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Social Destination Sites: Do You Own Your Content Destiny?

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 by in ThiNK First | 9 comments

shared media

Business needs to be aware of the devilishly shiny lure of sites like Facebook.

When it comes to having an effective long term content marketing strategy, sites like Facebook create the wrong behaviours in your marketing team. It happens slowly, but these sites are designed to get you hooked on feedback.

They turn decent marketing folk into sinners.

What’s the word for these sites? I think the term is “social destinations”, in some case they are social networks, but not always. People go to destination sites to converse,  be amused and informed and to share what they find with others. They are where people hangout. They are simply the modern water cooler. The coffee break that never ends.

Other examples of social destination sites includes Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. You can participate there in the conversation, but you don’t control where it goes. Each has their own distinct culture. Facebook aims to filter what you consume and contribute. Reddit is highly moderated. Other sites do not limit what you see, for example G+ and Twitter, but the problem is, you don’t know what may change tomorrow.

Social destinations have an allure. Good luck not getting addicted. Think about how you approach these sites. Have you thought about the sins your are committing? 

Be Your Own Social Destination. Own Your Own Destiny

Sites like Facebook are where people hang out and that’s the lure as much as it is the trap.

Brands want to achieve both reach and control with the media they utilise to engage their audience. Brands need to avoid a silo-minded approach to their media usage. Content is becoming more and more fluid and reusable.

It’s tempting to create content to engage people on a destination site (i.e. where you first found them), but this is flawed logic in the long term. Once you begin to engage with people on the destination site, it won’t let you leave. You need to begin relationships the way you want them to go on.

So if you want customers/prospects to enagage on your blog in the long term, you’d better make that your primary goal. It’s harder to begin that way, but it gets easier with time and as momentum builds.

Bait them on destination sites, switch them to engage on media that you own. You don’t want Facebook to be your landlord.

Tempt people away from destination sites to your site. That should be your mission. You need to be your own destination. You need to own and control your own destiny.

Owned, Paid, Earned & Shared Media

You can boast engagement metrics on destination sites, but what have you really built?  What do you own? You can’t bank yesterday’s attention.

If you don’t keep delivering content you will be forgotten like a long lost love. There is no commitment to you. You are simply part of the noise on the destination site.

You own your blog and your websites. They are what’s called “Owned Media”

Facebook on the other hand is “Shared Media”. Destination sites for the most part are shared media, with an element of earned in the case when other people willingly and freely create content about you. You have no real control over where or how content travels through a destination site. Pinterest is another example. Believing that you have control on these sites is a delusion.

Content on Facebook or Pinterest is neither yours nor your customers. The term is “shared media”, but really it’s Facebook’s or Pinterest’s and let’s not forget it. You are building Facebook for Facebook and not for you.

The same applies to every social destination

How do you feel about social destinations? What’s your strategy not to ensure you drive traffic to media you own.

Image Credit: shareconference


Nick Kellet (170 Posts)

Nick is co-founder the social curation platform Listly, that combines crowdsourcing, content curation and embedable lists to drive high-level community engagement, live inside your blog posts. Connect with Nick on Twitter · Linkedin, Facebook and G+ and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at and

profkrg 2 Like

I don't have a problem with "social destinations," but they sure do get a lot of people/companies in trouble. I, of course, want people to go to my site over others. So, I invest in the social sites to drive traffic there. I don't understand people who put all of their content on, for example, Facebook. I would never want to put that much control in the hands of someone else. That being said, not everyone has the knowledge or ability to have their own site, I suppose.

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BruceSallan 1 Like

My web-site (for some reason I hate the term, "blog") is my #1 priority. All these other things aka "Social Destinations" I use for fun and to drive traffic to The conflation of it all though sure gets confusing at times. As always, wisdom NK!

nickkellet moderator

@BruceSallan Thanks bruce. It does get confusing for sure. Everyone's home base or blog should be their no #1 priority - that and an email list.

Regin_ 1 Like

I like your perspective, but in the end, how do look at the fact that many people simply don't visit outside these social media platforms? How about those discussions taking place at these shared media platforms regardless if you are present yourself? Because even if it makes perfect sense what you are saying, isn't it just a fact that you have to accept that companies have lost control, and shared media is the place where most people get their information?

I guess what I really am wondering about is how the mix between owned, paid and shared media should be managed.

nickkellet moderator

@Regin_ I guess my point is go fishing where the fishes are. Brings you nets back to home base.

People do and will visit blogs. You can become your own destination site. That's my belief anyhow. 

I'm still thinking on paid, owned, earned and shared. I dont think brands have to give up on losing control. I think they just need to think about playing the game differently

Media tools can evolve to cope with this new reality and I certainly see Listly as being one of those types of media. Listly is living or real time media that can live inside any blog. I'm seeing other examples of living media emerging too. It's just progress

cendrinemedia 1 Like

It's interesting to read this in 2013, after a year of huge mistakes by some major brands.

In this day and age, many have become oblivious of the basics. One being that you need to own your own piece of the Internet. 

"It’s tempting to create content to engage people on a destination site (i.e. where you first found them), but this is flawed logic in the long term. Once you begin to engage with people on the destination site, it won’t let you leave. You need to begin relationships the way you want them to go on." - yes, yes, yes!

Thank you for taking the time to write this article, Nick!