It may seem that Facebook and Twitter get all the attention in social media circles these days, while the simple blog has been pushed to the sidelines. But in truth, a blog can and should lie at the center of your social media strategy. After all, a blog enables you to set the narrative for your company in a way that no other Web 2.0 tool can.
In fact, more than half of Internet users read a blog at least monthly and find them very influential, according to research from Technorati and eMarketer. Want to tell a customer success story? Need to spread information about an upcoming company-sponsored event? A blog can serve those needs, and more. Ultimately, you should think of your blog as the hub for your social media activities.
Setting up a blog on your website requires a little programming expertise (here’s some tips on how to do that), but once you’re up and running, it’s good to follow a few guidelines for shaping the content that you’re presenting.
Choose Your Topics
Not certain of what to write about? One of the best places to start is by introducing your company blog as a place to share ideas. Readers will be encouraged to hear that your blog is a place they can respond to—literally, with comments on your content. Inviting feedback is a great way to establish customer conversations.
From there, you can host a company-wide brainstorm session to see what topics customers ask about and where their pain points are. If you can address a customer need on your blog, or show customers how to do something, or lend your expertise, customers will look to you as a trusted source. (And this can also have the added benefit of boosting sales.)
You can also blog about a news story by putting your own twist on it and why it’s important to your readers. Another thing you can do is link out to another blogger and credit them with sharing something interesting, and offer your thoughts on the topic. The possibilities for content are endless.
Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited back to my Alma Mater, Syracuse University, for several discussions on social media in the enterprise and my career path. While the weather wasn’t quite sunny and alive, the students’ overwhelming interest on the topic of social media surely made up for it! I was so pleased to see a room full of excited students and faculty for both of my discussions!
Thanks to everyone for the taking the time to attend and a very special thank you to Syracuse University (@SyracuseU), the iSchool (@iSchoolSU), Anthony Rotolo (@rotolo), Jeff Rubin (@jhrubin), Kelly Lux (@KellyLux) and Kim Brown (@kimincuse)! I also had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in several lectures during my visit, which included a large class of 150 students all the way down to a smaller more intimate class of about 20 students. It was so great to be back on campus and knowing that I didn’t have a paper or mid-term exam due! (Btw, did you know that they now randomly select “attendance days” and ask students to swipe their university ID cards to get attendance credit? If you snooze, you lose ;-))
My visit to my alma mater Syracuse University (April 2011)
My discussions at Syracuse focused around how social media has changed and will continue to change the ways in which we communicate both within the enterprise and externally with our customers. We are no longer living in a world of 1:1 communications. Read More »
Since starting my role in Cisco Channels social media some three years ago, I’ve been asked a lot of questions: “What video camera should I buy?” “Who do you like to follow on Twitter?” “Who does your hair?” (OK, no one’s actually asked me the last question, but drop me a note in the comments if you really want to know.)
But the most commonly asked questions that I hear over and over are: How do I get started with social media, what are the best tools to use, and how do I engage more customers? Well, in the interest of helping Cisco partners around the globe achieve resounding social media success, I’m happy to announce our new Channels blog series: Social Media Spotlight!
In this series, my fellow Channels blogger Kalpana Ettenson and I will be addressing any and all social media questions that you have. For starters, we want you to post your most burning social media questions in the comments below so we can address them in upcoming blog posts.
And we also have a few topics planned based on questions we’ve gotten in the past…Read More »
Partner Velocity has been keeping me busy! In the midst of attending sessions, interviewing speakers, capturing video clips, and catching a few quick bites, I managed to carve out some time to host my own session, “Leveraging the Power of Video with Live Streaming.” During my talk, which was also broadcast live over Ustream, I discussed and demonstrated how to setup your own live Ustream session from start to finish.
Barcelona is a great city—with its fantastic Basque food, gorgeous beachside location, and beautiful architecture courtesy of famed architect Antonio Gaudi, this Spanish city can’t be beat.
Next week, Barcelona will play host to partners from around the world who will be convening there to attend Partner Velocity, our annual event focused on giving our partners the insight, knowledge, and networking they need to accelerate their marketing.
This year, we’ll be providing our partners with access to the inside scoop on the latest social media and web 2.0 marketing trends. We’ll also have two sessions on marketing the cloud.