Category Archives: social media platform

Using Twitter to Promote Events

Twitter for Events

Leveraging Social Networks

We are working with an exciting new event organization that hosts expos for app (applications) developers.  In preparing to launch their campaign, I’d like to share with you some ideas for leveraging Twitter if you are doing events. Social media has made connecting with potential participants, supporters, and vendors easier than ever. Though Facebook is still a powerful force for social networking, Twitter offers more advantages for engaging with people before, during, and after. There are some incredible tools available, that when used effectively can take your reach and engagement through the roof.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Twitter for an upcoming event:

  • Preparation – Get your strategy defined at least a month before the event. This is important because you are going to need those weeks before to connect with your audience, build excitement, increase engagement, and meet your goals for attendance and sponsorship.
  • Find your Tribe – Every industry has shakers and movers. Find the top players in your industry, the thought leaders, the popular kids, and connect with them on Twitter. Go beyond page likes and actually engage with them. Designates some of their more fitting tweets as a favorite, retweet their posts, @mention them in your tweets (as long as it makes sense to do so), and respond to their tweets using the same hashtags they are using. Essentially, get in the conversation and make yourself known.
  • Reward your supporters – Your attendees, sponsors, and vendors are going to make or break your event. Show them the love by linking to their pages and engage with them the way you are with industry leaders. If you are having a large event, it may be challenging to engage with everyone, so be strategic.
  • Create a Hashtag – Each event should have its own hashtag to group discussions together. This will help you stay on top of the activity surrounding the event, build a community with the event as the common denominator, and make communication more broad and efficient.
  • Use Resources – Check out these tools to help you set up and manage your Twitter campaign for your event: Tweetdeck – a Twitter dashboard that allows you to stay on top of tweets, like a control panel. Twubs is a platform designed specifically for Twitter engagement for events. Use Storify after the event to create a story version of your campaign.  Check out hashtracking for analytics on how well your hashtag is performing, and adjust where needed.
  • Bell Curve – Think of your campaign like a bell, where you get the energy and excitement about the event going up more and more as the event comes closer, then full scale during the event, and coming down and tapering off after the event.
  • Automation – tools like Hootsuite can be useful for scheduling tweets throughout the campaign. Do not rely too heavily on this, though. It is still critical to be on the site, responding to people and engaging responsively.
  • Get Creative – Include in your strategy some fun ways to engage your event supporters. Contests, give-aways, questions, images, highlight individuals, and surprises are fun ways to increase engagement, get people excited about the event, and expand your reach way beyond your audience.
  • Be Inclusive – Don’t stop at the obvious supporters to promote at your event, give a shout out to the venue, caterers, musicians, internal coordinators, volunteers, and anyone who has a hand in the outcome of the event. People appreciate being recognized and using a public platform like Twitter is a great place to do that.
  • Deal with the bad and the good – If there are questions, complaints, or negative comments, address them immediately and do the best you can to resolve it.

Twitter is a great platform for promoting events. Using these resources and strategies correctly will contribute to a great outcome. Let me know if you have any questions about using Twitter, social media, or digital event promotion.

Political Posts on Professional Sites?

Posting PoliticsBe Real About Your Intentions When Posting Politics

This week was Super Tuesday where I live in Virginia. The political climate is heating up and we have 8 more months before the next Presidential election. This  blog is my perspective on the expression of political views on social media. Like many Americans, I experience the intensity of radically different views on social media and long for a time when people could disagree without so much personalization and venom.  We hear blame for this adversarial climate laid on the media, the “other side”, movement toward extremism, or even a reflection of our declining civilization.  Regardless of the root cause, social media has become a welcoming stage to play out political drama.

Never before have average people had so much access to information (valid and invalid), and a free platform on which to express themselves to untold numbers of like-minded and vastly different people. For instance, it is common for those of us using Linkedin to have over 500 contacts in our network. I can’t imagine reaching 500 people, other than paid advertising or public speaking, any other way.  On Facebook, the viral effect involves not only the potential for hundreds of your closest friends seeing your posts, but also the contacts of anyone who shares your post, as well as your comments on other people’s or page’s posts can be seen by the multitude of their friends. It’s enough to make your head spin. But while our brains are revolving around this idea, our culture is evolving, or devolving as the case may be, before our eyes.

