Social marketing and networking are hot topics in today’s business world. But just like any business interaction, their effectiveness depends on adhering to some communication protocols that are commonly shared across multiple platforms.
The following business communication tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid-Northern Michigan apply to blogs, press releases, marketing emails, and any other electronic means you might employ to interact with customers and prospects on a regular basis.
The important thing to keep in mind is that all of these marketing vehicles will be viewed by your contacts as extensions of you. As such, you need to treat them as a vehicle for showcasing your thinking and writing skills. Remember, it’s not always about how much you write—it’s just as important to be able to recognize valuable content and pass it along to your contacts in a timely manner.
#1: Let Your Passion Show Through — Make no mistake about it; if passion isn’t present, your readers will see right through it. Plus, you better be passionate about the subject matter because you may well be writing about it for an extended period of time. Realizing true social marketing success sometimes takes months or longer of posting blog posts, sending out emails and generating press releases before you start realizing a loyal following. Part of your job is to make sure that passion level is maintained so that your contacts are always looking forward to your next communication.
#2: Concentrate on shorter, more frequent contacts — You don’t have to write a novel each time you post to your blog, send out an email, or generate a press release. On the contrary, a short paragraph or two is plenty. As stated above, if you’re linking to posts or articles written by others, sometimes just a sentence or two of commentary or opinion will suffice. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is 2 to 3 short blog posts per week, 1 or 2 marketing emails per week, and 1 or 2 press releases per month.
#3: Find your “voice” and let it emerge — Your blog, email, or press release should reveal something about the way the writer thinks, as well as what he or she thinks about. You want to be honest and forthright in your writing, but you don’t want to cross the line into saying things that are critical or inappropriate about competitors and/or major players in your industry. Use common sense. Every time you post a new entry or send out an email or press release, remember that you’re either creating a public Web page (in the case of a blog), or creating a link that will point back to a web page that will easily be found by Google. Don’t give them a reason to react negatively to your site!
#4: Use correct grammar and syntax — If you’re blogging about topics related to your industry or niche, the quality of your writing matters! It’s actually incredible to think that some people have risen to the ranks they have without knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re,” or “there” and “their.” If you need some brushing up, pick up a copy of “A Writer’s Reference” by Diana Hacker. (Yes, that’s really her last name. No pun intended!) The book covers everything from word choice to punctuation to what makes an effective sentence and a whole lot more.
#5: Carefully organize your content for the Web — Whether you’re writing a blog, email, press release, or other means of electronic communications, you need to view it as a content management system. Think about the categories you want to cover over time and build your keyword and key phrase list accordingly. Think in terms of what words and phrases your clients and prospects may be searching on. For optimization purposes, title each of your posts with care and include as many specifics and keywords as possible. If you’re quoting an expert or brand name company try to include the name in your title.
#6: Include your contact information — You’d be surprised how many bloggers and social marketers work hard to be recognized by their contacts and then neglect to insert their contact information into the marketing message. Remember, your blog or press release may turn up in a reporter or customer’s Google search. By ensuring your contact information is included, you make it easy for them to pick up the phone and call or send an email.
Following these simple tips will help you when it comes to crafting effective social marketing messages and endearing your readers to you.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid-Northern Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Mid-Northern Michigan. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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