Everyone always jumps onto Facebook and Twitter as one of their first social media activities. I recommend you think about blogging first. No other endeavor can be better to promote you or your brand as a subject matter expert.
While I always say that building relationships are the most important aspect of social media, you absolutely want to be perceived as the subject matter expert in the area your brand pertains to as you build relationships with your potential and existing customers. Once you have a core portfolio of reference pieces (blog posts or articles) your use of Facebook, Twitter and other social distribution and engagement channels becomes that much more valuable.
A number of months back, I wrote an article “Content is Super Important !!! (But Not King)” so you might ask, why the change of mind now as I emphasize the value of blogging? Well in that article, I declared, “Content is not King. Conversations around content used to be King. Now, sharing content is King. (Long live the King. )” And this is the crux of the opportunity blogging presents, not just for your social media efforts, but for your overall brand reputation. Your content not only allows you to tell your brand stories and reinforce your knowledge and expertise in the area you market, but it presents opportunities to engage in discussions with your target market. It also presents opportunity for sharing your content … not just you with your audience, but the passing of your content from your audience to their network. This is word of mouth marketing working at its best.
So if you have an inkling to blog, I have seven tips for you …
1) Consider topics/subjects – consider topics and subjects that you should cover. These topics should be relevant to the audience you seek to attract and they should reinforce you expertise.
2) Passion – You or the person that is blogging for your company MUST have passion for what they are writing about. Find the right people. They need not always be the top brass. It cannot be a person that sees blogging as the tenth area they are responsible for and is always dropping writing a blog post down their priority queue. Find the people who are excited to get the word out and share what they know.
3) Speak naturally – A blog is not formal corporate communication. Write like you talk and avoid jargon and being verbose.
4) Discussions – Invite discussion and make sure to respond. It is often helpful to end a post with a question such as “What do you think?”
5) Sharing – Think about how your content is going to get shared. Yes, use Facebook, Twitter and other social channels to post reference to your content. Make sure you include social sharing buttons on each content piece. Use tagging for SEO. Engage on other blogs and websites. Feel free to discuss your prospective in the comments section of others’ articles and posts. While you share your viewpoint, drop in a URL for your article from time to time (but do not just drop a reference to your posts).
6) Consistency – Stay with it and post constantly. Be patient and stay on a periodic schedule.
7) Commitment – It takes times to build a portfolio of material and build an audience that comes to read it. Stay committed to blogging, responding, and engaging.
Blogging should be viewed as setting your brand tone to reinforce the brand position. The combination of having your own media and the curation of other content that supports your position allows your audience to get a strong picture of what your brand stands for. Building brand perception is key to strengthening loyalty and relationships.
Hopefully I have inspired you to get serious about blogging. Are you ready to start? Or if you already blog, what are your experiences and words of wisdom? Join the conversation.
Make It Happen!
27 responses to “7 Tips for Blogging – Maybe Your Most Important Social Media Activity for Business”
Great tips, Steve. I just started a family life and pop culture blog and find linking to other sites very helpful as well. I have received several comments and followers from using links in my posts. Happy to be part of the conversation!
Great input Brooke. Thanks! Best, Steve
Great insight Steve, I just landed a job a Social Media Analyst and I believe this will go a long way in helping me as I grow in this.
Mak’Omondi – congratulations to you and much success! Best, Steve
Thanks Steve, these are great tips. I’ve been blogging for a while but only recently did i decide to get serious about it. And it’s already helping me on google placement.
I intend to implement your tips again and again. ty.
Great – let me know how it works out Edward. Best, Steve
Neat and nice recommendation. Thanks to reinforce basics!
Steve, as usual your posts give a lot of food for thought, and I just love how you break it down here. For anyone who still questions the value of blogging, I can tell you that it does pay off. I’m seeing traffic pick up at my site, and it’s driving traffic to my others. Plus, people are checking me out on Twitter and LinkedIn. That took a year of steady activity, but it’s working. It will work for other dedicated communicators as well.
I love that you have highlighted a couple of important things: 1) It is working, 2) It is driving traffic to your site, 3) Driving traffic to your other digital assets, and 4) it took some time, but you got measurable results.
THANKS for sharing!!!!
Just one more piece of advice as an addendum to #1: Create a schedule for yourself – a kind of editorial calendar. That way, you’ll have an idea of where you want to go with subject matter. You can even write small blurbs or full outlines to help you with maintaining pace. Whatever works.
Great tip and input !!! Thanks and best, Steve
Thanks, these are some really useful tips, especially for someone just starting out such as myself. Really appreciated!
Informative. Thanks for posting.
Great tips, thank you;-)
Thanks for the kind words – my pleasure.
Wait! I thought of one more: Depending on the kind of blog you have, there’s no rule that says you can’t write ahead and schedule the posting for a later date. If you get inspiration, go ahead and write, and then save it. You can always edit it later. The thing is that the writing muse doesn’t wait for “a more convenient time,” nor is there a guarantee that you’ll have the same flashes of brilliance later. Creativity shouldn’t be a bane.
Good one. I use my iPhone notes to jot down thoughts for later blog posts.
Blogging has been the most successful sm platform for me. My posts helps validate my positioning among my tribe and stay connected. I like MDBurgos suggestion of setting up a calendar. Very helpful.
Thanks Jim – I think many will find what you have experienced … “Blogging has been the most successful sm platform for me. “
What’s your opinion on video blogging rather than written word?
My ‘minority sport’ Blog is all text at the moment, but my plan during the next 6 months is to integrate video blogs linked in from YouTube. Words will remain as i can’t record videos as often as write the words, but eventually I hope video will be 25% of my posts.
There’s 2 reasons for this – one is that its much easier to demonstrate the point I am trying to put over than to write about it. The second is that YouTube is such a massive search engine (second only to Google now, i read this morning).
I don’t think it should be one or the other … consider both. But understand what your audience prefers. No better test than actually doing both and looking and views and interactions of both.
Great article, Steve. I agree that if you’re engaging and consistent you will see results. In 2013, I’m definitely going to put a full effort into blogging and use the other social media resources to link back.
My business partner sent me a link to this article today and I’m excited to become a reader of your blog. Have a happy new year!
Thank you! What does it mean to “drop in a URL for your article from time to time (but do not just drop a reference to your posts?”
What I am saying is not just say ‘go to my blog.” Engage in the conversation where it is happening … have a conversation. Then, softly state that you cover more on the topic at URL. It is more about blatant pushing versus subtle referencing.