I used to caution business owners to avoid posting anything political or provocative on their social media sites, for the risk of alienating people who think differently.  Though I still believe this is sound advice, I get the impression a culture is developing that renders people dismissive of others’ views and overly righteous about their own positions. If this is true, people are less and less concerned about alienating others, even in a business is context. Clearly I am speaking of trends and culture shifts; there are a great majority of professionals who maintain a more neutral stance in their public voice.  However, I am seeing more evidence of personal positioning on professional platforms.

I’m seeing more political posts on professional platforms, like a recent Linkedin post had a bold endorsement of one of the Presidential candidates, complete with large photo and a clear attack on the “other side”.  Some people responded with support and others with a differing view. The dialog (such as it was) became snarky and futile. I had to wonder about the purpose and outcome of such a post. Some could argue that we are political creatures and to express our views makes us more human on these somewhat impersonal forums. Could be true, but how much of yourselves do you want to display to the world in a space that does not inherently encourage respectful discourse? When deciding to post something that may provoke negative responses, you may want to ask yourself if the content being shared is information that others would find beneficial, or is there an element of propaganda with the intention of eliciting support or criticism.

I don’t trust the flimsy ground of the internet to hold a space for true understanding.  Face to face,  person to person communication is where the sharp edges of conflict can best be smoothed. As humans we are wired to respond differently, more respectfully, in the presence of opposition. We tend to be more open and less aggressive and adversarial when we are engaged in personal communication. Political issues are highly personal and have become charged with a great deal of emotion. In an earlier post, In Support of Digital Civility, I advocate using social media, particularly on professional platforms, for sharing only content that adds value to others, refraining from comments on controversial posts, and take disagreements offline. I love social media, but one on one  is where we truly connect as real humans and not just a name with a profile, who can be shot down with a clever barb, or dismissed with the click of a mouse.

 

Getting Your Message out on Linkedin

Linkedin PublishingLinkedin Publishing

I’ve been focussed on Facebook for a while now – time to turn our attention to another platform where you and your business can shine. Linkedin has upgraded their publishing platform to allow a full article, an image, links, and tags. It is designed to highlight Linkedin member’s original content. This feature has not been made available to all Linkedin users yet, but it will be soon.

You will know if you have this option if you see “Publish a post” as another option next to “Share an Update”. When you click on this link a word processing feature will pop up and there you will be able to upload an image – strongly recommended, Write your headline – critical to capture the interest of your audience, and write the body of your article. You can hyperlink words and phrases to other URL’s and add tags at the bottom. Tagging your article assists Linkedin display your material to the right audience, and better allows members to find your post while searching categories.

The publishing feature is far more powerful than simply sharing an update. By displaying your entire work directly on the site, rather than a brief introduction and link to a blog, readers are more likely to get your entire message. The image, links, and tags also make the post more engaging and visible. This is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and position yourself as an industry leader. Your published posts will be shown to you connections on their notifications tab. Even if they don’t read your material, you will be top of mind if you use this feature correctly.

Some things to keep in mind about Linkedin’s publishing feature

  • It is intended for original content. If you want to share an article of value to your audience, write a thoughtful and substantive introduction and summery, linking the article as a reference. This demonstrates your knowledge of the subject matters and shows more initiative than only sharing content from others.
  • Don’t use this feature to sell your products and services.  Posts that are heavily promotional in nature may be excluded and your account may be flagged. Just like with all forms of social media, think of giving before receiving.
  • Share your insights, advice, success stories, horror stories, and anything that can add value to those who are interested in your industry.
  • Linkedin will show distribute your article to the Linkedin members who are most likely to want to see it, based on their profile, interactions, and engagement on the platform. The higher the quality of the content you provide, the more likely you are to have your work displayed to greater numbers of people who are active on Linkedin.
  • Your article will be available through searches, not only on the Linkedin platform itself, but through online searches.
  • This is a great alternative for those who do not have a blog, but want to create their own content. Your posts can be shared in Linkedin groups, on other social media channels, or through email.
  • Remember to engage with others on their posts. By liking and commenting on the posts of people in your network, you reinforce your connection and increase the likelihood that they will think of you when your service is needed.
  • Be consistent. Commit to a regular posting schedule, write your articles, and publish routinely. I recommend publishing a unique post between 1/week and 1/month.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Unlike blogs where SEO is a factor that drives article length, Linkedin and its members reward valuable content, even in small doses. Sometimes less is better.

