It is one thing to say you are going to start a blog. It is an entirely different thing to say that you are going to create a social media strategy. Blogging is one part of social media, just as creating a marketing plan is one part of a business. Sure, it is better to have something than to have nothing at all. However, if you are looking to create an overall strategy then you have to employ more than just a blog and more than just a marketing plan. A marketing plan and a blog will only get you so far.
If you are a brand, than you already have a following, people are already talking about you whether you want them to or not. By creating a blog, you are telling your customers that you are willing to take part in some of the conversation. Creating a blog doesn’t necessarily mean commitment though. It’s relatively easy to throw up a blog that has the infamous “comment” link. What people really want, is to know what’s going in with the company and the people running it. They want direct interaction and communication whenever they can get it. Remember, social media is not a marketing tool, it’s a way of life and when people are not out and about they are online and they want to be talking to you.
Believe it or not, people want more than just a blog. Why not include a twitter account? And while your at it, throw in a facebook profile, maybe a Jaiku profile, and you might as well include live streaming videos as well. Jason Calacanis is the CEO of Mahalo. He has a popular blog, tens of thousands of Twitter followers, hundreds of streaming video viewers, a Myspace profile, etc. In fact live streaming videos is becoming quite popular. I recently attended a wine party in Santa Rosa hosted Robert Scoble and Gary Vaynerchuck. Robert Scoble was streaming live video from his cell phone camera to hundreds of viewers who were gladly following along at home. Why? Because people are curious, they want to know more, they don’t just want blog conversations any more. The point is that while your consumers are online, they want YOU to be online, and you should be.
Sure a blog will get you started and may engage your users in a conversation but you have to go beyond that for a social media strategy. Some people don’t read blogs and only use twitter, some people only use facebook, etc. It is important to capture several social media platforms so that you can reach more people and build stronger relationships. Do you think if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates created a Twitter account that people would follow? You bet they would.
Remember, the internet is a very big place, for people to come spend time on your tiny corner of the web is amazing. Attention is priceless, so when you get it, you better do what you can to try to keep it. By creating an overall social media strategy you are continuously engaging and growing your relationships with your customers (readers, etc.). By doing so, you are getting more and more of their attention, which as I mentioned before, is priceless.
So, before you begin creating your blogging strategy, ask yourself if you should really be creating a social media strategy with blogging as one component.
Thanks for reading everyone, you guys are great and I love your comments and e-mails!