing its platform and policies. Your blog is under your total control, and no changes will happen unless you make them.
Google loves blogs. Here are some statistics that prove the value of a blog for SEO:
- Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages than websites without.
- 90% of customers find consumer content in blog posts useful.
- Business to business (B2B) marketers with blogs get 67% more leads than those without blogs.
Facebook is an add-on. According to blogger Victoria Blute, "Social media should be a supplement to your law firm web marketing activities — in particular, creating new, high-quality content for your law firm website and blog." Blogging can help your law firm connect with and engage new clients, as well as establishing your reputation as a thought leader in your practice areas. Providing helpful information that answers a potential client's questions also helps them view your law firm as a trusted resource. This bond of trust can make them more likely to contact you and, ultimately, hire you when they are ready to choose a lawyer.
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