I earlier posted about the Trinity of Social Media and in it I laid out three fundamental components in the strategy – a blog, a microblog and a social network.
We get a lot of questions at TSMB Media about social media in general and blogs in particular. This is a foundational post in a series about The Trinity of Social Media and blogs in particular that I hope you use, enjoy and reference often.
Lets start at the beginning –
What is a blog? A blog is a collection of articles, often by the same author or company, that is presented on the Internet, often for public consumption and comment. It can contain any type of electronic or online content – audio, video or text. I suspect that when we can transmit smell or touch over the Internet, it’ll contain them as well! So a blog is not just the sharing of text for everyone, it is a sharing mechanism for whatever kind of content you might have. I like text on a blog most, but that is because of the way the search engines index content – they work best on text right now. The tools are coming into play that will better index image and video content, but the technology is just not there yet or widely used by the audience – text is easiest to index right now.
What do you talk about on a blog? Your blog is where you, as the individual or as a company, will create posts (or articles) of 200 or so words that showcase your company, your product, and your business philosophy. Whatever you feel would be relevant to communicate to your audience of customers, prospects and stakeholders. I have clients that have not one blog, but three! One is targeted at their core business audience, one is more personal and one is a place they post industry observance. Each of them draws a particular type of visitor or reader. Likewise, I have clients that only have one blog and there, they post just video files with some text for consumption.
The content on a business blog then is primarily about the organization and why you are the company your customer deal with and prospective customers should deal with. That is not all your blog should contain though – endeavor to share a bit about the company picnic, pictures and posts of internal events, videos of subjects that relate to your products, links to other blogs that support your comments or suppliers and places your products are being used or demonstrated.
How often do you use or post to a blog? Frequency of posts is relative to where you are in the life of the blog and the number of current visitors and subscribers. Early on in the life of your blog you may want to post more often. Frequent posting leads the search engines to make a determination that the posting source is a relevant news source and should be visited often. More frequent updates = more frequent search engine visits, more search engine visits = higher authority, higher authority = better placement in search engine ranking.
So just post to a blog and I get readers right? Nope – not quite how it works. In the Trinity of Social Media under the ‘Platform’ leg of the model, we point out two items; a ‘Posting / Publishing’ leg and one under ‘Reading / Commenting’.
The reading of complementary and competitive content blogs is a very important step. Participating in blogsphere will drive readers and comments / links about your blog elsewhere on the web – all good relative to your search engine ranking.
Your blog should be positioned as the foundational element in a social media strategy. It should be the place you refer people to in your microblog post for more info, it becomes a place you connect to your off-line marketing, and it is where you always link your social network profile.
Why am I blogging? Passion… blogging gives you the control over what you are able to say about your passion, how often you want to say it and the context of how your message is presented. If you are not passionate about your topic, it will show. Your audience will not manifest and people will not come back to read your posts. Zig Ziglar always said “fake it ’til you make it”, referring to being happy or successful. This tactic will also work in social media… but only for a while. If you do not find your passion, your voice will waiver and fail. Find your passion and stick to it.
What if your passion wanders? No problem – the underpinning here is that you have to be true to yourself and you have to let it resonate in your blog content.
Are there pros and cons of one platform over another? Sure, that question is beyond the scope of this post however. I know I have the WordPress logo in the bubble, but it can be any blog platform you wish – important is to get the content out there and iterate on the message.
What else do I need to consider relative to my blog? There are a few more parts of what makes a blog work for you. My perspective is that unless you have a blog presence, the other aspects of the social media trinity lack the ability to create traction for your brand – without that blog there is just no where stable and consistent to point them.