Social Media for the News Wire - IFCfeed.com
by Submarine, Friday 17 December 2010 00:00
IFCfeed.com has been created to provide a credible and definitive series of websites or online resources for the well regulated and sophisticated destinations of the offshore finance industry and is one the most comprehensive electronic resources for up to the minute news and information from the world of International Finance. It provides news, regulatory and financial commentary and information on all areas of the finance industry and domestic industries from international financial centres throughout the world.
When IFCfeed was incorporated in 2008 it came as no surprise to the team that a well built, well categorised website would rank highly across the world’s major search engines - quick sharp. Between 2008 and 2010 Google - surprise surprise – was the primary source of search term traffic followed by then Yahoo. In 2009 we noted the rise in Microsoft’s Bing, at one point in April 2009 surpassing Google as the major traffic generator. In 2010 this has settled down and consistent with the majority of our other sites into a familiar pattern of Google by far the traffic by search term generator followed by Bing and then Yahoo.
Social Media Platforms
For a news site like IFCfeed which, let’s face it, pushes out some very dry news content appealing to a niche market of financiers, pension providers, accountants and offshore financial jurisdictions it would be very hard to persuade a company like us to throw masses of resources the Social Media outposts. No, we aren’t going to come up with any ‘competitions’, we aren’t into ‘crowdsourcing’ nor 'infographs', we don't care about 'socio modelling' and we aren’t going to ‘humanise’ our brand by posting crazy pictures of our wild office parties; the latter of which we don’t do. We are a news wire - it’s not what we do.
But, we can’t ignore the platforms and as a free way to aggregate your content to the gated communities that are Facebook and Twitter it would be unwise for any company to brush them off as fads or not seek a way to engage with their users. So cutting through all the guru speak what do we want to do with our content and how do we get the outpost communities to aggregate our content.
I'm cutting out a lot of research here but it we didtilled our strategy into its simplest form: “we have content and we will publish in a timely manner”.
Social Media Success - Twitter
We looked at both Twitter and Facebook. For a number of reasons, mainly based around where our content was liable to fit it along with the 140 characters and the brevity of our article titles it didn’t take much for us plumb for the omnipotent beast that is Twitter. We obviously aren’t going to tell you all of our tricks, we aren’t feeling that collaborative but suffice it to say with some 1500 offshore business related Tweets and heading towards 2000 followers the results of the traffic to our site make for an interesting read.
Referring Sites – 2010
Twitter now accounts, by far as IFCfeed’s largest referrer surpassing what was previously Google News Feed into 2nd place. And, interestingly, it seems that Twitter users stay longer on our site by a factor of around 30% and Facebook users by around 35% more than other referring sites.
Social Media - Facebook
As a news wire we are less impressed with the Facebook Page results and referrals; there’s no doubt that the addition of the “Add This” and the ‘Like’ buttons on each article assist in the aggregation but the our general Facebook Page hasn’t, as we suspected, generated the fan base nor the interest that we have enjoyed from Twitter.
Why? Well, unsurprisingly Facebook is a far more social experience than Twitter. A private club of friends shooting the breeze, chattering amongst themselves in a very informal surrounding about the mundane and the not so mundane of family and personal life.
It’s 8pm, people are catching up with friends around the world and would you, on your own time, be that interested in the “Labour Market Bulletin 2010”, or “The appointment of Board Directors and xxx Trust, or how about the retirement of the a very long standing politician? We aren’t even sure we’d ‘like’ that kind of page ourselves, so what hope
To summarise we are persevering with the social media platforms; we’ve recently integrated a comment system, the Twitter Account is still showing growth and, in the main, the traffic to the site is up around 28% this year to some 40000+ user sessions per month.
And the value?
Well that’s the question: “How do you monetize your social media?” Well for us it’s about traffic; the more loyal the visitors, the longer they stay on the site and wider the reach of the website, the better the argument for the advertising revenue.
Will the Social media platforms deliver that objective? Possibly.
In our view, primarily discussing IFCfeed, it doesn’t matter how exciting these platforms are they need to deliver either direct or indirect financial gains to the engaging company or service.