By Amy Belasen and Amanda Patterson
Social Media is changing the word for marketers, allowing businesses to be more transparent than ever before. It allows businesses to invite customers to interact publicly, making them more “believable." Customers can feel good about doing business with companies they can trust.
Social media provides numerous opportunities for companies to communicate with current and prospective residents. Blogs create an opportunity for social savvy businesses to publish valuable content and garner interest. While it’s typically not a direct sales tool, blogs are a great way to share your community’s personality, information about events in the surrounding area, and helpful information for residents.
Blogs can become a base camp for other social initiatives. Blogs can humanize your brand – giving your business a personalized, relatable voice. Ever notice the way Google searches have a magnetic attraction to blogs? Blogs that are updated regularly have higher SEO rankings, landing them closer to the top of search results. Blogs can drive more traffic to your website where you can capture leads. Well-written blogs appeal to both current and prospective residents, helping with new business and resident retention.
So you’re clear on the benefits of blogs – but how do you create one that can be maintained, consistently updated, and valuable to your business? Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
1. Create an editorial calendar
If you are responsible for blog content, stay true to your deadlines. If you have a Social Media team, be sure to delegate assignments a few weeks in advance. You should aim for 2-3 entries a week.
2. Be consistent
No matter how many people you have writing for you, there should be consistency in voice and content. Blogs can be funny and casual, but remember, the blog reflects your company and public image. Similarly, content should be related to your industry, your employees and your community.
3. Mix it up
Ever notice that magazine stories vary in length and topics? Make sure to keep blog entries fresh by offering valuable information in different ways. A feature story may be 2,000 words – but break it down into a “Top 5” list, and you’ll improve readership. Videos or interviews are two great ways to freshen up blog posts and increase interest. Images liven up blog posts and good images give readers a sneak peek into the content of a blog.
Choose words deliberately, and be sure to add Meta-tags to ensure that your blog will be searchable. Think about what you might search for to get that information, and enter those words in as meta-tags. If you’re content is optimized, it will appear closer to the top of search pages, resulting in more interest and more readership.
5. Make it a part of your existing website, and link (when relevant ) to pages within the site
Don’t forget to drive traffic to your website by linking your blog back to your website pages when appropriate. This is a great way to gain new leads from prospects that are already interested in what you do.
Now, a note on content. Ask yourself the following questions when deciding on a new post:
- Is it something people would not only read, but comment on and share?
- Is it relevant to your industry?
- Is it “breaking news?
- Does it position you as an expert?
- Is there a fresh perspective or insight that can you can bring to the subject matter?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you’ve got some valuable content on your hands. If you’ve answered no, but still feel this is valuable information worth sharing, consider tweeting a link or create a short, linked content blog based on a previously written article. Be sure to give the author and publication credit and provide a link to the piece featured on your site.
Social media brings businesses, clients and prospects closer together. Social media networks can amplify your brand through social interactions with clients and prospects online. Initial contact is only a retweet, friend request, or blog post away. So what are you waiting for?
For more tips on creating a compelling blog, read our other blog post about blogging.
And for more great blogging tips specific to the Multifamily Industry, check out Jonathan Saar's blog on Blogging Fundamentals for Multifamily.