Many businesses these days have understood the need for a robust social media presence. A great number of them also appreciate the need and benefit of using content-based marketing to promote their services or products to potential customers. Such efforts generally take the form of blogs designed to showcase that businesses offerings with in-depth long-form content; the kind that you can’t really implement cleanly into a standard advertising campaign but which is still very important to your business and its success.
Why Your Blog Is Important
The reason content marketing, such as the type you engage in via a company blog is important, is because it gives you a platform to showcase your product, providing the kind of contextualized and carefully crafted narratives and informational pieces that would be very difficult to convey effectively via other channels. The other major advantage offered by maintaining a blog is that you are able to build, maintain and interact with an audience that is specifically interested in your product, service or company and would like to learn more about it.
This audience is critically important, particularly for new or small companies because the users that comprise this audience are likely to be the most engaged among your customers, providing feedback on your offerings and possibly using your blog’s comments or forums to connect with each other and also provide their own usage and optimization tips. To put it simply these users, if nurtured and catered to effectively will form the core of your business’ user ‘community’.
Why Your Social Media Is Important
Your Social Media presence is a key part of the brand identity for any business. When it comes to discovering your business, in many instances your social media presence represents the “Top of the funnel” so it’s important to make a good first impression with your social channels. The tone you take on your social media accounts will, at least partly, set expectations for what users can expect from your brand and how you will interact with them. Today maintaining a robust social media presence is crucial because, for many customers, such social media pages are one of the primary contact points for customers or potential customers to ask questions, place orders and get customer support.
Social media operations for businesses have evolved to the point that some smaller businesses transact primarily through platforms like Facebook such as with their FB store application. While limited in some ways, tools like these allow small business owners to keep their operations extremely lean and low cost, without needing to worry about setting their own site with a store and secure payment systems in place.
How to cross promote your blog and social media pages
One of the aspects of social media strategies that many people get wrong at the start is to treat their blogs and other original content platforms as separate aspects of their business. However that’s not really the case, your blog is (or at least, should be) as much a part of your social outreach efforts as any of the major platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.
Ideally what you would want is for people to be aware of and following your company on as many platforms as possible in order to maximize the likelihood of them seeing updates from you. Here are a few ways to build and maintain your following
Sharing your blog posts across your social channels
This is something you should already be doing because it requires almost no effort and has huge potential benefits. Whenever you create a blog post promote them across your social media channels to let people know that you have a new post up as well as what it’s about. But you can go further by marketing your content. This will help you become more visible to those outside your current following and with good content and a little luck, hopefully, convince them to join your business’ fan following. Organic traffic is extremely valuable but can be slow to grow to a meaningful size. Our quick start guide on content marketing can help get your blog discovered across multiple platforms simultaneously and in large numbers
While this may sound counter-intuitive, curating interesting content from other sources relevant to your user base and promoting them across your social media pages will help you build up your own profile. By following industry trends and sharing high-quality content that your users would be interested in, you establish yourself as an excellent source of information on that particular industry. You can use this curated content to cross promote your blog, either by linking the discussions to older posts you had already created on the topic, which allows you to effectively recycle and refresh your old content; or, you could create a piece that either supports or contradicts the ideas presented in the curated content. The idea here is two-fold, to present yourself as an authority on a topic and have the opportunity to demonstrate that fact. The other purpose is to promote a discussion, either on your social accounts or to draw that traffic back to your blog where the community can engage further with both your business and the subject matter in question.
Promote User Generated Content
This option is more workable for those businesses that have already developed a sizable community and which ideally engage in work that involves some degree of creativity. would like to leverage some of their skills and talents to drive content creation. For example, if your business made T-shirt designs (or graphics of any kind really) you could hold a competition to take user submitted entries to create products based on the winning design/s. You would be able to promote entries as they came in on social media and have a blog post to cover the top entries at the end of the contest with input from the featured artists. Or if you wanted to go bigger, have a regular round-up of top entries, perhaps every week that the contest was running. Of course, make sure you adjust the number of posts being made to the actual number of entries coming in so that you can maintain a good quality level for your highlight posts.
There are lots of ways you can use user generated content to cross promote your blog and social media accounts, regular fan spotlights or guest posts from notable community members is a great way to maintain engagement and build up sustained interest in your brand. Community members that feel appreciated will be more likely to promote your content, engage more with the rest of the community and serve as an ‘evangelist’ or advocate for your brand or business.
When it comes to promoting yourself and your content you shouldn’t have to choose between a good blog and a strong social media presence, one can help sustain the other. In some cases you may be better at one aspect and find that your blog is propping up your social media or vice-versa. However by persevering with both you can enjoy a number of synergistic benefits, allowing you to strengthen both aspects of your community building avenues simultaneously.