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!