At a recent blogging for business training workshop I conducted, the audience members had many great social media questions during the session and in the post-session evaluation. These four social media questions from the blogging for business training workshop are applicable across organizations on the front end of blogging.
What do you do when your boss does not understand social media?
If your boss does not understand social media, you need to have a strategic business conversation, not a social media conversation. Before you have the conversation, do your homework and have a firm understanding of what drives success in your organization. When you understand what translates to success for your organization, structure and prepare a strategic conversation addressing business fundamentals and priorities. With that strategic foundation in place, consider how social media contributes strategically toward overall goals. Do not start with talking about Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or even blogging. Start with revenue, leads, customer service, processes, or any other real issues that drive the business. Then put social media in that context.
Are a website and a business blog separate places online?
This was an intriguing question, because in the context of the blogging for business training workshop, I was talking about an organization's website and business blog separately. I did this because websites and blogs are different in tone, intent, and messaging. Digitally, however, they are tied together, if not one and the same. You do not want your blog and website to be in two separate digital locations. If they are, you lose real advantages of the web traffic a blog helps attract on a daily basis.
How do you not give away your competitive secrets to your competitors when blogging for business?
I have heard people talk about sharing the “whats” and “whys” of your business, but not the “hows” to protect your proprietary techniques from spilling into your business blog. You can also write in generalities vs. specifics (i.e., we rarely name specific clients). It is also great to write about something other than your organization that is of more interest to your audience. Quite honestly, I do not think about this much since with the strategic planning and marketing work we do, how we do it makes all the difference in efficiently producing the strong imaginative thinking and implementable strategies we devise. You cannot read about it and go do it.
When blogging for business, how do you balance messages so you aren't overly sales-oriented?
My answer on this question was when it comes to organizing your business blog content, think about a TV show. A ½ hour TV show has approximately twenty-three minutes of content, and seven minutes of commercials (as opposed to an infomercial with is 100 percent commercials). Within a business blog, you’re trying to create entertainment and a reason for people to show up at your website. With that in mind, having at least a 2-to-1 non-commercial to commercial ratio is a starting point. By simply being yourself, you’re “advertising” your value. As a result, blatant selling should be a very small part of the time and messages in your business blog. - Mike Brown
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