Getting Engaged – Make Your Blog and Social Media The Ace Up Your Sleeve in 2015

lemmy-mheadWell heck, maybe that’s why so many businesses are so afraid of social media and even the idea of their own blog page on their website.

That word…

Engagement.

Sounds like a pretty serious commitment.  It is…and a necessary one in this era of the interactive, social semantic web.   Not just because the search engines are gaining the ability to add engagement into their algorithms, but because if you want your website and social media to work for you, you must work your website and social media.

2015 is the year social media engagement and online engagement in general will become a bigger factor in the search engine algorithms than ever before, so there’s no better time than now to make the commitment to your social media and your blog…whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.  Yes, it takes time to do it right, but there are ways to make more efficient use of your time.

It all starts with your website, though, as the goal is to get engagement so people will come to your website and hopefully do business with you.  With that in mind, here are 4 quick Rules For Engagement:

1 – Really scrutinize your website aesthetics.

C’mon, be honest.  When you look at your website, ask yourself “If I arrived at this website through a search, would I be more inclined to immediately leave or immediately stay?”   How quickly can visitors find navigation so they can find the information they need?  Your answers may be ” I would stay” and “yes,” but be honest and don’t cut yourself any slack:)  People often forget that user engagement begins with aesthetics…your first impression.

2 – Really scrutinize your website navigation and functionality.

No one will stick around if they can’t click around.  How easy is it for visitors to navigate through your site?  Does the hierarchy make sense?  How intuitive is it?  Simply put, can someone who is not familiar with your site easily find what they’re looking for?  Sounds like a simple concept (and it is), but the execution requires time and patience and all to often business owners run out of both in the process and don’t put proper thought into end user experience.  Don’t just do this for the search engines…do it for your end users!  After all, they’re the ones you’ll hopefully be doing business with.

3 – Post new, relevant information on your onsite blog every week.

Every week you should be communicating with your audience through your blog.  70 – 80% of your posts should be business related, while the other 20 – 30% should be human related.   Hey, you don’t have to give your life story, but people want to know there’s a real live beating heart behind your business.   Let people meet your team…highlight them in your blog.  Share a picture from a recent family vacation or holiday gathering.  Your blog page is your personal news feed for your business.  If you post consistently, you will build your audience and readership!

4 – Broadcast your blog posts through your social media!

You want to do other social media posts to encourage engagement, as well, but your blog posts provide a perfect opportunity to drive traffic to your website through your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or other social media account.  It’s also a great way to encourage sharing by taking the lead and sharing the post yourself.   A social media dashboard such as Hootsuite will also allow you to more quickly broadcast to all of your social media platforms.

Don’t fear engagement.   Make your blog and social media the ace up your sleeve in 2015 by doing a better job than your competition.

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