Blogs are free, easy to get, and easy to use.
They’re also really easy to use badly, and most people do use them badly.
Why? Because most people don’t really understand what Blogging and Social Marketing are all about. You need to understand that before you can write effective blog posts that will help your business make money.
To help understand the concept, let’s look at “social marketing” in the physical world first. Let’s say, just for example, that you’re an insurance salesperson. You’ve been invited to a wedding reception.
You know a few people there, but you’ve never met most of them, which is how wedding receptions usually are. It’s a social situation with lots of people, though, and for any professional that’s an opportunity to pick up sales and new clients.
So, as an insurance salesperson always looking for new business, do you systematically corner every single person at that reception, shove a business card in their faces, and tell them they should buy some insurance from you?
Of course not! You’d find yourself thrown out on your ear before the cake was even cut!
Why? Because it’s the wrong approach to the situation. A wedding reception is a social gathering; it’s not a place to force your business on other people. It’s simply not socially acceptable, and it ticks people off. Here’s a tip that you should write down on a sticky-note and paste to the side of your computer screen:
Socializing online is the same as socializing in person.
If you can always remember that Social Marketing is the same as socializing with people in person, you’ll always do the right thing in Social Marketing. I teach this in my Personal EBiz Workshops all the time.
So how COULD you drum up some new clients for your insurance business at that wedding reception? The same way real salespeople have been doing it forever. You walk around, socialize, and introduce yourself to people. While you’re talking to people, you casually ask what THEY do for a living.
Say you’re talking to someone, you ask him what business he’s in, and he says “I’m in construction”. You ask him for his business card, and then you could say, “Hey, I actually insure a lot of contractors. Tell you what; here’s my card. Let’s talk sometime”. Then you LEAVE IT at that.
You’ve just placed a fishing line in the Social waters. You have to wait to see if your prospective client will bite.
The point is that the people at that wedding reception are not in “buying mode”. They’re NOT shopping. They’re not out looking to buy anything. They’re socializing. So, you have to approach them socially and plant the seed of an idea that you have something they want, but you can’t actively sell to them at that reception, because that’s not why they’re there.
The same is true in Social Marketing. When you’re using Social Marketing, you’re putting INFORMATION out there. When people are looking up information online, they are generally NOT SHOPPING.
When they’re not shopping, they’re not receptive to outright sales pitches. So, you place your sales pitch in the form of giving them information that plants the idea that you have something they may want to buy.
Blogging is part of Social Marketing. So, let’s take a look at a GOOD blog post, and a BAD blog post.
BAD BLOG POST:
Making Fresh Bread for the Holidays
The Holidays are here, and you should think about making fresh bread for your Holiday parties and gatherings. The Breadmaster 8000 Breadmaker is the best breadmaker on the market, and we have them in stock this season. Our prices are low, we guarantee Holiday delivery, and we always do our very best to take are of our customers at JoesBreadmakerEmporium.com.
Click Here to Order today! Time is running out!
Okay, that’s not just a bad blog post…from a Social Marketing perspective, it’s horrifying. Someone who comes across a Blog post like that is most likely searching for info on HOW to make fresh bread (note the title of the post!). The title is misleading and makes them think you’re going to talk about how to make fresh bread. When they see that post and quickly realize it’s nothing more than a sales pitch for a breadmaking machine, they’ll leave your blog faster than a rabbit on a date, and they’ll leave unhappy. Bad Social Marketing.
GOOD BLOG POST:
Making Fresh Bread for the Holidays
Fresh bread baking in the oven has always been one of my fondest Holiday memories. My Mother used to make cinnamon raisin bread that seemed to flavor every nook and cranny of the house!
When we’d all sit around the tree opening presents on Christmas morning, she would always have a plate of thick, warm, melt-in-your-mouth slices of her cinnamon raisin bread sitting on the dining room table, all ready to be lathered with butter and gobbled down. I’ll bet you can already taste how good this is going to be, so here’s the recipe!
This is a Holiday tradition that I’ve continued with my kids, and I’m sure they’ll continue with theirs, although I have found a way to make a huge improvement. (Shh! Don’t tell my Mom!) Instead of laboring over a mixing bowl and kneading dough in the kitchen ’til all hours, I use a Zojirushi Breadmaker. Takes all of the work out of it, and leaves all the delicious fun.
Have a great Holiday, and enjoy that cinnamon bread!
Can you see the difference? In the second blog post, I’m not selling, I’m socializing! I’m sharing fond memories of Holidays past, I’m passing along an old family recipe, I’m wishing the reader a great Holiday season, and oh yeah, BY THE WAY…I happen to mention that making bread is SO much easier with a Zojirushi Breadmaker! I’m linking those words to a page on my site that actually sells that breadmaker (well, not really, because I don’t have a site like that, but you get the idea).
Earlier in the post, I’m also providing a link that would lead to a recipe that would be on my site for that cinnamon raisin bread. A recipe that could be used in the breadmaking machine.
So there’s the difference between a good blog post, and a bad one. A good blog post is social, and the writer understands that the reader is looking for information, not shopping for something. So, the writer of a good blog post places ideas and suggestions in the mind of the reader, and leads the reader through links in the blog to the opportunity to buy something.
Every time you write a blog post in order to try to improve your site’s sales, imagine you’re in a social situation that has nothing to do with shopping, and just talk to your reader. Your blog will be much more effective, and your EBiz will appreciate it!
This article has been provided by Chris Malta's blog. Find more great information about your online business on Chris's site. HERE.