I hope these Linkedin publishing tips have been of value to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or check the Linkedin Help Center for answers.

Promoting Events on Facebook

Facebook eventsUsing Social Media for Successful Events

If you are holding an event, training, or gathering, you may want to announce and promote it on Facebook. You can do this on your personal or business page, or better yet…both. Here are the instructions from Facebook’s Help Center (with some modifications for clarity) to direct you through setting up events on your page.

To create an event on your business Page

  1. Go to your Page, then click Offer, Event + or Event, Milestone + at the top of your Page’s Timeline in the post box
  2. Select Event
  3. Add details about your event, add a photo, and put in date, time, and description. Events on pages are public
  4. Click Publish, or click the down arrow on the blue publish link to schedule the post for a later date

To create an event on your Personal page:

  1. Click the down arrow next to “more” just under the cover image
  2. Scroll down and click on Event, then click on Create Event
  3. The event will default to a private event, so that you will need to invite attendees. If you would like the event to be public, click on the down arrow at the top that says “Create Private Event” and click on the option to make event public
  4. Fill in the event name, details, location, time and date. Keep in mind that you must include an event name and time
  5. After you publish, Tap on Invite and your list of  friends will come up. Tap the names of the people you want to invite and then click Send Invite
  6. You can click on the option to let guests invite other or to show the guest list

You’ll be taken to your event where you can share posts, upload photos, invite more guests and edit event details.

How do I control who sees or joins my event?

When creating an event, the host can choose between the following privacy settings:

  • Private Event: Visible only to the people who are invited. You can choose to allow guests to invite their friends. People who aren’t invited cannot view the event description, photos, Wall posts and videos.
  • Public Event: Visible to anyone on or off Facebook. Anyone can also see the event description, photos, Wall posts and videos.

Note: Once you create an event, you won’t be able to change the event’s privacy settings.

To see who’s responded to an event invitation, go to the event, then tap Going, Maybe or Invited to see who’s responded.

To see who’s declined an invitation, go to the event on a computer.

To keep an accurate count of who’s attending an event, hosts of private events are able to update a guest’s RSVP. To update a guest’s RSVP to an event you’re hosting, find the person’s response or search for their name, and click to update their RSVP.

Note: For private events, hosts and other guests are able to see when you’ve viewed an event invitation.

How can I add photos or video to an event?

Hosts can add a main photo for the event from a desktop computer. To add a photo or video to an event’s Wall:

  1. Tap Post >
  2. Select a photo or several photos from your phone’s library or tap the camera icon in the library to take a new photo or video
  3. After choosing your photo or video, write something about it, tag people or add a place. Then tapPost
  4. If you are posting an event on your business page, and you want to include other businesses, at @Facebook Name to tag the business

If this is a public event, anyone who views the event can see its photos and videos. The photos and videos posted on private events are only visible to people who were invited. Hosts can remove photos or videos from their event.

Promoting your events on Facebook is a great way to increase attendance, visibility, connections, and digital reach. Let me know if you have any questions.

Connecting Business to Business

@Leveraging Facebook for Deeper Networking

Here’s a lesser known trick to build and strengthen business connections on Facebook. I talk a lot about social media being a dynamic and interactive place. It is difficult sometimes to know how to create that kind of presence with other businesses, especially when they are your target market (B to B). Those of us using Facebook to present our business online, and connect with our audience, are challenged to create a community around our brand that includes our business contacts.

