When we look back on the development of blogging over the last 5 or 10 years we can see that blogs were an important step in the “socializing” of the web. Unlike traditional static websites that were more or less just online brochures, blogs were built as personal publishing platforms with a major dose of interactivity.
In other words, they encourage one on one interaction. Bloggers express their opinions, as well as connect to other bloggers and web resources, and readers respond by expressing their opinions in the form of “comments”.
This interaction is what “social networking” is all about – with the most glaring examples being platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They provide you the opportunity to interact with an ever-broadening network of people who share your interests, or are interested in what you have to say.
Those of us interested in using these social networking sites as marketing tools can find it a bit overwhelming. Keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, ActiveRain, and many others is difficult and time-consuming. And if there is no comprehensive strategy for our social networking it will eventually become tiresome and of questionable value.
As part of a sensible online social networking strategy, most “experts” agree it is important to have your blog at the centre of things. Your blog is where you can express yourself in greater depth, and without worrying that you are being too pushy or sales-oriented.
Generally speaking, your friends and followers on sites like Facebook or Twitter do not like to be bombarded with a sales pitch whenever they read your entries. But using your tweets and Facebook entries to point them to interesting stories, articles, videos, or special offers is perfectly acceptable. The easiest place to point them is your own blog.
This strategy is no mystery and it has been discussed many times by marketing experts: use your blog to build your online identity, publish your opinions, and present your special products and offers. Use the other social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to drive traffic to your blog.
In other words, as I said above, your blog should be at the center of your marketing strategy. Looking at it this way may encourage you to reconfigure your whole online marketing strategy. But that is probably a good thing.
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