I get all sorts of queries by email and by phone from our members and I often think that, anonymised, they would make interesting reading for others. So as the first in a very occasional series I am publishing a reply I sent to a query from a member who asked me how best to promote his blog and his Twitter. Here’s my reply and I welcome any futher comments of course!
There are no hard and fast rules to getting your business blog noticed so here are a few tips to get you started from some experienced bloggers that I have heard recently at the various events I have been attending.
- Set up Google Alerts for the keywords that you are interested in. Include names of your staff, company and product names and names of your competitors. You may need to tweak this over time. The resulting alerts will keep you posted about what is going on in your particular sector and will allow you to monitor your brand. It will also give you great blogging content and show you which other bloggers are writing on the same subject and what they are saying.
- Comment on other people’s blogs but please do it in a helpful, non-sales manner. Krishna De suggests that you read the post entirely, decide whether you agree or disagree, if you agree add any further information that you might have, if you disagree explain why. Only add a link in the body of your comment if you have written on this subject yourself and if your link will add further to the discussion. Don’t forget you will be adding your URL in the URL field in the comment dialogue anyway so if anyone does like what you have to say they will find your blog that way.
- Set up Twitterfeed from all your RSS feeds to your Twitter www.twitterfeed.com
- Monitor what’s being said about you on Twitter at http://search.twitter.com – pick up a RSS feed for your queries and add it to your favourite reader. You can create a RSS feed for all the keywords that apply to your company
- Have a look at Friendfeed.com – not to everyone’s taste but if you are using a lot of social media it’s a way for people to see all you are doing in one place and of course they can grab an RSS feed that will encapsulate all your social media activity. You can also find other people and leave comments on all their social media activities there too. My personal Friendfeed is www.friendfeed.com/enormous and you will see that I am in a group about Social Media in Ireland and no doubt there are all sorts of other groups too.
- Always remember social media is all about conversations so be chatty! Ask questions, follow comment streams that you comment on and pop back in if you think clarification is needed or if you have more to add, don’t interrupt (i.e. leave comments that are a propos nothing at all) and be polite.
- Share anything you find interesting on your blog or in Twitter – it will always be new to someone. Most blogging platforms have a Blogthis link which you can add to your links bar. URL.ie have a toolbar shortcut which allows you to share a shortened link to whole suite of social sharing tools. And it’s made in Ireland 🙂
- If you are thinking of approaching bloggers about your own product or service PLEASE offer them a free trial/ subscription/ sample and be willing to take the good with the bad. In other words if you ask bloggers to review your product, just because you are giving them something for free doesn’t mean they will only write good things about it. Only consider doing this if you feel like the above approaches are getting you absolutely nowhere and only ask bloggers who have previously written on your sector i.e. don’t ask a mammy blogger to review your cool new app/ product/ service etc. unless it helps cut down on her laundry 🙂 (Bloggers please comment if you think more needs to be said on this topic because I know it’s a minefield and all input would be gratefully received.)
- And as I have done with this email reply, use all content you create as content for your blog in an appropriate fashion. And remember it doesn’t always have to be text: use audio, video, pictures to get your message across.
(Ideas robbed with thanks offa Deborah Hadley, and Sabrina Dent, both of whom I heard speaking at PodCampIreland. Also thanks to Krishna De who delivered two presentations for the IIA recently in Dublin and Limerick.)