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Do we really need Twitter and Facebook?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Luxus, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Luxus

    Luxus Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure when it all started but more and more sites use Twitter and Facebook to make their site more "social", to gain more traffic. Whether it's these Twitter share and Facebook like buttons or a news stream. It's a new trend of strengthen the social aspect of one's site. But does it really help? In my opinion, no.

    I find it kinda ironic because I hardly see a site where people actually clicked at these social buttons to share a story or show others that they "like it". Most of the sites have tons of these buttons but what's the point when nobody clicks them? It actually does your site more harm than good to have them because (i) sites take longer to load and (ii) people ar possibly annoyed by them.

    Even though I have a twitter account myself, I never used it in conjunction with a share button. And there is no way I would ever sign up for a facebook account.

    Then there are these news streams. I don't know about you but I never used them to get latest news. I would rather go to the news sites directly. Also it looks kinda weird when you have your articles on the content area of your site and a twitter and/or facebook stream widget in your sidebar with the same articles. What's the point?

    I bet there are many webmasters around that don't really like twitter and facebook themselves but think twitter and facebook can help them gaining more traffic. If you think about it, who the heck is supposed to click at these share and like buttons on a new and unknown site? Even if they cheat by sharing their own content through multiple twitter and facebook accounts, that won't help as long as they don't have any followers.

    The right way to help your site grow is Content and Google (no, not Google+). Convince people visiting your site regulary by your rich and good structured content, but don't annoy them with social media buttons and widgets. And don't ever force them to register!


    Enough already, I don't want to share your stuff and don't want to "like it".

    The bottom line is, Twitter and Facebook integrations are like Anti Virus programs. Everybody uses them, but nobody needs them.
    Morgain and Jake Bunce like this.
  2. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    *In the OP's opinion.
    SneakyDave likes this.
  3. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I still don't have a Twitter or Facebook account.

    Being social doesn't hurt your site, but it doesn't necessarily help either. It's a marketing strategy. The problem is that some people try to live on marketing alone. As you say, you need fundamentals like good content. First give people a reason to use your site, then market it on social networks.

    It always pains me when web admins completely ignore their product and instead look to marketing like social networks and SEO techniques, as if those things will make successful a site with zero content or appeal. Of course it's possible to create a site where users are the product. That's what social networks do, and that tends to be the mindset of said web admins. But you still need a user base to start with which again comes back to offering some kind of content or appeal to attract initial users.
  4. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    Not sure about others Facebook does helps me to connect to my members through personal page/fan page and they seems to hangout equally on facebook as well as my forum .Probably it's small city based forum which actually targets fishing community .
  5. principia

    principia Well-Known Member

    I have deactivated it on my Xf Forum. It always slows down the site.
    I dont really need it.
  6. mistypants

    mistypants Well-Known Member

    I really only use it for promotional purposes. One of the major draws of my site is gaming news--users can follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get notified of news headlines on those sites. However, I always redirect back to a thread with more information. I find that threads shared on Facebook or Twitter tend to get more views & replies. So really, it's just a tactic to direct people to major threads--it is my hope that they'll stay on the site and browse around.

    Social media sites are nice for getting headlines, but when it comes to discussion and user engagement, I don't think they'll ever be able to replace forums. Facebook probably has the most sophisticated discussion feature of all the big social media sites (comments), but they lack basic things like formatting, quoting, etc.
  7. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    I don't think its a good idea to go about depending on social media as some people seem to do. It may have some marketing value, but its not the "be all end all" thing that some people wrongfully value it as.

    Personally I use the "registration" option. You'd be surprised on how lazy people are in creating a new account... The growing trend seems to be that most people don't want to have to make a new log-in for each site they join. But rather want a more "universal" sign in process for everything.

    I can see how that could be attractive.

    But if any of those social networks died tomorrow.... Life would carry on and it wouldn't impact our community.
  8. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    You shouldn't depend on it, nor should you even push it (like, "Hey, join my Facebook group!"... stupid).

    But if you utilize it in a non-annoying way, you can gain a significant amount of daily traffic from the social networks. On average we get about 1,000 unique visitors per day from people clicking on things people liked, shared or tweeted.

