Last June, Pro Contractor News began its series on social media as a business tool. Given the importance of this topic -- and the sheer magnitude of it -- we are back with a second batch of social media-related business tips.
Social Media Channels
Wrapping your head around which social media platforms to use for your organization can be a daunting task, especially since new ones are emerging all the time. It’s important to understand that it’s virtually impossible to be all things to all people, so the best approach is to focus your efforts – especially at the beginning of your journey -- on the two or three social media services that make the most sense for your company.
Still, there is nothing wrong with at least dabbling in the newest platform to see if it is a better avenue for you to speak to your target audience. Trial and error will be part of the process.
Each social media platform offers a different way for you to interact with your customers and tell your story, but consistency is key – even though you may be telling it in a different way, stick to your brand story.
We're going to start with blogs because this should be the central component of your social media strategy. Think of it as your social media hub, where you create (or at least announce) the majority of your content and employ a tool like HootSuite to distribute your content across all your social media platforms.
Starting a blog for your business may sound like a major investment of time and resources, but it’s an excellent vehicle that offers tremendous returns:
- Barriers to entry are low as blogs are inexpensive and technologically simple to launch.
- Blogs deliver superb SEO (search engine optimization).
- You’ll extend your brand’s personality, improve engagement levels among your existing community, and attract new customers.
Content rules the digital world, and the issue with most corporate web sites is that once established, they are generally fairly static, which means that the SEO value is limited.
A blog is the ideal way to extend that by releasing fresh content on a consistent basis, with each new post creating a new page that offers more opportunities for search engines to index your content, resulting in higher positioning in search results – the Holy Grail in the digital age.
Another benefit of a blog is that it’s a perfect way to build a community around specific topics or issues.
Not only will you demonstrate your thought leadership, but you will foster trust within your community by “opening the kimono” and allowing users to see the personality behind your organization. That trust builds loyalty, which is a sure way to turn users into brand advocates – one of the ultimate goals of an effective content marketing strategy.
Five Steps to Blogging Success
1. Assign an editor: Having one person oversee the blog – regardless of how many people within your company contribute to it – is the best way to ensure the standards you set are maintained.
2. Stay on point: Make sure your blog remains focused on your brand’s core competency, but don’t make it so niche that you are unable to spread your wings to an extent.
3. Stay consistent: Develop editorial guidelines or a stylesheet that your bloggers will follow to ensure your content retains consistency regardless of who is posting.
4. Post often: Studies state that more frequent posting translates into more traffic and more leads. Blogs with daily content get five times more traffic and four times more leads than those that post once a week or less frequently.
5. Post early in the day: Recent research suggests that your content has the best opportunity to be read if you publish before 10 a.m. If you’re more inclined to write in the afternoon, your content management system should have a scheduling feature that will allow you to set your post to go live first thing in the morning.
Word of mouth is now the most trusted form of advertising, so developing strategies to get customers to tell their friends and family about your brand has become one of the most important aspects of your marketing campaign. That's why social media is so important, and we will continue to cover strategies and platforms in this space in the coming months.