Unlike a lot of other marketing efforts, a blog is designed to be a conversation. Even if it doesn’t draw a lot of comments or response, a successful blog still has more to do with socializing and engaging than informing or marketing. It’s a stepping stone to those other goals, but it is not just another means to execute them.
In fact, a successful blog has more in common with a popular party guest than a winning sales brochure. If your blog isn’t performing as you’d hoped, ask yourself honestly: Would you hang out with your blog at a dinner party? Or is your blog committing one or more of these common social gaffes?
Even scintillating conversation gets tiresome if the talker never takes a breather. Part of the art of conversation is knowing when to leave those artful, inviting pauses—and knowing when to stop talking and listen.
Generally posting one or two times a week is enough for a brand to stay connected and keep a healthy SERP ranking. More than that and you’re likely to burn out your audience.
You don’t get your audience.
If you’re a marketer, your idea of fun might be dissecting the latest Facebook policy tweak or taking a schadenfreude stroll through this week’s Twitter Hall of Shame. When it’s time to write for your audience of truckers or police chiefs or lawyers, are you switching hats? Are you using their language? Talking about the issues they’re really fired up about these days? Or are you still thinking—and writing—like a B.S. in Marketing?
You’re not witty, charming or memorable.
People engage with content largely for entertainment. Go online and look at the content that gets buzz. It’s funny. It’s creative. It’s shocking, novel or buzzworthy. If you’re at a party having a polite discussion about the next election and somebody falls into the pool, where are you going to look? People share and engage with content as people, not as consumers, and people like to be surprised and entertained. Good content engages readers emotionally.
You’re ranging too far afield.
On the other hand, while your friends might send you a monkey video just because, as a brand, you need to stay on the bead of your business and your relationship with your audience. That means have some fun within the context of your field and your brand. By all means, bring monkeys, but make sure they’re riding their little bicycles in your arena.
You’re marketing nonstop.
We’ve all been cornered by that guy at the party who can’t stop talking about his work, and even hands us a business card before moving on to his next victim. Or how about that cousin who only started sending you Christmas cards after she started the insurance agency? This is friendship, people, this is social. Sure, you can market, but at least buy us a drink first.
You aren’t offering anything useful.
While we don’t necessarily expect party guests to come bearing gifts (although it’s always a nice touch), people often do connect with brands partly to get stuff. That stuff might include discounts, special offers or valuable information. The key piece is that the deal is good for them—not just for your brand—and that it’s delivered with a healthy dose of social grace. Sharing endlessly about your offerings is more about benefitting you than your readers. After a while, you’ll be left muttering to yourself in the corner while the crowd gathers around the beer pong tournament out by the pool.
You’re not being yourself.
It’s been proven: people respond to authenticity. What that means for brands is being honest and reaching out in a genuine effort to connect with your customers. What it doesn’t mean is offering robotic responses to user posts, writing in corporate-speak, or asking a bunch of questions and never responding to the answers.
Are you guilty of one or more of these social faux pas? No worries; we’ve all worn the wrong outfit to a big occasion. Just try steering the conversation a little differently as you go forward. Because they are interactive, blogs are inherently experimental. See how readers respond to your posts and then change the conversation to fit. Pretty soon your brand will be the hit of the party.
Want a free social media makeover? Talk to Synapse today about giving your blog a new approach.