The world of social media and blogging can seem terribly confusing. We hear all the time that business owners created a Facebook page, got about 150 likes, posted regularly for about a month or two, then left it unattended and lonely...sad. See some Facebook stats that will make you cringe and give you a good kick in the pants if this has happened to you.
What about blogging? We would venture to say that this is even more intimidating to business owners because of the general unknown and time involved.
Let's put the two together, social media and blogging. When we take a look at successful social accounts, we see that they are not just typing random words and sharing. They are linking with purpose, meaning they have a plan. Here's the plan we recommend in the simplest form: Start a blog, then start social media. Let social media be the way you tell the world about your blog and your company story.
Why start my blog first?
Your blog is your voice! It's a chance for you to share your expertise in your field. If you own an insurance agency, share tips on coverage and possibly dealing with irate neighbors when your tree falls on their fence! Who's liable and what should you do first? These are great questions to answer on a blog.
Blogging is also a great way to:
- Spotlight employees
- Highlight various fundraisers and organizations your company supports
- DIY and How-to blogs do very well.
- Share your opinions on what's going on in your industry. Is there new legislation? Is something going on in local government that will have a big impact on your business?
First blogging, then comes social.
Now that you have established your expertise and enthusiasm (don't forget to be excited!), put it out there for the world to see. After all, what good is a blog without readers? Use social outlets in a multitude of ways to get the word out about your blog AND your business:
1. Post content with links. Give a short and engaging teaser that will make readers want to find out more and attach a link back to the blog post.
In this post, Pure Green has shown a problem (the imminent threat of crabgrass) and a solution (pre-emergent). But they have left out the middle, hopefully engaging folks enough to click on the link.
Here's another tip: Link back to your blog numerous times. When a post is complete, pull 5-10 quotes or tidbits of information and schedule them out over a couple of months. You never know when the article will reach a user who will share it or learn from it or better yet, become a customer!
Here's how Keystone did this:
2. Comment on other blogs. Seek out other like-minded bloggers and comment and follow their blogs. This just gets your name out there even more.
3. Give kudos to other companies. I'm not saying you should send your customers to your competitors. However, there are companies out there that compliment your business. Mention them in your blog posts and include a link. Then, tag them in your social posts. The goal here is for this other company to share or retweet your post therefore extending your reach.
4. Don't be afraid to self-promote. This one is obviously in the three previous points, but it's worth mentioning on its own. This is not the place to be humble. Work hard to produce original content, then show it off!! Make sure you're putting your content out there consistently.
Sounds like higher expectations that any one person can manage, right? Not really. You just need a plan. Consistent original content with appropriate marketing will give you the best shot at a successful blog.
Consumers are shopping online with a vengeance, and they are looking to not only spend their money but also connect with people, not "big business." Connect with them by writing blogs, and market those blogs via social media. DO IT.