Written by Anthony Demangone
Credit unions have entered the world of social media. Blogs. Facebook pages. Twitter feeds.
As a former journalist, and from someone who launched two blogs, I've researched a good deal on how to make a blog successful. There are simple practices that lead to success. All too often, I see blogs that violate the five following rules. Make sure your credit union doesn't.
- Don't forget that a blog is a product. While your blog is free, treat it like the product that it is. What is the market? Or markets? What are its goals? How will you measure success? What will you give your readers that they can't get elsewhere?
- Don't lose sight of one important fact: Your blog must rest on a foundation of good writing. I'm a huge fan of On Writing Well. This book's main point, which is lost on many, is that we write to communicate. Not to impress. Not to make people feel bad if they don't know something. But to communicate. And the book's other goal is to stress the importance of writing concisely. Here's my favorite passage: "But the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that's already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what - these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. And they usually occur in proportion to education and rank."
- Never underestimate the power of a good headline, or the destructive power of a bad one. Most readers have a very short attention span. Headlines signal to them whether they must read an article, or whether they should continue scanning. This article (Copyblogger.com) will give you a pile of great headline writing advice.
- Don't forget to look at the trends. Sit back and look at your social media efforts. What worked? What fizzled? And then apply what you learn. In this article (Buffer.com), two authors discuss how one of their posts got 500,000 likes on Facebook. I read the article and applied their lessons when I wrote 7 Things You Should Stop Doing To Your Boss. Did it work?
Don't Underestimate the effort involved in writing a good blog. To be successful with a blog, it takes hard work and consistency. You need to think about all of the above, and more, day in and day out. Then again, that's true of most things.
Have a great week guys. And if you enjoyed this, you may be interested in the following.
- The Conversation: 7 Social Media Rules to Keep it Real (CU Musings Blog)
- 10 Deadly Social Media Sins (NAFCU Services Blog)
- Leveraging the Power of Integrated Media (Full Day Workshop at NAFCU's Strategic Growth Conference, March 12-14, in New Orleans, La. Also, you can save $100 on registration by using the code NEWYEAR by the end of January.
- Leveraging Social and Mobile to Improve your Digital Marketing (An on-demand webcast for purchase. If you already have a NAFCU Webcast subscription, you can watch it whenever you want.