Jun 142009

As I wrote about recently, my firm Strategic Communications Group has helped a lot of clients implement their social media strategies. Many times, this includes the launch of a company blog. But for a blog to contribute to the business goals of the company, it needs to build up traffic fairly rapidly. “Build it and they will come” is not a workable strategy.

You need to promote your new blog in the right places to get the right kind of readership. This kind of promotion can’t be automated — it has to be done by hand, and needs to understand the norms and interests of the online communities to be successful.

Where are these right places? Many of them have already been identified before the blog has launched. For every client Strategic regularly identifies communities of interest around the product or service the client provides — LinkedIn, Facebook, specialized Ning communities. So those are natural areas that will be interested in a blog discussing their particular niche.

Social bookmarking sites are also effective for promoting blog content. Blog, Reddit, Yahoo Buzz and StumbleUpon are great ways to republish content and expose it to large numbers of potential visitors. Provided the content is appropriate, Twitter can be a potent way to promote new blog content. And by using the site www.bit.ly, you can track the number of clicks on your tweet. Depending on the number of followers and factors like retweets, large numbers of visitors can be delivered via the Twitter channel.

Good blog content can also be repurposed on user generated sites in publications that serve the client’s target audience. For example, Business Week and CIO Magazine have online communities that accept quality user generated content. Editing the blog content for these audiences and promoting the existence of the company blog can be very effective for traffic generation.

It’s tempting to celebrate when a company blog is launched. But the launch is the beginning of a new phase of the campaign, not a conclusion.

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