When people are looking for a product or service, oftentimes they will first look for information about the subject on the Internet. In general, blogging is about having conversations in a public space that position you as a subject matter expert. "The type of discussions you ideally should have ought to be answering questions that people out there on the Internet are searching for," says Adria Richards , Organic Technology Consultant and blogger. "For me, social blogging is a way to have conversations with potential customers and to draw traffic to your site." For instance, you can answer questions from consumers via Twitter, which is a popular thing to do.
Social blogging is often used to share experiences in addition to business ideas and concepts. Always seek unique opportunities to share your ideas and offerings with not only your readers, but their associates as well, which will eventually bring in more prospects. Announce upcoming events, awards, and other news. But do it in a conversational tone. Hopefully, your target audience will retweet or share your story. Don't overlook Tunmblr, which is popular in the microblogging realm. Users can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows and "Tumble" other posts. Tumblr provides the option of custom domains. You can auto-syndicate to Facebook and Twitter. Users can track stats with Google Analytics.
Frequent one note updates can be a major turn off for say Facebook fans, while Twitter followers are more accustomed to frequent posts. Try to mix it up. Spark up conversation with the help of images and videos. Marketing experts suggest businesses update their audiences on a regular basis but only if there's something new, informative and interesting to say. Even if you need to repeat an update to promote a current offer or a call to action for a project, put a new twist on it each time.
Your company can benefit from valuable feedback through comments and suggestions. Do a call for action in your posts. You can also gain insight about your audience using Q&A, bookmarking icons, link builder, wordtracker, Google Adwords and so on. Make it easy for your readers to share posts. Encourage them to share tips and personal experiences with using your products or services. Just make sure you are on hand to respond to any comments, says Richards. Failing to do this is a sign that you don't respect or care about your audience.
Seesmic is an app that supports Facebook, Twitter and even Yammer, which is a private messaging version of Twitter. Seesmic lets you update and view content from different social networks. You can follow trends, update statuses or write messages. Also, take advantage of status update schedulers for Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and other sites. Hootsuite is one favorite. It's free and it's capable of delivering updates to various social networking sites. Cotweet is another.
"It's been proven that there are certain times when people are reading blog posts and checking social media," says Richards. The most popular times to post or make an announcement are 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm throughout the business day. "The best days are the middle of the week, because on Mondays people are trying to get into the swing of things and on Fridays people are thinking about the upcoming weekend."
Have your blog serve as the central location for where you make announcements, suggests Richards. "It should be the final resting place and then everything should branch out from there. Why? Because you are in control and at the end of the day when you look at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn at any time they can change their policy and restrict how people access your data." You can create information on your blog and then promote it using other social network tools, adds Richards.
Make sure everything you do is somehow tied back in to your company website. Use RSS feeds so your main site always has fresh content, which improves search engine rankings, says Martin. Use your Twitter account to build links to your blog. Use tags and keywords that make your posts more searchable. Google Keyword Tools is a great device, adds Martin.
Having your employees or even the president post updates can help revolutionize how your business communicates with your customers and associates. Take Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott International, he is one of the most famous corporate bloggers worldwide. His "Marriott On The Move" interactive weekly posts has won the site loyal fans. You can follow his updates on Twitter @Billmarriott. Marriott's personal involvement has had a far-reaching impact within the company. Since first launching their CEO's blog, the company has continued to grow in the social media sphere by adding more blogs, several different Twitter feeds and even its own online community for Marriott Rewards members.