Facebook does not allow business pages to interact directly with personal pages. When an individual likes your business page, you cannot reach them directly through messaging, email, or interacting on their pages. You can, however interact freely with other business pages through the “Like”, “Comment”, or “Share” feature on their posts. This is an excellent strategy to grow your audience by paying attention to and supporting others; when giving is primary to taking.

In addition to this approach, we highly encourage businesses to include another tool to increase your connectivity. Mention, through a clickable link, the businesses who’s relationships you want to strengthen, in your Facebook posts. This is how it works – when you publish a post on your business page, in the introduction type @ Facebook Page Name of the other business.  As long as your page has already liked their page, their Facebook page name will populate as you type it in.  It works the same was as tagging  your “friends” on your personal page. When Facebook recognizes the page name it comes up as an option to click on, making it a clickable link to that business page directly in your post. Using this approach appropriately will forge stronger relationships with other businesses through their Facebook pages.

Using @mention in your posts has 2 outcomes that can be more powerful than liking, commenting, and sharing posts: 

  1. The other business gets a notification on Facebook, and email if that setting is enabled, that their page was mentioned by your page. This is a link that takes them to the post where their business was highlighted. They can interact with the post on your page, increasing the communication. This can happen with the “share” feature as well, but the other business’s page is not highlighted so distinctly, so it doesn’t create as clear a call to action to click on their page as when the page name is linked in the post. Also, a shared post is simply that, which is nice, but says nothing about the business who’s post you are sharing. Mentioning their page gives you the opportunity to enhance your link something positive about that business.
  2. Your audience will see the other business tagged with a link to the other business’s page, and  if you do it correctly, includes a reason to want to go to the other business page and connect with that business.

This is good for your business because it is good for the other business; it demonstrates good will to others and your audience who may benefit from the link you shared. If the other business is similarly inclined (hopefully they are), they should do the same for you on their page, drawing their audience directly to you and reinforcing the bond between your businesses.

Make sure the post and business tag you are publishing on your page make sense and are relevant to your industry, business, or community. Here is an example for how a business page can use this to a very positive effect:

A mortgage lender posts a home listing from one of the realtors who could refer homebuyers. In the introduction to the listing the mortgage lender adds @Super Realtor.  The lender’s network can click on the link to the realtor and check out their page and the listing, and connect directly with the realtor to get more information on the house. The realtor is notified that @Savvy Mortgage Lender mentioned their page and promoted their listing on their Facebook page. @Super Realtor is grateful for the recognition and expanded audience and is likely to return the favor, either on Facebook or through direct referral. @Savvy Mortgage Lender’s Facebook audience has a direct link if they are interested in that house.

If the business you tag doesn’t respond, even with a Thank You, that may mean they aren’t paying attention to what is happening with their page or may not know what to do about it. It probably isn’t personal. If that happens you may want to follow up with an email or message to let them know you’d like to share content and invite them to share any of your information on their page.

If anyone ever interacts with or tags your page, always acknowledge, appreciate, and where possible, reciprocate. It is considered bad form to ignore your audience online, so be sure to be one of the good ones…or hire a professional to do it for you. When I do this for my clients and the target business responds, I am far more likely to continue promoting their page for my client, as opposed to the ones who ignore the recognition and I stop engaging directly with those pages.

This kind of networking can be effective for any business, even those that serve individuals. Businesses typically don’t operate in isolation and benefit from other business connections as referral partners, vendors, or support companies.  Give this a try and let me know how it works for you.

 

Promote Where You Can

Email Signatures Are you using your email signature to invite people to your social media platforms?

Most of us use email a lot and it is still the #1 form of business communication. Every time you have an email exchange with a client, prospect, partner, vendor, or any other contact, you have an opportunity to showcase your digital presence.  By putting icons linked to your social media sites below your signature line, you are inviting your contacts to take your connection further online.

Here is my signature line with all my sites linked so anyone I email can go to my sites.

