I am frequently asked about blogging and how to use it effectively for marketing within social media. I decided to put together a list of my top ten tips that is specifically designed for the individual marketer or small to medium business.
This list is not at all for the large brand, affiliate marketer, the social media author or speaker. Those specific groups are typically about numbers, driving less than targeted traffic, ego inflation and/or putting out volume over substance. Exactly what you should NOT be doing if you are serious about being effective with your blog within social media. If you want to measure REAL results that is – You know things like sales, revenue and new customers. But I digress…
In no particular order, here are my top ten tips for using your blog effectively within your social media marketing strategy. I have broken them up into two sections – Strategy and Execution.
1) Write for your audience – Too often brands and marketers forget who their target audience is. Write for your target audience, not for traffic. Deliver value and relevance in your content, just like a proper content strategy within your social marketing strategy. Write content that solves their biggest problems, answers their questions and/or helps them improve.
2) Stay away from time sensitive writing – New is great and often shiny, but does it attract your target audience? Writing content about something new in your industry or an event that is happening can destroy the long-term validity of the content. It’s ok to include some time/event based posts, but try to write content that has value for your audience, that can be found via search and/or shared via your social media efforts over a long period of time – i.e. relevant, Legacy content.
3) Be concise – Remember that a blog post is NOT a magazine article. People have very short attention spans and keeping your blog posts short, to the point and without all the fluff is important. Give your readers clear points to absorb along with a title that states exactly what they can expect from your piece.
4) Have personality – Be real and approachable with your posts. Don’t be afraid to put your personality into your articles or even be a little controversial at times.
5) Write yourself – For MOST marketers or SMB’s doing your own writing is going to get the best results. Having the benefit of your voice consistently across your content is extremely helpful for your readers.
For some that lack writing skills or the time and resources necessary to blog, outsourcing the function to a professional may be required. Be sure that the professional you select to write for your blog can follow your strategy and capture your voice (tone and personality) accurately.
6) Consistency – Just as with your regular social media marketing content posting, consistency with blog posts matters. You must have a consistent flow of relevant, valuable blog posts on your blog to build and retain an audience. Occasional posts will not be effective, so be consistent every week. I try to write two new blog posts per week.
7) Comments – Also like your social media marketing, responding to comments on your blog is important. Respond always and do it quickly after a comment is posted.
8) Use drafts – Whenever I think of a new blog post idea, I start a new posts in WordPress and save it as a draft. I add notes and bullet points for what I want to do with the post and save it. This way I always have some 30 blog posts started and only need to select one to finish whenever I need to write.
9) Stay ahead – Keep ahead with completed posts in the queue
10 SEO – When writing a blog post, you want to not only follow the strategy items we have listed above, but you also want to consider the long-term search engine optimization of your posts. Including images, tags and keywords in your posts is highly important for being found on search engines.
For the average brand and marketer, there are three main points to consider here:
a) Always include a graphic that depicts the content. This is important when readers share the content on social networks, but also for SEO. Be sure the name the image file with words contained in the title and body of your post and also complete a description that does the same.
b) Always include tags of the keywords and phrases appropriate for the post.
c) Be sure the main keywords of your post are included in the title, the body of the post as well as in tags.
11) Be realistic – Be realistic about what you can really do. Don’t set editorial calendar expectations too high for yourself so that you can’t complete them. Don’t expect that you will get 20,000 hits a day when you are just starting out. Be consistent, even if that is only one or two blog posts per week. Commit to the realistic expectation and stick to it.
12) Be Social – Without integrating your blog into an effective social media marketing strategy, it is highly unlikely you will ever get much traction with your blog. You need to have a targeted social community established that is highly engaged in order to best take advantage of a blog. Here are two things to consider:
a) When you post a new blog, share it multiple times that day in the social graph.
b) Keep a list of your blog posts and share them at lest once a week/month.
A blog is an extension of your brand, your website, your overall web presence and more importantly your social media marketing. Understanding the best way to leverage and integrate it properly across all of them will help you begin see increased results.