It’s one thing to open your mouth and begin speaking. It’s another to wait until you have something interesting to say. This is a good way to approach blogging as well. I’d been considering the best use of the blogosphere for quite a while, and finally made the leap once I felt I had something worth talking about. There’s a lot of pressure for businesses to take advantage of the new social media tools, but like most things in life, and everything in business, it’s always best to begin with a plan. Choosing among the online tools can be much like walking into a Starbucks. You’re faced with an exhausting selection of seemingly similar items served up in an unrecognizable language. Before grabbing that java chip frappuccino grande, you’ll want to ask yourself some important questions.
1) What are my goals for launching a blog, a Twitter account or a Facebook page? Whether you’re creating a brand identity, launching a new product, promoting an event or building word-of-mouth recommendations among your customers, your goals will determine much of your content and design. Remember though, social media is not the place for a traditional marketing approach, so use the opportunity to engage with your customers rather than hard-sell products and services.
2) Is this the best way to reach my customers and clientele? Do your research and figure out where your customers are already gathering online. Listen to their conversations. Participate. Rather than creating your own sites and asking people to come to you, you may find it’s more efficient to simply engage on existing sites where they are already gathering.
3) Is this something I can realistically maintain? To keep people engaged, you must be able to keep your site current and relevant. Determine well in advance who is going to contribute and maintain your site, as well as plan out the content for several months if possible.