Walking the talk when it comes to social media is important as it backs up your credibility knowledge and know-how. But it’s more than that, it is a USP.
Tag Archives: business blogging
Blacks Solicitors have a great profile on the various social media sites which have proven successful in boosting brand awareness, customer engagement and PR opportunities.
I have been using Blogger for my platform for over 3 years and I have taken the decision to migrate my blog and website over to WordPress.
Over the 3 years I have been using Blogger, Google does not seem to have kept the softeware up to date with developments in Open Source Software. Wordpress has overtaken Blogger in terms of market share and functionality. Blogger is definitely the poor relation and has been neglected.
Blogging for business has certainly grown popularity in the past 18 months. More companies are using blogs to establish their credibility, boost visitor numbers and boost their PR.
There are some incredible statistics to back this up:
- 77% of Internet users read blogs according to Universal McCann
- 72% say they blog in order to share their expertise.
- 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry.
- 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog
With that in mind, running a business blog is becoming part of the online marketing mix. I am often asked about information on what makes a good business blog.
Here are my top 10 thoughts on running a business blog
1. Tone of voice – Think of how you would deal with a new business call. You wouldn’t use slang, be abrupt or not help out the potential customer. Same point goes for how you write the blog posts, as this is an opportunity to engage with potential customers to establish your credibility.
2. Be a thought leader – don’t just write about the news in your business or about your products or services. Write commentary on news in your industry, or a specific trend you have noticed or information that will help a potential customer. When growing your credibility it is important for potential customers to feel that you are an expert in your field. This is your opportunity to shine!
3. Set guidelines for digital engagement – engaging online certainly can do a lot of your business, but you also need to be aware of the risks. Ensuring the team involved in running your blog are aware of the risks associated – such as damaging the company’s credibility, publishing misleading information, moderating comments.
4. Choose the right platform – there are many blogging software platforms available, such s blogger or typed. WordPress has definitely got the edge as it has more plugins available to extend the functionality.
5. Custom domain name – you can set up a domain name to reflect your main website URL. You can either set the blog up as part of your main website (www.youdomain.co.uk/blog) or set it up on a sub domain (blog.yourdomain.co.uk) or a separate domain entirely. Point being don’t leave it as the domain that’s set up as a default URL, such as your blog.wordpress.com.
6. Look and Feel – invest some time and resource into customising the look and feel of the blog to it reflects your website look and feel. From a credibility view, the brand look and feel needs to be consistent across your different profiles online. Are potential customers going to take the content seriously if the rest of the blog has been left as the default settings? Spending time to be ‘dressed for the occasion’ shows that you are investing in your online credibility
7. Stick you your niche – your blog should grow around the niche topics around your products and services. Widening the breadth of the blog will mean that you’re appealing to a broad audience. Sticking to the subject matter around your industry will grow your niche audience who are interested in that subject matter
8. Optimise your blog posts – search engines look for regular addition of content on websites as one of their key criteria for search engine listings. Using a blog is a quick and easy way to add content to a website. If the blog posts are around key phrases that people are searching, then the this will boost the ranking of the page. Commenting on other companies and people’s blog is a great way to get inbound links. Inbound links are another criteria Google looks at for ranking a website.
9 – Market your blog. Once you have got some content posted on the blog you need to start driving visitors into your blog. Think about how you can sign post the blog within:
- your main website
- LinkedIn Profile
- Online Directories
- Other online profiles
- Email signatures
- Offline marketing
10. Engage with your audience / target market - when there are unplanned events such as the ash cloud in 2010 or the bad snow in November 2010 – your blog is a great way of keeping your customers up to date with news which impacts them. It’s a great way of growing your credibility as you are providing them real time pertinent information which will help them.
Like wise if you are looking at improving your products or services – ask for their feedback or what enhancements would be beneficial!
Happy Blogging – what are your top tips on business blogging?
This year has been an interesting year within the search and social media industries. The pace of change has accelerated and the two worlds are merging.
I have blogging about the key changes in the industry over 2010 and here are the top blog posts for 2010: (more…)
I initially had some extra time which I used up focusing on client work. After the initial week, I began to feel out of touch with what was going on. Not only with my peers and friends, but in the digital world, as I get a lot of news from Twitter.
On my Blogger blog I’ve got Google Analytics set up and I fanatically log in to see how my visitors are doing (not bad if you’re interested. Blogging frequently certainly drives more traffic). (more…)
Over the past 2 years I’ve been speaking to many clients about setting up blogs to enhance their SEO campaigns. So I thought I’d share some of the key ideas. (more…)
On the blogging course that I’ve been doing were we discussing the different types of blog posts you can do and someone suggested this one which really appealed to me. It really got me thinking who would I like to show around my business.
I would like to show Alexander Graham Bell around my business. He’s the inventor of the first practical telephone in 1876.
Technology has advanced since the beginnings of the early telephone. I think he would be amazed at the sophisticated the telephone is compared to the invents! Not only that as a visionary of technology I think he would embrace the world of the Internet, blogging, twitter, search engines, TV, DVDs, microchips and the list goes on.
Which historical figure would you discuss your business with?
How many of us have read a blog post that has made our blood boil or really got our backs up? Then started typing a response in anger………….
In those situations it is important to just walk away and calm down before responding.
The recent PR disaster by Ryan Air in response to the blog posting ‘Ryanair no credit card fee + 0.00 flight bug‘ was a great lesson on how not to manage such a situation (start reading the response from comment 10 downwards).
I was appalled that any employee would respond in such an arrogant, impolite and churlish manner. More importantly it highlighted to me that there was a lack of management within Ryan Air, around their online brand credibility and presence that could lead to such a messy situation.
Corporate Blogging Guidelines
What is becoming apparent to me is that companies need to have a blogging policy in place. That is what opinions people can write about in their blogs, and comments on other blogs with respect to the company. Otherwise, situations such as this arise.
With the dissemination of information the employees are usually the eyes and ears for the company in specific forums. So if a company does not have any online brand watching alerts in place, at least the employees should have a channel to escalate information through the correct channels.
Managing your brand online
More importantly, companies need to have monitoring in place so if there are negative comments with respect to your company / product or service there are channels of communication that pick this up. There then needs to be a process that funnels this information to the correct decision maker in the business, so action can be taken
This example shows the need for monitoring and operational processes to manage such situations. In the world of twitter and blogs, stories like this spread like wild fire so quickly. So before you know it, the problem has gone from small to a huge PR explosion in a matter of minutes.
Setting up the right processes
From an experienced online marketeer, I would advise any company to take social media marketing seriously. These conversations are happening with or without you, and it’s your decision on whether you participate or not.
The potential down side of ignoring this and having an online PR disaster on your hands, to me far out weighs the benefits of embracing the new opportunity and listening to what people are saying about your company / product / services…. the question is are you ready to take the leap of faith?
On The Web
Your online credibility is an increasingly important way of showcasing your specialised knowledge and expertise which will build your online credibility. As more people engage with the social web differentiating yourself become imperative
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