Andrea Howard
Social Media Maxima – President
703-944-6021

          

The icons are links that take the reader directly to your page and look more impressive than a text address.  They should be simple, easy to follow, clear, and each one a working link. Having this on your email reflects your professionalism and that you are active in the digital space.

I don’t recommend this if you don’t have social media platforms or If your presence isn’t that impressive.  You should have a consistent presence and an attractive site if you are going to invite people there. Check out a previous blog on how to make your Facebook page look great.   If you aren’t quite ready, you may want to wait until you can show off your platforms proudly before you announce them to the world. I have seen emails with social links, but when I click, there is nothing there…leaving a bad impression.

When you do have social media platforms to be proud of and you want to invite engagement, follow these steps to get your sites linked. There are different instructions for various email servers, so here it is for outlook and the most common resources. If you don’t use either of these, check with your tech support folks or google the instructions.

Instructions from Microsoft Office for Adding Social Icons to Email Signature

Instructions for Adding Social Icons to Other Email Servers

(Including gmail). Click on the email provider you use for more specific instructions on creating a signature line, and follow these instructions for linking an image to your site.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Keeping Prospects on your Website

PRI’m working with PR consultant, Chris Volz, and asked him to take a look at some websites and offer recommendations from a public relations point of view.  This blog is his perspective on how websites should best be constructed to produce a positive outcome. Websites are the public’s view into most businesses now, and usually their first encounter. It stands to reason that the first, and ongoing impression of the company, should be favorable to the public. These suggestions are appropriate for any business to assess their website.

From Guest Blogger, Chris Volz:

Old time PR and “Bounce Rates”

“Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.” Google

The average person will spend 10-15 seconds on your website before moving on. Counting how many people visit your website is useless if the visitors move on in seconds without taking action. You have to hook them quickly with the information they seek and delivered how they want it . Most websites don’t do it.

Years and years ago when being trained in PR, one of the things you had to learn was how to write articles for newspapers. The entire story is in the first paragraph, everything after that is detail. This is not unlike how people digest information online now. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the years that apply to web design and development for business:  

Know your Public

Understand the demographic you are trying to reach and use the the appropriate language, artwork, and design for your web pages and social media platforms.

Know your Product Inside and Out

Know the benefits, advantages, pro’s, con’s and what makes it unique. Know it well enough to explain to a child briefly and make them smile about it.

Be brief

You may have reams of fabulous content. NO ONE WILL READ IT.  The main pages (Home, About, Services, etc.) should be limited to the most critical aspects your public wants and needs to know to do business with you. Save your industry expertise for blogs, white papers etc.

Be organized

Your website should flow in a way that makes sense. It is surprising to still see so many sites with content that is out of context. As an exercise, print all the pages of your website and put them on a wall. Does everything flow from one item to the next easily and clearly? Have someone who is not familiar with your company do this exercise with you and see if there are any missteps. You may not be able to see poor organization on your own website, but your audience will.

Be Professional

You are a professional… In your field. You are not a professional at web design, SEO, marketing, social media platforms. Chances are you don’t tune up your own car – for many of reasons.  Don’t tune up your own web site, social media etc. and don’t give the job to your niece in college because she “…is online all the time and understands it all”. Be a professional, hire a professional.

Be User Friendly

Again, this is where it helps to have someone else look at it. Old rule – “You can’t proofread what you write”. Let someone else walk through your site and see if its easy for them. Of course its easy for you, its your baby, but it might frustrate the heck out of me.

Make it easy

You want the contact, the customer, the sale.  Is your website designed to reach that goal? Are there clear calls to action? Is it clear and easy for people to do what you want them to do – call, come to an event, take advantage of a special, etc.? Is it written with your prospects as the audience or you?  If someone stays on your website at least 15 seconds, you have a better chance of converting them into customers. If your site is unappealing or cumbersome, they bounce!  

I hope you found these PR website tips helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Are you Using Instagram for Business?

