The Shapes of Social Media

Social media is shaping business communication. A brand’s influence expands and contracts to the shapes of social media and a flow of new content provides companies with new ways to engage and share their brand with fans. Marketers can be, however, challenged to write content. By using the shapes of social media as your content template, you can more readily create new posts and articles.

Square

You’re at square one with a seemingly lack of content ideas. Know this: The ideas are there. Do you have a new product, service, or program to talk about? Perhaps you are challenged by an issue or would like to brainstorm? Go ahead and ask questions, write answers, query your readers, write how-to’s, provide tips, and lend ideas. Use your keyboard to talk to your readers. Let your imagination take you from Square One to a new dimension. Social media content providers also can help you with the idea generation. Hootsuite, for example, has content suggestions which are handy when you’re challenged to get started.

Inverted Triangle
Invert TriMore readily draw in new readers by using the inverted triangle approach. Start with a macro view and then continue to provide interest to your readers with specific details, ending with your product or service.

Hexagon

Want help from social media influencers?  Consider cross-promoting your blog with other bloggers. Guest blogging on someone else’s site, with a link back to your own, will open up a whole new audience to your products and services. Another cross-promotion strategy is to, within your own blog, reference and link back to articles of other bloggers.

You can also form an alliance with other bloggers, thereby multiplying the comments and shares of content to each other’s content. For examples, please take a look at these popular and successful blog sites for do-it-yourself tips and techniques: Range Hoods, Inc, Saw Dust Girl, and My Fix It Up Life.

Another simple to implement hexagonal idea is to blog roll – provide a list of links on your blog sidebar to the blogs that you like and also ask other bloggers to do the same for you. Bloggers are truly a community, so consider promoting your blog via these popular places: WordPress, Medium, StackStreet, Triberr, and LinkedIn Groups.

Circle

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to create content, but it’s important to keep that wheel turning and the momentum going.  Repurpose your blog post and publish it to all your social media channels with catchy headlines and photos tailored for each platform. If you’ve got more than one blog, use reciprocal links with images, linking one blog to another and vice versa. Write posts for multiple platforms – one idea goes a long way. Your content was meant to be enjoyed and shared. Start posting and you’ll soon see a reciprocal effect. Zircon has four popular blog sites, Zircon’s Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, Zircon’s Marketing Toolbox, and Zircon Japan.

One or more of the social media shapes can help guide your content. Do you have a (different) shape that works best for you? We would love to hear from you. Join us every 1st and third Thursday, 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat, visit us at www.zircon.com, or like us on Facebook.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image

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What is a Blog (Part II)

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In Part I, we explored what a blog is versus other forms of writing.  Optimize your blog today by reading our “How to Blog” tips!

Keep it light.  Readers turn to blogs that are conversational in tone and have a humorous, airy, and entertaining tone. Successful blogs have a “voice” that resonates with readers.

Be thought provoking. It is important to hold the attention of the reader and provide tangible and useful information. Blogs should read well and offer information or a key takeway that the individual can use in his everyday work/job site environment.

Tone down the technical.  Although a blog, similar to other Zircon content, must be 100% accurate, the content should appeal to a broad audience and shouldn’t be an instruction manual, white paper, or technical paper. The objective of the blog is to engage the reader, not necessarily provide a complete how to use the product.

Make it short, but sweet.  Keep the copy simple and concise.  Content that gets to the point and isn’t bogged down in unnecessary jargon or details will obtain higher readership, better shares, and more likes if the information is not too stuffy, confusing or lengthy.  Keep it brief, but not too vague.

Bright Idea iconBring on the visuals.  As strong as words are, think of how the blog can be enhanced with images.  It is often easier for you to get to a key point with a pictogram than many words. One strong visual, in concert with writing, creates the emphasis.

Zircon bloggers tackle everyday business challenges via the Zircon Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites.  Check out these blogs to get an idea of what a blog is.  What topics would you like to blog or read about?  Comment on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and share your blog with us. We’d love to hear from you!