The Ibis Network's Social-Media Marketing Tips
Wednesday September 17th 2014

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Posts Tagged ‘Paragraphs’

The Basics: Business Blogging For The Busy Professional

 

If there’s a television network you watch more than any other, it’s not because they run more commercials than their competitors. It’s because you like their shows. In short, it’s the content. A cable channel devoted to food-related advertising wouldn’t garner nearly as many viewers as any one of the many cooking/food networks.

The same applies to your business blog. You’ll have to create content that makes people take interest and you’ll have to post it regularly enough that they come back in the future. And, if that sounds like a lot of pressure, here are a few tips to remember while blogging for business …

Give it Time: The good news is nobody is likely going to be reading your blog when you first get going. And, though that doesn’t sound like good news, it will provide you some time to come up with a plan, some content, and a schedule that fits your schedule. Don’t be afraid to try things. Gather some industry-related stats or surveys, news or links and focus on the most interesting bits and pieces. Grab a couple, write up a short explanatory sentence or two, then summarize the details. That’s a blog post. Experiment with lists and how-to posts. Most importantly, keep at it. It’ll take some time and a little promotion before you have any readers, use that time wisely.

Write it Right: Okay, we understand that one of the biggest deterrents to keeping a business blog is the writing. But you don’t have to be the second coming of William Shakespeare in order to have a successful blog. You only need to pay a little more attention. Turn your spell check on and fix any mistakes. Keep it short and simple. You don’t need to know what a semicolon does. You don’t even have to use them. You do, however, have to make it readable. Break it up into shorter paragraphs and read what you wrote before posting. In fact, step away for a half hour or so and reread what you wrote with fresh eyes.

Keep a Schedule: There are those that will say, “Who has the time?” And yeah, the day is only so long. But keeping a regular schedule is better than keeping a bruising schedule. Which means, while you may notice more attention from search engines if you post 10 times a day, you’d also notice fewer hours in your day available for doing business. The answer is setting a schedule in advance. If you only blog on Monday and Friday, but you put something up every Monday and Friday, any readers you have will know when to check in for your latest offering. If you post 49 times the first week and then once a month and a half later, you’ll lose any momentum you had. Be consistent.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing, Social Media, and Blogs

When doing anything for the first time, it’s important to know where to begin. You wouldn’t, for example, start a race three feet from the finish line. And, if you did, you’d likely be disqualified. Online marketing is no different. Following some basic do’s and don’ts can be the difference between a successful social-media campaign and giving up before you even begin.

Here are some tips and hints for kick-starting your online efforts …

Your Blog: In a lot of ways, the blog gave rise to what we now know as “social media.” Without blogs, and the communities that arose around them, there may never have been a Facebook or LinkedIn. But now that you’ve got one, what do you do with it? First off, keep it updated, easy to read, clear, and informal. Make sure visitors can scan your content quickly by breaking your posts into shorter paragraphs. Use plain English and avoid jargon and industry lingo. Don’t fill your blog with PR or try too hard to sell your services. Make your content useful and informative. And don’t make it difficult for your readers to navigate your blog or, more importantly, figure out who you are and what you do.

Your Social Media Profiles: Social media can be a great tool for building your business and your brand. However, an empty Facebook fan page with four fans isn’t a great motivator to keep going. Start by adding some content to your pages and profiles. If you have a blog, import your posts to your social media pages. Giving visitors something more than a one-sentence status update, gives them reason to linger and return in the future. It’s also good to look for smaller, industry-specific social-media sites. Sure, Twitter is wildly popular but you may find a better audience for your online efforts in a smaller community. For example, if you’re a Realtor or mortgage pro, try setting up a page on real-estate focused social-media sites, such as Active Rain and Trulia. But don’t set up a profile, fill in half of your information, connect with your friends and family, then wait for the business to come rolling in. It won’t.

Your Email List: Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your contacts, clients, and customers. But, like the telephone, you have to follow etiquette. People are as annoyed by spam and sales pitches in their inbox as they are with telemarketers calling during the dinner hour. Don’t abuse your list. And don’t get long-winded. Be specific and to the point. Make it easy for the recipient to quickly figure out what you’ve sent. Sending announcements, blog posts, or special offers to your list is encouraged. Try a monthly or weekly newsletter, as a way of staying in touch with your contacts. But be careful, sending too many emails can be as harmful as sending too few. Like anything, striking a balance is important.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Writing For Readers: How To Craft Blog Content That Attracts A Crowd

Unless your business is writing, keeping a business blog doesn’t mean you have to be a wordsmith. It doesn’t require that you have a flair for sentence structure, a stockpile of four-syllable words, or unparalleled wit and wisdom either.

In fact, successful online content is less about your way with the written word and more about offering easy-to-read, useful and unique posts that can be digested quickly. After all, people visiting your site have the entire Internet to search through. They aren’t likely to want to wade through a 10,000 word thesis. You have to catch their attention quickly. That means writing in a conversational tone and less like you’re trying to get an “A” on your 8th grade English paper.

Here are some tips to creating successful blog content …

Keep it Short: The Internet has trained us to move quickly as we search and scan for the information we’re looking for. In other words, visitors to your Facebook page or blog aren’t going to give you a lot of their time. Keep your paragraphs short and your posts concise. If you have a lot of information, break it up in a list or over a series of posts. In general, the easier it is for your readers to quickly understand your point, the more readers you’ll have.

Keep it Simple: Think of the last thing you enjoyed reading online. Was it because it was challenging and sent you running to the dictionary to look up words every other paragraph? Or was it because it was incredibly involved, filled with technical jargon, and kept you glued to your screen for the better part of a Tuesday afternoon? Probably not. Conversational tone means writing as though you were talking to someone. Chances are you have an easier time expressing yourself in conversation than you do when you sit down to write. Get the idea down, leave it alone, then read it again in an hour. Fill in the gaps and take out anything unnecessary. Now post.

Keep it Interesting: Thing is, no matter how well you craft your blog posts, a screen full of text is going to turn-off a lot of visitors to your site. Sure, you have to give them something to read but it helps if you include some visuals as well. Adding photos, diagrams, charts, and video to your posts will make your site more visually interesting and increase the chances that someone lingers long enough to get interested in what you’ve written.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com