InstagramInstagram is Great for Visual Products and Services

Instagram is a relatively young social media platform, but it has been increasing in popularity, especially with the under 30 crowd. Though it has a lot of users, many people in business do not know what it is or how to use it.  It is a great social media platform for businesses with highly visual products and services. Instagram is a photo-sharing app to be used on a smart phone. Accounts can be set up and managed from a desk/laptop, but images are shared through mobile device. On this social media platform you have the option to follow people, post pictures and text, and interact with others about their pictures. Because Instagram has become so popular, with a multitude of eyeballs, it is a great time for businesses with visual content to get involved and leverage all that reach.

Suggestions from Instagram to make the most of it for your business:

Account name – Choose an account name that is your business name or as close to that as possible, so your company can be easily identified.

Profile photo – The best profile image is your company’s logo. it will show on on most phones as a small circle – 150 x 150 pixel image.

Text – Use relatively short captions, hashtags to group your content (no more than 3) and ask questions to get your audience engaged.

Commenting & liking – Just like with Facebook and Twitter, don’t just post images/video, engage with your community about their posts and comments. Use location tags and Photos of You to connect with others.

Tagging – Include the location of your photo or video when appropriate and use the Add People feature to tag others to reach a broader audience.

Image tools – Use the editing tools available in the app  (like Hyperlapse, Layout and Boomerang) to create interesting effects.

Search & Explore – Use the “Search & Explore” function to find people, locations and posts relevant to your brand. Also explore trending hashtags and top accounts in your industry.

So why is Instagram so popular?

Easy to Set Up – Go to the app store for your phone, download the app, register by either putting in a username and password or logging in through Facebook. You will want to set up your profile like any other social media platform, with a profile image and basic information.

Sharing Photos:  pictures can be taken through the Instagram app or pulled from your phone’s cameral roll.  A caption or description can be added, so your viewers know what you are sharing. The image will go on your page and you can also share it on other main social media platforms.

Social: Connecting with others is a main feature of this app. Like with Twitter, you follow people and then see the pictures they post in your stream. You can like and comment on their photos too. Because you photos will be public, you may get questions about the picture from anyone. This tends to be a more relaxed community.

Connecting with People: Instagram allows you to follow your current connections on other platforms easily by brining up the list of your connections that are also on Instagram with a “follow” button.  Instagram will also suggest users you may want to follow.

Amazing Pictures –  There are beautiful images on this platform. You can also follow people who post images of things of interest to you, such as dogs, landscapes, ocean life, etc.

Instagram is easy to use and fun.  Because there are so many people on the platform outside the U.S., you can interact with and learn a great deal about other cultures and countries. Though Instagram is not big on building brands, it is great exposure for your business if you have products and services that present well as images. If you have questions or would like help with your social media, please contact us.

Going Beyond Content

Engaging on Digital Platforms

There still exists a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge from business owners about using social media for their business.  One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make with their social media is only posting their own content – their specials, their services, their glowing reviews. Where it is great to promote the positive attributes of a company, and social media is perfect for that, it is actually a missed opportunity.

In every business, there are natural networks of customers, clients, prospects, vendors, business partners, and referral sources. All of these connections have networks of their own. Social media is designed to leverage those networks to strengthen connections, increase visibility, and share valuable content.

Social media works this way because people are interactive by nature, some more than others, but essentially we like to connect with and be curious about each other. Most people appreciate it when someone likes our page, or leaves a positive comment, likes or shares our content. Not only does the business we interact with on these platforms value the attention, but that interaction is visible to that page’s audience, which opens up greater opportunity and expands digital presence.

It takes more time to engage this way, but if we want our business presence to expand online, we have to work it effectively. Here are some common mistakes we see businesses doing on social media and some suggestions to improving your business presence online:

Top 5 Mistakes:

Mistake #1 – Posting only content about the business, no sharing other material or content their audience would find valuable.

Mistake #2 – No response when someone likes, shares, comments, or requests a connection

Mistake #3 – Inconsistent and/or infrequent posting/interacting

Mistake #4 – No follow up to connect on social media with a live contact

Mistake #5 – Poor content – boring, irrelevant, overly industry-focused, text-based, wrong target audience, etc.