    Do we even bother to have a Facebook Group? No. Do we beg/ask users to do it? No.

    But if you give the users the ability to do it, you might find some users do it on their own... and that's ends up yielding about 1,000 visitors/day for us. It also ends up being the traffic source that has the highest percent of visitors turning into users (registering).. We get about 25 registrations/day from people coming into the site by clicking a link on Facebook or Twitter.
    Markos and Adam Howard like this.
  9. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    For some reason Oliver twist popped into my head reading that line. :D

  10. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I have rarely used either for my "mature" community since we are a niche and people find us easily when they want and need to.

    BUT with my new effort I am finding it one way to get the word out. That is, there is a network of people who have no way to know that I (maybe 2 "friends" away from them) started a new blog on consumer quadcopters (drones).....

    And, so far, it's working. That is "all of the above" strategy. Someone may tell someone else who has interest and, before long, the network effect builds.

    There is definitely a fine line as to where you are helping people with information - and where you are trying too hard to sell them something! I try to give a lot with each post or tweet - for instance, it would inform that we wrote a full article. I don't just tweet or post on FB lightly as many do.

    (I have an image to uphold ;) )
  11. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    You need it. It helps breh. Trust me on that...
  12. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

  13. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    I don't know that our users click on 'share this' FB/twitter buttons but we get good traffic from our automated broadcasts to twitter, facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. The profile pages are all set up with the disclaimer of 'this is a news feed for our forum' so they don't expect me to actually get social by interacting with our followers :)

    In watching Google analytics Realtime, there is almost always people visiting who have been referred from one of the above networks.

    It works for me although I don't know that the social buttons on each thread have done much?
  14. psTubble27

    psTubble27 Well-Known Member

    Problem is, if you used the social-networks registration option, and those networks died tomorrow, wouldn't you lose all those users as well?
  15. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    No, they also have a username/password on your site... the Facebook login (for example) is secondary.
  16. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure why forum admins (the one's who frequent admin forums and the like) fall into this line of logic, but for some reason they do. The line being, if I don't find something useful, then it actually isn't. Fact of the matter is social networking is a ubiquitous part of millions of people's lives. Just like any other aspect, or feature of your forum, you don't have social integration solely to drive registrations. You have them there for everyone's convenience, even the one's who use things you don't like. The Share button is there, because millions of people use the Share button everyday, on millions of websites. They may not be using them on yours. They may not be using them in the circle of admins you know. But again, our individual experiences are not the microcosms of the internet. People who are using social networks everyday, won't even blink because you ask them to Like your Page, or become your Follower. Most would expect you to have one or the other. Does it mean you have to? No. Doesn't mean it's a terrible idea that doesn't work.

    I have to say I take ever so slight issue with statements like this. Not because Facebook and Twitter are genuine necessities. They aren't. But then again, neither is any website we'll visit, ever. The world worked fine before we had an interconnected web of data machine thingies. But we're still sitting here using them on a day to day basis as if they were the greatest things since sliced bacon. Facebook and Twitter are useful tools to the majority of users on the internet. You're not required to use them, but going so far as to say nobody needs them, in context to what we're talking about, is not a fully educated statement. And I don't imply that as an insult, I imply that in the sense that I think your acting on your personal feelings/experience with Facebook and Twitter, rather than on what they mean to a great many people.
  17. psTubble27

    psTubble27 Well-Known Member

    If they use the facebook login, then that is their user info, without which they cannot log in. And if they don't use the facebook login, then i don't know what Adam Howard was referring to as the social-network registration option.
  18. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Yes they can... they can log in just fine to your site without their Facebook account (even if that's what they used to sign up with initially).
  19. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Actually, R_A has a point.

    If you're a brand new user and you register via Facebook then you have a user account but without a password.

    So, if Facebook disappeared they wouldn't be able to log in.........

    ...until they entered their username and used the forgot password feature. At that point a password is e-mailed to them. But unless they've linked a normal forum account to a social networking account, the first time they have a password is at that juncture.

    Ultimately, it really isn't a problem.
  20. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member


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