When I say, “social media,” you say …
Maybe you threw in Pinterest and Google+, too.
Unfortunately, many solopreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses have been drawn by the buzz of these sites and have forgotten about the value of blogging as part of their social media strategy. Or maybe it’s because social media seems so much easier to do.
A quick tweet or the sharing of a picture with a short comment on Facebook takes only a minute. Blogging, on the other hand, takes time. There are brainstorm topics, researching your keywords, writing and editing the content, and embedding hyperlinks while taking advantage of all the SEO elements on the page and in the backend of your website … definitely not a 60-second task.
Just for the record, I’m not saying building and maintaining an effective social media presence is easy. As a matter of fact, if you take a look at all the tasks that I said you need to do for blogging, the same hold true for social media. It’s just that many people don’t perceive it that way. The thought of tweeting a message doesn’t cause most social media managers or small business owners the same level of anxiety that writing a 500 – 700 word blog post does.
It’s this tension that causes them to believe they simply don’t have the time to keep up with a consistent blogging schedule. And if you can’t do it well … why bother, right? Here are two big reasons why and how you can dedicate time to blogging for building your online brand and connecting with prospects and customers.
Why blogging benefits your social media strategies
If you were to envision a successful social media profile for your business, say your Facebook fan page, you probably picture posting content and questions, sparking great conversation, leading to more likes, more shares, and more fans. Here’s how blogging fits in with your vision …
Writing quality blog posts helps your business flex its expertise. It creates a connection and a following. It allows you to give your target audience something of value that they are more likely to share with people they know who have similar needs. Posting links from your blogging on your social media profiles just makes it that much easier. Plus, when you link to your blog posts from your social media profiles, you increase the SEO for your branding site and profiles, giving you greater visibility. And depending on your target market, you may want to consider using Tumblr as a microblogging platform and social media network, all in one.
How to develop an editorial calendar that will keep your blogging on track
When you walked in to the office this morning … sipping your cup of joe … you were probably thinking about the list of action items you wanted to complete before you punched out for the day. How did it go? It’s easy for the day to get away from you if you aren’t focused and committed to completing certain task. Unless you’re a dedicated writer, blogging usually fits under the category of “when I have time”. And when was the last time you felt like you had an extra hour or two in your day?
Creating an editorial calendar helps your blogging stay on track. Once a week or monthly, set aside some time to strategize the following:
• Issues of importance to your target audience
• New products, services or other news about your business
• Seasonal themes that you can tie in to your content
• Keyword research for best SEO practices
• Links you will embed to direct traffic to your site
Once you have your data, you can set a schedule of blog post titles, synopses, keywords and links, with release dates. With a complete editorial calendar, the thought of sticking a post doesn’t seem so daunting.
The big question for you to answer is: How often are you willing to commit to writing? It’s up to you to decide the right frequency that you will stay committed to. Sure, it would be great to write up a new post every day, but if you’re a small business owner wearing multiple hats and juggling a wide variety of tasks, are you setting yourself up for failure, if you do?
Can you commit to once a week? You should try to make this a goal. Once every couple of weeks or once a month isn’t going to give you the SEO boost you want. Plus, it will give you limited content of your own to share as part of your social media strategy. You’re fans aren’t going to be visiting your profiles if you only show up once every other week.
Think of your blog as your hub of information about your business and how you are engaging your market. Your social media profiles help carry your message out to your followers and their friends, and bring them back to your site with the links you have embedded.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide