I have asked a friend and colleague who teaches and practices social media to write a guest blog on, well, social media and blogging.
I think you will find his thoughts interesting!
My name is Gary Golden and I am a professor at Muskingum University in SE Ohio, and I do teach a social media course. I also own and operate a management and marketing services company, called Level 43 Solutions.
I see social media as a stampeding herd of wild horses.
Consider the enormous scope of Facebook. Seems just like yesterday that everyone was saying older Americans just won’t go for this. Boy, all those naysayers were way wrong!
Today, according to a blog on amazing Facebook stats, over 30% of all American senior citizens (65 and older) are now on Facebook!
Now let’s look at the big picture of Facebook. Experian Research reports the following:
Top 10 Social Media Websites
Week ending August 1, 2015
|Websites||Total Visits||Visits Share||Rank 07/25||Rank 07/18||Rank 07/11|
As you see from this table, Facebook still dwarfs the other social media sites! Facebook for the week ending August 1, 2015 had almost 1 billion more visits than its closest rival (actually it’s about 918 million more visits!) – YouTube!
Okay, let’s move on to blogging now!
Why does Jerry blog? The answer is not easily said!
Blog is an abbreviation that developed from a “web log,” where the author keeps an online, ongoing diary of interesting stuff, which hopefully, others want to read and follow.
Blogs can become a trusted source of information, and the goal is to deliver content, and if you are a business or organization, use content marketing.
Content marketing simply is providing relevant information without selling. For example, if Home Depot has a blog about building decks, and it never mentions that the products or services can be bought at Home depot; they are using content marketing.
They are providing “content” on how to best build a deck. So if you are considering building a new deck and Google “how to build a deck” the Home Depot blog may pop up! And remember, the blog makes Home Depot look reputable and helpful because the blog never tries to directly sell its own products. It’s providing a service. It’s providing helpful content. But of course, long term, it is about creating a favorable perception of Home Depot, which in turn, leads to sales.
Northwestern Water & Sewer District does not participate in social media and blogging to sell more water- the District is a non-profit after all!
The District does provide many forms of content, but with a non-profit, it is mostly done for customer service and community involvement purposes.
When Jerry blogs about water contract talks or the District’s Board of Trustees, he is sharing his expertise so that we all understand the water industry, Northwestern Ohio, and the organization better.
Jerry’s blogs are truly helpful. The use of social media and blogging by the District helps keep a flow of information to the public and customers, which is especially crucial given we are dealing with one of our most precious, and dwindling, resources, water.
Blogging trends change constantly.
To illustrate, over the last couple years, all research said to have a blog length be 250-450 words. I have taught this in my class. The thinking was to keep it short and sweet, so readers do not see the length as a big chore to read. But now, there are many differing and contrarian views. For example, this research piece argues blogs need to be ultra-informative, and to create more backlinks, should be at least 1500 words in length.
UGH! The wild horses are changing direction again!
Well, I just checked and I am only at 700-plus words. I believe I will buck this new trend and conclude this blog. I hope that you all enjoy this little glimpse into the ever-changing phenomenon of social media and blogging!
Thanks for letting me guest blog Jerry!