Imagine a beautiful car with no wheels, or a gorgeous home with no doors or windows and you have an idea of the effectiveness of a quality blog with no social media interaction to support it.
No effective blog is an island. In fact, no matter how much time, money, thought, widgets, calls to action and useful content you put into your blog, you will not realize its full potential without making use of social media.
Think about it. If you aren't using social media to connect with your audience, engaging them in the online places where they hangout, how will your readers even know you exist? Sure, they could find you by doing a Google search, but you are much less likely to show up on the first page of any search, if your blog isn't already getting a significant amount of traffic.
If the website on which your blog exists already gets some traffic, your readers might find you by clicking on your "blog" button, but, of course, that will not amount to much traffic by itself.
If you are implementing a content marketing strategy, your blog is likely to be at the fulcrum of it, which means, you must create the "spokes" of your new media marketing wheel by identifying and engaging with potential readers on such platforms as:
- You Tube
Those "spokes" will only support your wheel if you fortify them with quality relationships that are mutually beneficial. This takes some time and thought. Sending out only automated promotional updates or tweets on social media platforms will not do much to build these kinds of relationships.
What will help is a consistent social media strategy that includes three elements: engaging, informing and retweeting.
Talk with people online. By this I mean two-way communication. If someone shares something you find interesting, tell them. If someone asks a question, speak up if you have an answer. Join in discussions and chats. Don't be shy. This is a very effective way of building your online presence as well as connecting with potential clients and brand ambassadors.
Share information that might be useful to your potential readers. No, this does not mean merely sharing your own blog posts. Those with whom you want to connect won't trust you unless they see you contributing to the community in a way that isn't blatantly self-promotional. So make it a point to read blogs and other online material about the issues in which your audience is interested. Share links to these other sites on a regular basis with your own comments where appropriate.
The spirit of this is found in the Twitter term "retweet" which signifies the sharing of a post, originally shared by someone else, that gives credit to the source. It is a powerful tool which simplifies the search for quality content while also building relationships with the most effective and high-profile members of online communities. When you re-share a post, making sure to give credit to the original poster, and even the author of the article if possible, you can make sure that these folks know about it by including their username. This often results in a "thank you" and the door is thus opened to a dialogue and potential friendship.
As you work to create quality content that accurately reflects your brand voice, company culture and image as an effective solution, don't cut off your own legs by neglecting social media. Your efforts could very well be pointless without it.
A version of this post was originally published as "Why Blogging and Social Media MUST Work Together" on EventRoundtable/ContentRoundtable.
(Photo by SmarterShift.com)