“Boring. I was stranded today. I had to spend hours in Nyack, just over the border from New Jersey, so I shopped. Actually, I TRIED to shop, but I failed. I spent two hours at the mall, and it was boring.”
The past couple of posts have discussed how to create a social media strategy: The first steps on social media and questions to ask before making any investments – time or money – on social media. This article is about the centerpiece of your social media strategy: Your blog.
Naturally you can call it anything you like:
Blog, Creativity Lab, Think Tank, V-Log, Journal, Diary…
For the sake of clarity, I just call it a blog for now.
And why is a blog so important?
Because step one in order to establish authority and credibility is to share your thoughts in public, let people get to know you and allow them to discover what they can learn from you.
When it comes to hosting that blog, there is a multitude of options to choose from, based on the goals you’ve set and your audience.
The obvious one is to host it on your website, write about your own stuff, publish guest posts and so on. When it comes to business blogs, this is the most popular option for a variety of reasons and the biggest one is that you hold the full ownership of your content at all times.
But let’s take a look at some other options that appear around social media. Here are some examples of using a public platform, which have the power of driving the traffic for you to your posts:
Social Networking Sites
Probably the most influential and famous user of Linkedin Pulse is Sir Richard Branson, but the platform itself is open for everyone these days.
Social media guru Mari Smith not only curates valuable content created by others, but also writes long posts on her favorite place, Facebook.
Google+ can be used the exact same way by the way, and that appears to have an impact on page ranking as well, if you’re sharing links to your page with the post. Here’s a comprehensive Google+ Checklist by Martin Shervington.
Also I don’t see why you couldn’t post a transcription of your video as the description on YouTube when Marie Forleo does that.
And how about Instagram? Well, check out how National Geographic uses the descriptions. Much like blog posts, don’t you think!
Here’s what’s been said about an interesting new alternative, Meddle.it:
“Meddle is designed to help people who aren’t professional marketers easily improve their online visibility by creating or curating content tailored to their audiences.”
Meddle allows more space than the other microblog, Twitter. Basically what it’s about is sharing the most thought provoking excerpt from a post you read, adding your comments about that and posting all that to the popular networks with one click. So it’s a microblog, content curation and syndication all-in-one.
Then of course there are hosted platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, Livejournal or WordPress.com.
While everyone keeps telling you that you should host your own blog, Seth Godin still blogs on Typepad and he has done it since January 2002. The opening paragraph of this post is actually from his first post, so thank you Seth.
All other bloggers of this article actually do have a self-hosted blog as well, but Seth is different. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he owned the whole Typepad platform these days…
Community Writing, Guest Posting
As an alternative, why not focus on writing for a blog that basically compiles posts from different authors, such as MaximizeSocialBusiness, The Huffington Post or TheSocialCMO. (It’s mainly called guest blogging I guess, but when you post regularly to a network I think that term gets a little weird.)
As you can see, there are lots of options when looking for the right place to spread your ideas and information about your area of expertise. You should also consider spinning your original idea on multiple platforms rather than just sticking to one. That way you can get your work in front of more eyes, create multiple streams of traffic to your website, improve your search engine visibility and give an impression of being “everywhere”, which s a good way to build that authority and credibility.
With that being said, what’s more important than the platform is a) the quality and value of your content and b) what you do after posting it. But more about how to create a social media strategy and your promo tactics in the next article!