I’m sure glad my new Facebook friend Tom Vanahn of Viral Solutions sent me a piece called “12 Ways to Screw Up a Virtual First Impression”.
First off (and I’m not sure Tom even knew this), when I’m not writing Say It For You blog posts or running corporate blogging training sessions, I serve as Executive Career Mentor at Butler College of Business. I need to show this Viral Solutions piece to my students, who are typically social media savvy, but unsophisticated when it comes to social media etiquette.
Second, business owners and managers, whether they’re doing their own corporate blog writing or working with a freelance blog content writer like me, need to understand the subtle differences between blog “production” and blogging with style and grace.
Of the 12 common “screw-ups” Vanahn lists, the three I think are most relevant to SEO marketing blogs are these:
Linking to inactive social network accounts. Let’s say that on your blog page, remarks Vanahn, you have a Twitter icon, but blog readers click on that icon only to find “the last time you tweeted was back in late 2009. "Please go back and update or report to the principal’s office,” he exclaims. When giving business blogging assistance, I constantly stress delivering on the promise – blog navigation paths need to lead to expected results rather than to negative surprises.
Too much ME, not enough THEM. “Check out my…. I’m speaking at… My latest blog post…” are not designed to win raving fans. “Make others look like rock stars,” Vanahn advises. The WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) is still online searchers’ favorite radio station, and content writers in Indianapolis need to remember – writing for business means writing all about THEM!
Broadcasting instead of interacting… “Let’s make sure that somewhere between all the links, quotes, tips, etc.,, we are thanking, acknowledging, validating,…Show the world that there is indeed a human being behind the tweets,” says Vanahn. The blog content writers’ version of that principle – our job is to bring across the human factor within the business we’re blogging about. We get there by being conversational, not bombastic.
Bottom line for anyone involved in writing for business – you invested a lot of effort in “pull marketing”, using your blog content to draw searchers to your site. Don’t screw up that first impression!