Posts Tagged ‘Content Generation’
The number 1 ingredient to promote your expertise in social networks, enewsletters and blogs is content! It’s also one of the biggest challenges people have. What do you write about? How do you find the time to write? How do you know it will be worth it?
Here is the process I’ve developed for FB Smarty to write once and use it multiple times. Perhaps it’s one you can adopt or use as your own starting point.
Step 1 – Start with a blog
What is your business focus?
The success of your business depends on you knowing your customer and target audience. Write about what you believe they will find interesting and important. I understand the challenges of small business, I struggle with them myself.
Content is key but consistency is right up there too!
Many professional bloggers recommend writing 2-3 times a week. For me, it’s one main blog a week which publishes on Monday. That content is then reused, or ‘repurposed’, for an enewsletter and Facebook postings. I also post other types of things on Facebook every day. My Facebook Page is also synchronized to my Twitter account.
Start once a week and, over time, you’ll have archives and people expecting to see your content at a certain time during the week!
Credible, quality content is important. Use spell-check, check your links, reference people and articles correctly. I work on a draft and then refine it, adding the references and links last. I might have a point to make and then find a reference to refer that point to. It’s excellent to be able to link back to previous blogs you’ve written.
One other trick that works for me is I print out the final piece and go over it as a hard copy before publishing. It’s amazing how many times things are caught in this last step. I’m not perfect and grammar errors and typos still get through at times. I don’t beat myself up for it but try harder next time. One good thing about our web areas is the ability to go back and make corrections and updates. Content lives a very long time on the web!
The magic question often asked is how long should blogs be?
The general consensus from blog pros I’ve read about is ‘it depends’ on what you are writing and how much you have to say about it, but I keep hearing that 350 words is fine and 1500 words is fine as long as it’s quality content. Also, if you do write a long blog, consider breaking it into 2 or 3 segments. People have short attentions spans, as we know.
Another point often made by pro bloggers is ‘mix it up’, add photos, videos, mp3 audio.
Ways to publish to your Facebook Business Page
Set your blog up to auto-publish to a custom Page on your Facebook Page. Many authorities, including Mari Smith, recommends and uses networkedblogs.com. However, don’t have it publish to your Facebook wall, just to the Blog link on your Page. The reason for that will be explained in a bit.
You can also import a blog into the Facebook Notes.
According to Facebook Help,
1. Access your Page manager here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/
2. Go to your Page and click “Edit Page” beneath the Page profile picture.
3. Select “Applications” and next to “Notes” please click “Go to Application.”
4. On the bottom left hand side of the page select “Edit Import Settings”
Your blog should also include a clear company name, your tag line, your signature links and ways for your readers to share the content. That’s a big subject to cover but wanted to bring it forward here.
Here’s a tip. Look at your blog from a brand new reader’s view. In 2 seconds can this new reader tell… Who (who are you?), What (What’s in it for me?), and Why (Why should I read this?) .
Step 2 – From that blog, create your enewsletter
Not everyone is on Facebook (I know, hard to believe!), but every business uses email and expect their email inbox to bring them what they need to know to keep up. Enewsletters serve a great purpose when the right match is made. The goal is to slowly draw the reader into your blog and then have them respond to your call to action.
Defining Call to Actions
Take all the italicized text in the next paragraph and put your own in!
My call to action is to acquire students for my Facebook for Business courses and other workshops, seminars put on by FB Smarty and also to acquire web design clients. Positioning myself as an authority, and convincing them, is the key. I know my target audience has the need so my reason for writing is to get them to come to me for guidance and internet needs..
Enewsletters should be short and concise. Entice your subscribers to click-through to your blog to learn more on the subject of the enewsletter. Put a Call to Action somewhere in the enewsletter, perhaps the bottom or right narrow column. Keep the content the main focus and the CTA as a sub-focus.
Building your Enews subscriber opt-in list should be one of your main CTAs no matter what marketing you’re doing. I collect emails through an opt-in form on our website and on our custom Facebook page. I also ask for them at trade shows and networking groups.
Utilize the reporting and statistics options of your enews carrier
We highly suggest you use a service and not try to do it yourself. MailChimp and Constant Contact are two good options. We use Mail Chimp. Here are some of the things we learn from our enews stats.
Analyze the Time of Day and Day you Send vs. the Open Rate
Because FB Smarty’s Facebook for Business tips are geared to business owners, my instinct tells me Monday is a good day to send these out. Not over the weekend and not towards the end of the week, but at the beginning when people are more business focused and, at a time of day when they might be getting that second cup of coffee and taking a short break.
Personally, I try to never book appointments on Monday or leave the office. It’s my get-ahead day, my plow into the week day. I spend time catching up on new tools, read my research mentor’s blogs and postings, etc. So, when I decided to use Mondays am the day I publish, and also 10:00a.m., it was based on my own personal experience, but I’m not foolish enough to rely only on that. So, starting from that day and time, I test my theory.
Mail Chimp, our current mail service, allows easy testing of enewsletters through their A/B process. They send out your letter at two different times to segments of your list and compare them. For this chart, I had a Friday and a Sunday included but they did so poorly, I decided simply to compare times on Mondays vs. Open Rates.
According to this chart, you can see that 10:00 a.m. on Mondays gives us the best Open Rate, while earlier and later in the day the rate drops off significantly. If your subject is not business oriented, this might not apply.
Embed your Enews Archives
Follow your enews vendor’s instructions and get the embed code for your enews archives. These are widgets you can embed in your website and in your custom Facebook Pages. Widgets are great because they are basically set up and forget!
Step 3 – Post to Facebook
Time to Share on Facebook and other social networks
Post to your Facebook Business wall. It does not have to be posted on Monday, later in the week is fine but try to be consistent with that as well. Write a post using 400 or fewer characters and link your blog link. The link can be shortened through a blog shortener like bit.ly.
Did you know that the only way a post has the ‘share’ button under it is if it is linked to something? Once you publish it on your wall, it goes out to your fan’s newsfeeds based on Facebook’s engagement algorithm. Your fans will have the option to ‘share’ it with their friends.
Automated postings are convenient but be aware
The reason we recommend that you have networkedblog.com post only to your blog link and not the wall is that Facebook gives more weight, through its EdgeRank algorithms, to manually typed posts rather than automated posts. More weight means more likely your fans will see your postings.
If you have a Twitter account set up, you can also have Facebook post to Twitter for you. That means the first 140 characters of your Facebook Post will post to Twitter.
Next Steps – Define your Own Process and Start!!
Get that white board out. Draw up a calendar. Write down ideas for blogs. Go to WordPress.com and set up a free account. Now, start! Don’t worry about being perfect, you’ll get better…. just do it!
Our process revolves around the weekly blog and how to ‘re’purpose that content! Do you have a process for creating content? Ideas you’d like to share?