What do you think the biggest social media blunder is for businesses?
A recent article on Open Forum addressed this issue. The article gives three pretty good ways businesses can mess things up with social media. These things are issues with social channels like Twitter and Facebook, but they’re also relevant for business blogs.
- Using it only as a promotional tool.
- Treating it as a one-way street.
- Creating it and then neglecting it.
The article is worth a few minutes to read. There is much more detail about each of the blunders.
Here’s what I’m going to do. I want to go into a little more detail about what I think the biggest social media blunder is for companies. It has to do with blogging, but then I want to share a few positive things I see businesses doing. It’s not always about the negatives. It’s about the great things to, but first let’s talk about that common blunder.
Big Blunder: Focusing On Yourself
This is a tough one. There is a fine line in blogging between showcasing what you have to offer and really focusing on what is best for the reader. There is no way anyone is going to be interested in your blog if you just focus on what is good for you. There are a few blogs out there that focus on only what they’re offering. They focus only on the aspect of a product or service that makes them awesome. No blog like this will work. It’s confusing because no successful business writes service descriptions or product descriptions in this way.
Your blog is a product. You’re giving away your knowledge to your audience with the goal of getting them to trust you and your brand. The trust you earn will earn sales in the future, but nothing will be earned if you focus on yourself only. Something that is similar is a resume. You know the resumes that only focus on the candidate. No business owner wants to read that. The owner wants to know how this candidate can make profit. Tell that part of the story with your blog just as you would to the owner of the company.
Great Strategy #1: Telling Stories
I like what TRUE Linkswear is doing with their TRUE Stories blog. This focuses on what customers really care about. People that are researching for products want to know what other people think. They want honest feedback. It doesn’t have to all be good. People want to know the details and only current customer stories can really tell the details.
Great Strategy #2: Solving Problems
The Digital Photography School is one of the biggest blogs on the Web. The entire blogging model is built on sharing details that help photographers get better at their craft. There are examples shared, but it’s the How-to articles that really solve problems and keep photographers come back to learn and get better.
Solve the problems of your readers. They are suffering with something. Solve their basic problems with detailed posts. Do it for free and sell them related products that solves problems they can’t solve themselves.
Great Strategy #3: Capturing Email Addresses
It’s basic, but don’t forget to capture email addresses on your blog. It’s the best way to start building a list. Not only will you build followers, but you’ll build a list you actually own. There is a difference between followers on Twitter and Facebook and actual email subscribers. You never know what the rules will be with social networks, but you’re always in control of your own email list.