In This Issue:

What Our Clients Say...

Not only has FirstFound made us visible on the web, their consultants have given us great advice about the website, suggesting we run a blog, which has proved a massive hit with our clients.

Caroline and Mike Challinor,
MC Photography

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To Blog ...

If ‘Tweeting’ makes you feel like a twit, Facebook gives you a phobia, ‘Blogging’ boggles the brain and you’ve got the YouTube blues, then it is time for a FirstFound crash course in social media.  Optimise asked expert blogger and FirstFound consultant Roger Davies for his advice:

Blogging

Why are an increasing number of people blogging for business? Well, firstly search engines love ‘rolling’, or freshly updated content and news pages.

Unlike static web pages, the benefit of a news or blog section comes from the regularly refreshed content and steady stream of informative articles.

The great part is you can write about anything that takes your fancy, provided it is somehow related to your industry, business or products. By gradually releasing little bits of knowledge on a regular basis, you will give search engines a very good reason to see you as an authoritative source of news and will quickly find your articles ranking well for related search terms.

Twitter

Once you have your blog up and running, the next step is building up your company’s official Twitter account.  It’s easy to use and can be very effective at promoting your website.  The goal is to find as many genuine followers as possible who want your service, product or advice.  You can post short snippets of news or links to your blog.

There are some fantastic Twitter applications that will help manage your account like www.twittgeek.com which will automatically follow people based on a keyword you choose.  The great thing about this is that it ensures your message reaches people who have tweeted about this topic in the past and are most likely to be interested in what you have to say.

Facebook youtube

Facebook now allows organisations and companies to open up official Facebook accounts. This is something else that is quick to do and quite a lot of fun.  Be sure to make all employees members of the group, so that all can contribute to your Facebook profile.   Also, be sure to link back to your site and post any links to articles here too!

Similarly, some may find themselves in industries where they have videos that might be uploaded to YouTube.  Remember that plenty of people use YouTube on a regular basis and it would be worth including a link back to your site from the description of each YouTube video you post. You can also embed videos from YouTube into your site fairly easily.

... Or not to blog

Blogs take time to research and write.  Even if you are a great writer who can impart interesting information about your industry or staff, it can take at least an hour a day.

Read, read and read!  To stay up to date about your subject matter digest other blogs but also media outside the community - feeds, forums and mainstream media to name a few.

Blogs are not cheap to produce. A good one (and there is no point doing any other kind) requires skilled programming to set it up, a professional graphic designer to make it part of your corporate identity, a talented and dedicated writer or editor.

You need to drive traffic to a blog. There are many ways to do that. All of them require time, effort and money.

Ways to drive traffic to a corporate blog include:

  • Advertising on other blogs, where you can be incredibly niche specific and cost-effective; buying Google keywords; and including your URL in traditional and online advertising.
  • Promotion -- you can drive traffic to a blog with skilful promotion though other blogs, by becoming a respected part of social networking communities frequented by your customers.

Three posts per week are best for a blog.  Two weekly posts are the minimum and more than five in a week lead to overload!

Blog too often and you will overburden your readers, not enough and you will be forgotten about in the busy blogosphere.

Certain colours are more pleasing to the eye. You need to research these before launching your blog or you could turn readers off.  Avoid having a big, flashy welcome page, most people find them an annoying distraction form the written content. Don't use background sounds or videos that automatically load and start playing.

Above all, have fun!  Nobody understands your industry quite as well as you and even the smallest snippet of information may prove very useful to the average reader.  Is there a way your blog can showcase your products, services or even your own knowledge?  By featuring a couple of links from each post to your website and product pages, your visitors have the option of buying directly from you when they see something they like.  Your visitors may have come for the information, but some of them will leave with the product.