Here are some ideas to improve your business social media:

5 Remedies:

Remedy #1 – Share, like, and comment on content from your connections. Don’t worry too much if it is not related to your industry. If you introduce the post from the perspective of being supportive of other quality businesses, your post will make sense and be appreciated.

Remedy #2 – Always, without fail, respond when anyone engages on your social media platforms. Say thank you, like the comment, or comment on their comment. If the comment was negative (uncommon) respond to that too. Demonstrate publicly your fantastic customer service.

Remedy #3 – If you use scheduling software, like Hootsuite,, make sure you still go on your platforms frequently to work your connections. Remember, automated posting only handles the outflow of your page, and not the community building.

Remedy #4 – When you meet someone at a networking event or business function, find them online and reinforce the connection on those platforms. This is especially important on Linkedin where business to business relationships are key. If you make a valuable connection online, follow up to request a meeting in person if you have something of value to offer them in exchange for taking the time to meet with you.

Remedy #5 – Define your audience and craft your message for them. Generally social media should not be used for an internal audience, so avoid the mistake of treating your Facebook page like a company bulletin board.  Consider what people who are interested in your company or industry care about and deliver content of interest and value to them.

Interacting on social media is one of the best ways to create and reinforce community around your company. Some industries have an easier time doing this than others, but there is an audience for every business. To do it right requires dedication and a paradigm shift away from traditional marketing. Please Contact us if you have questions or would like any help with social media for your business.

To Blog or Not to Blog…

BlogThat is the Question

With time and attention being seriously limited for those of us entrepreneurs (not that other people have more time and attention, but perhaps more support in their allocation), we have to be strategic about resource management. Some of you may be wondering if blogging would be a good use of your time. Here are some of the benefits to creating your own content.

Let’s start with an understanding of this thing called “blog”. The word “blog” is a contraction of the two words “web” and “log”. Web logs started as online communities in the 1990’s with the emergence of internet platforms for the average person.  This technology leveled the playing field such that anyone can be an author and create  community around any topic imaginable. Most professional blogs are between 300-600 words and should include keywords naturally. WordPress, the most popular platform for websites currently, started as a blog site and has that integrated into every website. It is not advisable to create a blog off of your website, even if it links to your site. You want to keep all that good content and traffic directly on your website.

Google’s algorithms are set to look for website updates as a way to determine’s the site’s value. Simply having new content on your website can be good for your search results.  Because search ranking, or search engine optimization (SEO), has become an important way to drive traffic to sites, businesses are realizing that anything they do to help this process has a positive impact on their ability to be found online. Generating original content fulfills that objective. Be sure not to copy other website’s content onto your site, not only for the obvious concern of plagiarism. Google will punish (decrease rankings) sites that have too much content deriving from other sources.

Here are some benefits to investing in regular quality content creation:

1. Frequent Change – Every time a blog with appropriate keywords is posted on a website, it increases the potential for search engines to find the website.  Weekly blogs posted on the website create frequent updates which signals to the Google-bots that your site is relevantwhen someone searches using one of your keywords.

2. Something of Value – The more you create and share content that your target audience can benefit from, the more value you bring to your offering, and consequently to your client relationships.

3. Original Content for Social Media – Your blog can be posted on social media sites as original content directly from you. Though there is no shortage of quality, industry-specific content for sharing on social media sites, posting regular content of your own makes your sites totally unique and more interesting.

4. Industry Leader – When you write, or have someone else write on behalf of your company, it signals to others that you/your business is an industry expert and thought leader. This is very affirming when establishing and maintaining credibility with prospects and referral partners.

5. Content for your next Book – You never know when you may be compelled to share your knowledge and experience with others on a grander scale. Regular blogging organizes your material in a way that makes it easier to pull together when your ready.

Some people are concerned that they don’t have enough content to do a weekly blog. You may be surprised how much expertise you have to share once you start putting it out there.  If you need help with your blog, or if you would like to get started but don’t know how, please feel free to let me know.