From the beginning of Social Media and Blogging, marketers have been trying to find the magic key to unlock it’s revenue producing business model. The research has been done, and many have tried and failed. The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” solution that will work for every business. However, this does not mean that a blog mixed with Social Media cannot propel your business. As the Internet evolves and becomes more social we will start to see the social element of the web spill over onto how we search and find product and service information. Knowing the trends and staying ahead of the curve will become more important than ever.
Step 1) Know your customers
Always in the front section of any college level textbook, knowing who your customers are is often the most overlooked method to building a successful business. Have realistic goals of who you are and where your business is relevant, do not pitch a service to IBM if you have 5 customer service representatives.
Good design can’t fix broken business models. Jeffrey Veen, Designing the Friendly Skies, 06-21-06
My process is simple and the most effective, every year I reflect and go through my client list noting similarities and trends. Often the customers that I have show a pattern that relates to an industry or a referral source. Either way, it tells me what the business trend is and where to focus my attention.
Step 2) Be seen
As the social web develops and becomes more complex, we find ourselves lost in the tedium that is the “Facebook Timeline”. The best way to be seen is to be controversial and start a yelling match that people get heated, however this tactic isn’t great for business… By sharing relevant “Industry Inside” information that your customers may not always see, you will see a spike in the content being read and shared.
Take this a step further, why not be the information source for the news. Write your own articles and blog posts about what you see going on in the industry. Do you think that people won’t read it? Think again. The most sought after and appreciated writers are independent industry analysts, these experts in their field are featured on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC almost every day. Why not you?
Step 3) Build a list
What good is a shepherd without a flock? Develop your own voice and you will see the flood gates open. Use outlets like Yahoo News and RSS readers to syndicate your blog posts into worldwide viewership. If you develop informative articles and site sources like a true reporter you will have a better response posting on one of the many free article databases.
Make sure that on your website you have a section that is easy to see where your reader can subscribe via email or social media to your next media release. Capturing this information will give you leverage when speaking with the media on your credibility.
Step 4) Enable a conversation
If you have hundreds of eyes on your content every time you post, you’ll be able to activate that readership into having a conversation. This can be done on your website as comments, social media, or a channel like YouTube. Enabling a conversation is one of the best ways to drive your site to the top of an organic Google search, because Google sees content (like a discussion) as new relevant content.
The goal besides an increase in readership and website traffic is to get your readership thinking. Make them think about ways that they can use your services to propel their own businesses and careers. Make them contribute ways that they have used your products in other ways that they weren’t intended for originally.
WD-40 did this recently when a fan of their product reveled to the company that he was using WD-40 to remove love bugs from his windshield. He found that it was one of the only ways to get the pesky bugs off and told the company how pleased he was. They responded by launching a full campaign on how to remove love bugs from your windshield using their product and sales soared.
As you have been reading you may have asked yourself, this isn’t a quick overnight trick that will boost your business into overdrive. It’s a time honored technique of sharing good information, creating a spark of conversation, harnessing the power of group-think and building a reputation based on honesty and trust.