Have you ever been in a conversation that sounded like this?
“So do you have a blog?”
“Yeah, I do!”
“Oh, that’s cool, do you work in social media too?”
How are these not two types of the same thing?
What is a blog?
A blog is a destination where you want your social media traffic to end up.
While social media is a fabulous way to advertise your online presence, you also need to have a landing page where they can read more in depth about that same subject.
What are social media outlets for?
When you create a presence on the typical social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), this is supposed to be a teaser of sorts. You need to share valuable information that others will share and use, but it’s not the entirety of your company or online community.
By having a blog, you create an environment where your readers can fan interact with you and each other, depending on what message boards and other items you have set up. This is also a place for you to share content and written material in whatever format you like.
Sharing your persona
In fact, a blog is where your readers get a more personal view of you overall. Your personality will (or should) come through in every piece of content you write, so they understand the man or woman behind the curtain, as it were.
When they connect with you on a personal level, they will be repeat visitors to your blog and encourage others to do the same. A social media site may not give you enough room to share like this, especially when characters and posts are limited.
So why do some people view blogs and social media outlets something completely different?
It could depend on your point of view and what you’re selling. There are certain types of online companies that may only require a link to a landing page for their customers.
In these situations, the social media outlets give them plenty of room to post before and after pictures, links to testimonials, various ad forms and several other bits and pieces that customers find attractive.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why those virtual company owners would think blogs are unnecessary and/or dead. However, this is not the case and blogs are gaining in popularity as time goes by.
What are blog visitors looking for?
More Internet shoppers are going to visit blogs in order to learn more about the product, service or other item being sold. This is why content marketing has grown in such a major way recently.
More focus is being put on the content of these blogs to make sure it’s truly valuable. Since bloggers rely so much on repeat visits and sharing through social media outlets, they need to provide a quality product without a lot of fluff.
These same visitors don’t visit social media pages to read a long, in-depth post about how a product is manufactured or where the various items came from. This is not an item that is typically going to get a lot of attention on Facebook or Twitter.
A blog is also a great way to post pictures that might be too large or cumbersome for placement on social media pages. These are probably going to find their way onto Pinterest at some point, if your readers really find them captivating.
This is the perfect combination of both blogging and using alternative social media avenues. The more you do this, the more balance you’ll see between two efforts.
Differences can be powerful
You’ll also find that you understand how blogs and other forms of social media differ, but really fall into the same category. Both can be very powerful and they are not mutually exclusive.
A blog has some of the aspects of other social media outlets, just like they have some aspects of a blog.
If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to share below.
Image via Creative Commons, JasonHowie’s Flickr photostream. (source)