Monday, January 24, 2011

Three More Reasons on Facebook

Another great clip coming through via PRSA, today a lovely screed about the Five Reasons Facebook Won't Replace Your Website. Everything Maggie McGary says is spot on, but here's three more reasons why college athletic team websites won't be replaced with Facebook (or any other social media site).

1) Media guide. The term is rapidly becoming dated, but the repository of your institutional memory needs a static place. Even when this becomes a vbook or other portable digital document, there will always be the need for a storefront to present those items. It is your archives (more in a moment). Don't confuse this with the WIRED argument about the "web is dead" -- just like those who say there is no place for a printed paper version of vital messaging or information.

2) Central point of aggregation. Where can the end user go to get it all at once? YouTube won't have the box score, but plenty of highlights. Flickr isn't going to have the media guide PDF. None of us really let outside sources manage our streaming anyway. Facebook as McGary said severely limits your ability to format, and as we discussed yesterday, who's to say Facebook is here in five more years.

3) Commerce. Facebook isn't set up for purchases -- now -- and do you really want someone else taking a taste off the top of your tee-shirt or DVD sales than is already happening with whichever provider you are using.

Here's where a unified plan is important, and even more so, knowing the specific roles required. The website is the catalog, library, archive, almanac, fixed point of reference. It may not be where the increasingly mobile fan base goes to consume our news, but it will be where they go to look things up later and if correctly integrated, will be where the other items are fed.

The social media tools are where interaction with the fans takes place. Think beyond Facebook -- interactive blogs like CoverItLive or if you so desire real-time places like Twitter. Again, INTERACT with the fans, not just sell to them. The reason why display advertising is disappearing from front-line websites is the research is telling both the content provider and the advertiser that the end users do not like the over pitching. The quickest way to reducing the interaction numbers (likes and comments) is to make everything a pitch to buy something.

Mobile news tools like real-time systems (Twitter) or news reading apps (in our case, something like iHog) deliver info direct to users where they are, especially when incorporating well-managed push notifications via mobile apps.

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