Businesses face a lot of pressure when trying to craft their blogging and social media strategies. There are so many tools and approaches that it can be quite overwhelming. While keeping up with the latest trends and technologies is one thing, another factor is just the approach you take at the personality level, which in the end, is much more critical to your brand.
WebProNews recently sat down with Scott Stratten of Unmarketing to talk about his philosophy on blogging, social media, and marketing, which he shared with an audience during a keynote at BlogWorld last month. "At the end of the day, it's not really that difficult," Stratten says of blogging. "To me it's 'awesome'. 'Awesome' makes a great blog, and to me, blogging started a long time ago when people talked about...passion...something they were passionate about, angry about, it doesn't matter. It was about emotion, and somewhere along the way, we forgot that, and it's all about clickthroughs and ad placement and keyword stuffing for SEO..."
"People spread awesome," he adds. "People spread great stuff. Nobody looks at a post and goes, 'that was a pretty bad post, but it was really keyword rich, so let me pass it along."
"So we gotta get out of our little shell a bit and realize...let's write some good stuff," he says.
One point that really needs to be hit home for all businesses is that no matter what venue you and your staff are in, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a physical location in the real world, your brand is being represented all the time by your actions. If the public knows who you are you are or what company you represent, and they can see you (virtually or physically), you can easily shape their opinion about you and/or the company.
"People think marketing's left up to marketing departments, like the director of marketing has to approve things," Stratten tells us. "You're marketing every single time you have an exposure or potential engagement point with anybody out there. Not just your market, but anybody, which means that anytime you engage with somebody, you're either heightening or lessening the reputation of your company."
"If you're throwing up at the curb at 3AM in Vegas, you're branding and you're marketing, and not in a good way," he adds.
"Social media doesn't change anything," continues Stratten. "Social media only amplifies things. Like if your product's terrible...your service is terrible...it's gonna be worse on social media. It doesn't fix things. It only makes it louder."
"If you're great - you care about your customers, it makes it more amplified, but the core is you're still good at what you do," he says. "It doesn't change the fundamental of your business, so let's focus first on making yourself a better business, and then focus on the social media strategy, like being out there, because...there's nothing worse than someone who hates people and hates engagement, being on Twitter or Facebook. It's a bad recipe. A bad recipe."
Again, it's not about the tools. The tools can be very useful, but only if they make sense to your business and help you accomplish your goals. Just because everybody else is using one thing, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to use it to (although there's a good chance if that many people are using it, there are potential customers there).
"I used to be the guy (a year and a half ago)...'Everybody's gotta be on Twitter. Everybody's gotta be there,' says Stratten. "And I realized if you hate people, it's not a good place, but to me, if your market's people, they're there. So whether or not you choose to be in social media is irrelevant. It's already there. The conversation's happening...You just have to decide if you want to be a part of it."
"I just think companies would rather be part of the conversation than ignore it, but it surprises me that most still don't want to be there," he concludes.
It's like former Kodak CMO Jeff Hayzlett said at ad:tech: "You tell me what the return on ignoring is, I'll tell you what the return on investment is."