Blogging, or article writing, is a great way to generate publicity for any company, yet some people are only happy to write articles for publishing on business websites.
Any mention of blogging on social media websites, and they run for the hills. It needn’t be like that though. Social media blogging doesn’t have to be daunting or intimidating. It’s straightforward enough and gives you, the writer, a perfect opportunity to connect with a potentially enormous audience. If you know your stuff and are happy to share this knowledge, then there’s every possibility that your work will be shared by readers who will in turn pass the message on to their followers. It’s this ‘viral’ nature of social media blogging that makes it so valuable. So what are you waiting for? Get blogging: the sooner you start, the quicker your audience will grow.
There aren’t any hard or fast rules for article writing on sites likes Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, others than the standard conventions of format and the number of characters. In fact there’s very little difference to normal blogging. Social media blogging isn’t prescriptive. It’s up to you to choose what to say, and how to say it. However, there are certain unspoken rules, or ‘best practices’ if you prefer, that can help you target your writing more effectively. There can be pitfalls, as with every new medium, but they can be avoided if you follow this simple advice.
Every one admires the ‘man with the plan’.
He knows where he’s going and what he wants to achieve: everything slots into place effortlessly for this guy. It’s the same for bloggers. If you know what message you want to send out and have a rough idea of how you’d like to put that into practice and build your brand, then the rest will follow organically. Make no mistake, social media blogging can be time-consuming and does require effort and commitment, but once you get established and have sorted out a routine, it needn’t be a chore. The chances are you’ll really enjoy it.
If you lack inspiration or are unsure what voice you want to use to market your product/service, have a look around Facebook or Twitter and see what others are saying, and, more importantly, how they are saying it. You need to establish your own style and voice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from others. Social media sites are also fantastic resources: they can be inspirational and spark ideas for you to blog about.
Social media sites are meant for sharing: they are online communities where people can communicate and exchange ideas and information.
If you want to become an integral part of this community, then you have to be prepared to converse with fellow users. If you receive favourable reviews or comments about pieces you have written, then open a dialogue with those who’ve praised you. If they ask questions that are answered in a blog you’ve already written, point them to it. If your existing articles don’t answer their particular question, then write one that does.
Don’t be tempted to jump in with both feet if you receive negative feedback on Facebook or Twitter. It isn’t necessarily personal, and even if it is, it’s best not to respond. Responding can be both time-consuming and counter-productive. Some people get a kick out of criticising others, and the keener you are to rise to this bait, the more they’ll do it. If you’re managing to build your own little online community, and the criticisms of your work are unjustified, they’ll leap to your defence, and that carries far more weight.
Don’t immediately go for the kill and bombard your audience with sales-speak. It won’t do you any favours and will probably turn people away from your message, however valuable it might be. Build your presence first, and contribute only when you feel you’ve got something to say that will add value to the conversation. One you’ve built the audience, then you can start to promote your sales message. Remember you’re attempting to build a customer-base, and this requires time and patience.
Choose your friends and followers wisely, as you would do in life. As your online reputation grows, so will your following. However, there’s no point having followers who have little or no connection to your business. Conversing with large numbers of people takes a lot of effort and can be very time-consuming. What you’re after really is quality-followers, not quantity.