When small businesses build their brand, it's important they maintain a consistent voice across marketing platforms. Consumers want to know what they're getting from your company, and shifting voices reduces engagement and confuses your customer base. This principle applies to the voice your business uses for its blog and social media posts as well.
Aligning your blog and social media strategy requires adequate planning, a set voice and companywide commitment. Here's how to make sure your blog and socials work together.
Start with the blog
"The best way to align your blog and social media strategy for your small business is to create a blog content calendar first," said Paige Velasquez, digital marketing director for Zilker Media. "Your social media strategy should be created after to support your blog strategy. Your focus should be first and foremost on your website since that is 'owned media' – a place where you own the connection to your audience."
Getting people to your blog means people are on your website, which means there's the potential to turn those blog readers into paying customers. People reading your social media posts, on the other hand, need to take action just to reach your website.
"Your social media strategy is considered 'rented media' – where you own the content, but an algorithm determines how your message is promoted," Velasquez said. "Your social media strategy is important, but [you] should always look for the opportunity to convert your followers to your business's website where they can learn more about you or make a purchase."
By starting with the blog, you ensure you keep your priorities in the right place. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram might seem like flashy places where you can best reach consumers (who can question Instagram's 1 billion monthly active users?), but leveraging blog readers into paying customers is more realistic than turning those who stumble on your social posts into paying customers.
Additionally, focusing your initial efforts on blogging allows your business to create social media content from the original blog posts. This makes social media content creation easier while maintaining your voice across different mediums.
"OnePitch aligns our blogging and social strategies by creating what we call blog packages," said Cassie Gonzalez, brand and community manager at OnePitch. "Each blog submitted by our team must include a minimum of five different social copy examples for standardized content types, such as stats, tips and a featured image. These blog packages serve as social content for the following week."
Creating content for your blog easily leads to the creation of social media content while also putting an emphasis on the platform that can most likely lead to customer engagement and purchases.
Stick to one voice
To properly align your blogging and social media channels, your company should follow one consistent voice. This doesn't mean the same person needs to create every blog post or social media post, but your team of content creators needs to be on the same page.
"If there is more than one person publishing social media posts and blog posts, have them meet together to determine your brand's voice and style," said Aerin Ogden, digital marketing specialist at Big Leap. "Having a consistent voice is crucial, because it is a way people identify and connect to your business. If your voice isn't consistent, people will have a harder time connecting to your business. Have your marketing and social media employees understand what is expected."
Employees working on your blog and social media accounts should work together. By collaborating and creating one voice for your business, you send a consistent message to your customers. You want to build customer loyalty through consistency, and it's important to strengthen that consistency through all forms of communication.
"Consistent voice is incredibly important on social media and blogging, because you want to be an authentic, human voice to your followers and readers," said Nikki Devereux, senior project manager at Pinstripe Marketing. "In order to do this, you have to speak to them in a way that is candid, honest, and true to who you are and what your business promises. People are increasingly wary of advertising and marketing tactics. The best way to help them feel comfortable is to find your authentic voice and stick to it."
It's easier to maintain a consistent voice across platforms if you're organized and make plans. Creating a content calendar for your blog and social media accounts helps ensure that you have a plan for content creation. This allows your business to better take advantage of holidays, national days and upcoming promotions. Planning makes it easier to keep a consistent tone across platforms. This planning should encompass the content calendar, as well as your brand's tone and focus when posting.
"Follow a style guide for your business," Ogden said. "Have your blog content and social media content follow your brand's style guidelines. If your brand has a certain scheme, font, etc., to follow, try to follow those guidelines as closely as you can in your social and blog posting."
Using a style guide makes sense for businesses of all sizes. A style guide allows you to quickly teach an intern, new hire or seasoned executive with minimal blogging experience about your brand's voice. It's much easier to show people a written document explaining your brand's voice than it is to explain your style from memory.
Organizing your content requires periodically checking on your brand's voice and making updates to the style guide. You want to always have an eye on how your business communicates and the voice you create through your blog and social media posts. Aligning your strategies on the different platforms takes focused effort over time. If done correctly, aligning your blog and social media accounts can lead to improved business performance.