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Jacob Morgan Archive
A few years ago when someone visited a website they would expect to see a static page of content with some basic information on a company or individual. You would be greeted with the standard home page, followed by an about us/services page, and then if you were lucky, a contact page. You would read through the site and then judge whether or not the person/company really knows their stuff.
Nowadays having a blog is almost expected and in fact desired. Blogs offer something that static websites just can’t; (generally speaking) perspective and content. A blog gives far more insight into a company’s (or individuals) way of thinking and users like that. Now, instead of visiting a static page, a user can visit a dynamic page filled with valuable information and insight. If you are in the Venture Capital business then you can bet that your users are going to want to see a blog with some with some analysis on the VC market, tips and tricks for getting funding, how to avoid bad deals, etc. If you’re a hypnotherapist or marriage/family therapist you SHOULD have a blog that offers daily advice on how to deal with various situations, calming techniques, benefits of hypnotherapy, etc.
Blogs are becoming the new standard for websites and believe me blogs can be fantastic lead and revenue generation tools. If you are able to provide valuable information and analysis for the users in your respective industry, then your users will view you as being an authority in that industry. The Online Marketing Blog is a great example of how a blog is used to generate leads. Lee Odden and team put out quality content almost every regarding PR and SEO. As a result the blog is virtually an authority on the integration of PR and SEO and you can bet that Lee Odden and team are getting plenty of leads out of it. According to Lee, the Online Marketing Blog generates:
- 4 ad inquiries a week
- 1-2 speaking requests a week
- 1 media inquiry a week
- 4-5 leads a week.
As Lee puts it, “If the company has something to say then a blog is a great tool for them, and if they don’t have something to say then they have other business issues to deal with.”
Gone are the days of static content pages. Users want more; they want to understand the mindset of companies and individuals. They want to know what they can expect and they want to know that they can trust you. Blogging about your industry is a great way to build trust with your users and prospective clients. A blog gives your users a chance to see what you know and how you interpret information. Think of a job interview, you wouldn’t hire someone to run your marketing for you just because of their resume, you want to meet and interview the person before you offer them a job. A blog is a way for the world to interview you to see if they want to work with you. This is why it is so important to provide quality content to your readers on a regular basis.
You’re not still using that old website to get leads now are you?
There are many brands and products on the market that people simply don’t want to engage in conversations with. Does that mean that those brands should avoid using social media? I’m sitting at a table writing this and next to me there are placemats, coasters, an alarm clock, and a potted plant. I can tell you for a fact that I could care less to engage in conversations with any of the companies that made these products (of course this doesn’t mean that other people don’t want to have these conversations). Nevertheless, these companies should all be engaging in some level of social media.
One of the assumptions that are floating around the social media space is that organizations have to use social media to reach out to their users. That is incorrect. Social media can also be a great internal communication tool as well. Truth be told, there may be some brands out there that just do not attract or warrant conversations. I don’t know who these brands are but I’m sure there are a few out there.
Essentially there are 2 ways to test if your company should engage in external social media:
- Check if there are already communities/discussions about your brand/product out there. If yes, then you should engage in external social media to tap into those communities. You will also want to foster the continued growth of those communities.
- If you scour the internet and determine that nobody is talking about your brand/product then you can try to create/foster these conversations and communities yourself. If you find that people still do not respond or want to engage with you then external social media is probably not right for your organization.
What about social media for internal communication?
- Your organization can still create a corporate twitter account for employees to follow company growth or progress.
- Your organization can still create a blog to talk about company issues, policies, ideas, etc. Your organization also can create a corporate wiki to share tools, strategies and information.
- Your organization can use linkedin to prospect new employees or search for sales leads.
These are just a few simple ways that your organization can use social media internally. Bottom line is that there is no excuse for not getting involved in social media. If you truly feel that none of your users out there want to talk to you and that you can’t create communities, then use social media internally. Don’t you think it’s about time?