Friday, May 18, 2012

Planning how to use your blog VS your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, etc: what is each one for?

This article describes working out how your blog relates to the other communication tools that you use (sometimes called your "social media strategy"), and how members of a community-group can work together to so that their blog, Facebook page are used well. 

It includes a template that you can use to record your own group's decisions about how to use these tools, and a worked-example.

Your blog vs your email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapshat, photo albums etc etc etc

social media lifecycle - email message - internet - facebook - camera - picture
Recently, I used Blogger to make a new website for a community choir. It replaced an older website that was difficult  to change.

As we talked about what the choir needed, one challenge was that some people thought that "put it on the website" or "put in on Facebook" was the answer to every issue that involved communicating with members: It was hard work to explain that Facebook and the website are not actually places where existing members look regularly. (Some members are older, and don't even have cellphones that receive SMS/text-messages, much less computers and broadband connections!).

Also, people were talking about putting videos of our concerts onto YouTube, and I realised that we would need to work out ways of doing this so as to show us at our best, and not get us into trouble with copyright laws.

I didn't use this jargon when I was talking to them, but the idea I had to get across to the committee was
To get a message to people who aren't looking for it, use a "push" not a "pull" or "by the way" message[tweet this quote]

How to make a Tweet-this-quote

That means using email, text-message, phone call, face-to-face, rather than the website or Facebook page or wall, when we need to share messages that are unexpected.

I also had to get them to understand that we were not linking our blog and our website - but that the blog would be the website:  it delivers all the features that we need, and most importantly is very easy to update.

Working with the committee to understand their goals and month-by-month activities, I developed this set of questions:
  • How do we communicate with people (email/txt, Facebook, website, pictures, local newspapers)?
  • Who is the audience for each tools we use (members, potential members, audience, other choirs)?
  • What types of messages to do we send?
  • Who is responsible for sending the messages?
  • How they know that it's time to send a message, and what it should say?
  • What can each committee-officer send without getting permission from the committee?
  • What needs to be checked by someone else (or maybe even the whole committee) first?

Putting these questions into a table helped people to see the big picture, and the role of the website vs  the other things that we use.

It occurred to me that people doing the same thing for their own club, organisation, sports team, non-profit, or even small business, might also like this table. So I've put it into a download for you.

Downloadable file

Here is a blank version of my template (MS Word format). You are welcome to download and adapt for your own situation.

What the template includes

Is this a social-media strategy for your blog?

The format above is good for helping a membership-organisation work out where their blog/website fits into their overall communications tookkit: social media are just one of the ways that clubs can give messages to people (members, friends etc) and get feedback from them.

But if your core product is your blog, and you want to use social-outposts to promote it, then a slightly different planning approach is needed. In this case you need to get messages to:
  • People who casually visit your blog (via search results, friends recommendations, backlinks), and whose preference for keeping up with what you do is via some other network, and
  • People who hang out on the "other network" and might notice your content in the other place and then visit your blog as a result.

To meet these needs, you need to put links to all the material on your blog into the other social networks - as well as using whatever content promotion techniques work best on that network. You probably also want to put some follow-invitation links on your blog, too. This is unlike the "website as targeted communications tool" approach, where you only put certain, very specific content onto your blog/site.

I'm still working on the fundamental difference between the two approaches, and what sort of worksheets might help people to plan for the 2nd case. Any suggestions on what I need to cover?

Related Articles

Copyright, blogs and bloggers.

How to link your blog and your website

Linking your blog to the social networks

Showing a PowerPoiint presentation in your blog, as a slideshow

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  1. Nice post.... I would like to say thanks for such information. Very precise and accurate. Thanks.

    1. Glad to help, good luck with your blog.