Type in ‘Best practices for blogging’ or ‘Top tips for Twitter’ into Google and the results will be overwhelming. Each person, blogger, or business will have their own advice and success stories to offer you. What this post aims to do, is simply provide a beginners guide to those starting out in social media and on their blogging journey.
Blogging is your gateway to social media and your ticket to creating content, context, connection and a community (Ducttape Marketing, n.d.).
QUICK TIPS FOR BLOGGING:
- BLOGGING SOFTWARE – Find a platform to host your blog. If you’re an individual, you can trial it for free on WordPress.com and Weebly.com and move into paid versions if your blog takes off! For businesses, consider adding it to your corporate website. Adding a blog is a great way to add timely content, attract engagement on your site and increase your keyword relevancy naturally, plus it complements your SEO efforts (Moz, n.d).
- BRAINSTORM IDEAS: Firstly, do you have content or ideas that you would like to share to your audience? Before investing any time coming up with your blog, it would be a good idea to research any content ideas that would add value to the audience reading your blog piece. By content, I mean information, advice, tips, news, opinions, review, updates or anything that is authentic, real and useful. Brainstorm related topics, answer questions that are asked or unanswered in the blogging world. Ask yourself, what do your audience really want to know? Being useful is key to gain traction on your blog and being successful.
- CREATE CONTENT – start producing content, do your research, vary the method of delivery. It does not have to be a post containing text all the time. Add a variety of images, infographics and videos, try out podcasts or maybe add a poll.
- POLISH & PUBLISH – Before you hit the publish button, check, you spelling, grammar, sentence compositions. Then recheck it all. Add a compelling title, make sure you are providing some originality in your post. If you’re a business, get sign off from editorial teams. Post in a timely manner and watch the results.
- ANSWER any questions and comments that come your way!
EXAMPLE IN ACTION: LINDT
On their blog, Lindt do a really good job of providing inspiration, sharing pairings and recipes, engaging in seasonal occasions & timely events to reach out to their fellow fans. The best thing about them is that they provide a competitive edge by even having a blog. Many of their competitors, be it Snickers, Hershey’s or Toblerone, simply do not have one.
BENEFITS OF BLOGGING:
- Increase your influence, be part of an information eco-system
- Search engine benefits
- Evergreen posts have an infinite shelf life
- A way to pull in people from different channels
- The ability to re-purpose content
- PR opportunities and massive reach
So you have a great blog, but on its own it may just get buried under the heaps of information posted each day. You need to actively promote it, and Twitter is a great place to start. Tweet bite-sized content in 140 characters or less.
QUICK TIPS FOR TWITTER
- SET UP – Create an account with a handle (for example, mine is @Dig_Mktg), add in a profile picture, an image for the header and write a short bio to introduce yourself to the world.
- FOLLOW AND BE FOLLOWED – Follow like-minded people on Twitter and you’ll notice many will replicate and follow you back.
- JOIN THE CONVERSATION – Use hashtags to increase your reach. “Reply” to people and add your two cents (Smith, 2012).
Schaefer (2014), identifies three key elements that enable tangible business and personal benefits.
- Targeted connections – build your ‘tribe of followers’.
- Meaningful content – ‘earn your audience’ through content that is interesting and rich. Post links about your blog, but also retweet others content, respond to mentions, share your opinions and engage in conversations.
- Authentic helpfulness – Don’t try to continuously sell yourself, your blog or your products, aim to provide genuine help.
EXAMPLE IN ACTION: CANDY BRANDS
Although many of the candy brands do not have a blog, almost all of the brands mentioned in a chart in my previous post, have an active Twitter account.
Here is an infographic showing some examples of what candy brands are tweeting about:
[Click to enlarge]
BENEFITS OF TWEETING:
- It is free and open
- It connects you to people and many influencers
- It works great from mobile phones so provides flexibility
- It attracts visitors to your blog or corporate website (Hubspot, n.d).
- It allows you to listen, talk, energize, support, and embrace your audience (Li and Bernoff, 2011)
There are many valuable resources I’d like to share that should help you get started with your blog and with Twitter. Check these out:
I hope this post provided you with a basic understanding on the best practices for blogging and tweeting. Clearly, candy brands have not embraced blogging much, but they all have a great Twitter presence.
If you have enjoyed this post, kindly share 🙂
Why do you think candy brands are not blogging? What do you think of their Twitter efforts? It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Hubspot. (n.d.). Attract Customers With Twitter. Retrieved from http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/blog/docs/ebooks/how_to_attract_customers_with_twitter.pdf
Jantsch, J. (n.d.). Social Media for Small Business. Retrieved from http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/socialmediaforbusiness.pdf
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press
Moz. (n.d.). Blogging. Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/category/blogging
Smith, B. (2012, June 5). The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/06/05/twitter-for-beginners/#JBd._3_9mEq9
Schaefer, M. (2011). Mark Schaefer on Blogging [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Rialta/mark-schaefer-on-blogging
Schaefer, M. W. (2014). The Tao of Twitter, Revised and Expanded New Edition: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education