If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, you sit on the hottest piece of social media marketing mix you could ever imagine – take advantage of it. How can you make your blog work as a resume and business builder? What can you do to use the full potential at your fingertips?
Do as a company would do to grow its business – market it. In this post, I am taking the advice Geoff Livingston gives companies on social media in his upcoming book Now is Gone (see companion blog with case studies) and using it for you. Traditional businesses and corporate America may not do social media very well — many do know how to do marketing that works.
Geoff has taken the time to adapt his advice on social media and blogging so it fits within the practices and processes of businesses. Here, we’ll take a look at what you can borrow from business practices that sell to market your blog.
Start with the underlying attitude – it’s worth repeating it even to me
(from the introduction by Brian Solis)
Listening is marketing
Participation is marketing
Media is marketing
Conversations are marketing
When you talk about how making comments on other blogs and opening up comments on yours are good ideas to get more traffic, you are practicing marketing – listening, participating, having conversations – in a medium that is perfect for it in its simplicity.
Are you New Media Ready?
You may have seen a meme circulating called media snacking – it stated from a provocative question Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang asks – Do we respect media snackers? Snackers are folks who consume small bits of information, data or entertainment when, where, and how they want. Are you using several components of the new social media mix effectively? Do an audit:
1. Post on blog, check
2. Twitter to my followers about topic with link, check
3. Conversation with my friends on Facebook after posting link, check
You get the idea. Remember that in traditional marketing, all of the components of a program work in concert, that’s why they call it a campaign. To be new media ready you also need to understand – really internalize – that to be successful you need to commit time and resources to this, and embrace transparency in full.
What Tool is Best for Your?
The answer may not be just a blog. The fist thing you need to find out is where your target audience is – where are your buyers? Where do people hire your skill set? Then build value for them. For example, if you are graduating and looking for your first job in brand strategy, build a blog where you create brand strategy for the companies you’d like to work at. Link to their sites and campaigns offering additional thoughts for consideration in your posts – in other words, be the person you’d like to become. In one sentence, build value for the community of people you’d want to attract.
How do you Promote it?
Use community relations programs – participate, create tag-based blogosphere buzz, engage with social networks, do a blogger outreach, become a thought leader in your field of expertise on Twitter.
If it makes sense for your business, engage in traditional media relations as well. Trackbacks also work on blogs at BusinessWeek and other online publications – they will be most effective when they are targeted to the content of the post, just like with other blogs by your peers. Remember that traditional media is also learning how to blog, so anything you can share with them and help them out will make them come back for more.
This is the best chapter in a book that is extremely useful even for someone like me who has done plenty of marketing and has experienced social media first hand. The reality is you could be doing a lot of these things already, yet feel that you are not succeeding. We have increasingly diverse and changing marketing environments, the blogosphere and many social networks are reaching saturation points, etc.
All of these realities have always been true for businesses as well. Yet, there are marketing plans that elevate companies’ products and services to great brands. The secret is in finding the right marketing mix for your content and execute it with discipline, flexibility, honesty, and intelligence.