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Between Google and Bing: Positioning a Blog Using Social Media

This guest post is by Tricia Lawrence of Realbrilliant.com

I’m not one of those people who relies solely on search engine optimization to get me to the top of the heap. I am paid to write blogs for clients every week, and they focus on their SEO enough for the both of us.

Positioning has another meaning to me. It’s content-focused and deals only with how my content and expertise is positioned in my audience’s head.

You can’t get those results from a Google or Bing search. You can only get that from positioning yourself, either weakly or strongly. Either way, you’ll learn quickly.

Learning about this “mental positioning” may seem like it has no place in social media strategy. After all, it’s not exactly a social media tool per se. But there’s more to blog marketing than just loading content onto your Facebook and Twitter profiles. If you’re using social media to talk without giving any thought to who is listening, you’re not positioning yourself whatsoever.

What’s your story?

This is what you feel compelled to share, to write a blog about, to speak about, to share with others. What is the best way to communicate that story? Is it social media? (I always suggest yes, it is.) But what about other channels: public speaking, webinars, or teaching what you know to an entire company? Social media works well when you’re presenting ideas and links as teasers to your platform. Social media should point the way to you and your story.

What’s your audience?

Who you’re speaking to has a lot to do with how you will present your message. A lot of the younger generation may not use email, but if you speak to any other generation, you’ll want to use email. If you’re teaching people how to be Luddites and to stick to typewriters out of protest to the wasting of bandwidth whenever someone tweets about Britney Spears, then yes, you can stay off of social media quite easily. How does your audience use social media? What do they look at online? What kind of solutions are they looking for when they come looking for your story?

What’s your influence?

When you are positioned in your audience’s mind, your influence can reach quite far. How far? Your core audience shares you with their core audience, who in turn share you with theirs. Sometimes it’s who you know, but sometimes it’s not. Your goal is to be visible to many, but to attract a chosen few. Sure, we’d all love everyone to pay attention to us, but that’s just not going to happen. Let’s be realistic and focus on the audience we can influence toward our solution and our expertise.

What’s your engagement?

Positioning yourself online is mistakenly viewed as just about Twitter followers and just about retweeting what you find interesting. Successful positioning includes much more. As your story is communicated over and over and over, you’ll learn how to say it differently; you’ll also learn your audience’s lingo. As they interact with you, you’ll learn more from them. Engaging is not getting something or giving something more than the other: it’s about the even exchange, the leverage both parties give to make the other successful. As you learn what your audience wants from you, they learn more about your story and what you can give to them. Both parties benefit.

One last word: Even if you’ve been positioned or have positioned yourself weakly (notice I use the words weak and strong versus right and wrong; I hate for people to view this as being black and white, because the Internet is much more a gray area), it’s never too late to reposition. You can always strengthen your position by going back to these four questions. They are at the core of a strong position.

Let Google change algorithms every hour if they want to! Let Bing see the traffic coming to your site every day! You just keep right on strengthening your position. Have you positioned your blog strongly on social media?

Tricia Lawrence is an author, teacher, and speaker, helping the publishing industry, specifically authors, position their blogs and books to sell. Tricia’s book, The Social Network(s): A Field Guide for Writers will be out on Kindle in March and she’ll appear at several tech and writing conferences in 2011. Sign up for Tricia’s biweekly eZine, Please Write Like You Talk at http://www.realbrilliant.com. Tricia is on Twitter @realbrilliant.

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Comments

  1. This is an excellent post to change your mindset about how you are talking to your readers. Most people do think of writing articles for programs like google and bing but if you just target your audience then you don’t really need any of that.

  2. Emmanuel says:

    What’s your story?

    What’s Your Audience?

    What’s Your Influence?

    What’s Your Engagement?

    I love the link-up. Thanks for a “different” post. I love it when people come up with something unique.

  3. I very much like your point about learning readers’ lingo. I think such a knowledge will improve our creativity, give us a new perspective and help us to know what readers expect.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  4. Jen says:

    Beautiful! I particularly appreciate the point regarding engagement…that how you communicate your story will evolve as you continue to tell it and connect with your readers. I think that also speaks to the fact that as bloggers, we are evolving….learning the “lingo” of our readers, learning more of where what they need and what we are good at (and need too) intersects . Thanks!

  5. Akil says:

    Hi Tricia

    Great article something simple and straight forward that I can put to use right now. Four question that can be applied to any profession not just blogging. Also these question help keep you focus and moving in the right direction which is to help your readers solve their problems.

  6. Awesome post Tricia. Thanks for sharing your views.

  7. I just wrote about my new Twitter experience, and how with as few as 60 followers, I could still track sales to my previous tweets. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the tweets that promoted my product… it was the interactions I had with other tweeters, that made people click back to my site and buy my e-book. So I agree that it’s not always about tweeting the stuff you find interesting, though that does help. Social networking is really and truly about networking.

  8. Know who your targeting so you can serve them the most..this is what gives you the blue print to success.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  9. A very informative post Tricia, I feel like I have learnt alot. Mos def I will visit your blog too

  10. Himanshu says:

    i like your thoughts very much. great post

  11. I really need to get more readers but I can see how this will be important. I focus on the quality of my site but still need to expand my blog before I get the reader base I want. I will research who my future readers will be so that I can keep them reading. Thank you!

  12. Really good post Tricia. Clear and to the point.

    I very much like the idea of one’s social media channels pointing to one’s story and using teasers to do that. I’ll be bearing this in mind when writing tweets and Facebook posts.

    Using social media to ‘learn your audience’s lingo’ is also one of those killer tips that so many people seem to miss out on. You only need to type your keywords into Twitter Search to see the way they speak, and yet so many people talk to them in what might as well be another language.

  13. Very interesting post, Tricia. You have managed to change the way I look at things regarding blogging, social media, search engines and the target audience. I’ll have to say that Darren has picked a great team of guest bloggers. I am really impressed.

  14. Allen Walker says:

    Well, I don’t really focus on social media as much as I should, but I’ll be strengthening myself more in that area soon. :)

  15. Jon says:

    Knowing your audience is a very important point. I think a lot of blog owners simply don’t understand who their audience even is so they don’t know how to write to their interests. These are great questions for any blogger who wants to have a greater impact beyond the search engines.

  16. Very valid points i really think you have to get your audience interested in what you have to say but the right targeted audience.

  17. Michael says:

    Good point about being about more than just blogging. Too often people think it’s just about writing something and then hoping people read it. But it’s about a lot more than that.

  18. Hi, everyone! Thanks for the wonderful comments. I’m so glad this is helpful. I’m at SXSWi 2011 in Austin right now (I brought together a panel on this exact subject just for this conference!) and this is what everyone is talking about here!

    I love that so many of you are open to looking at your core position. This shows you are really and truly committed to building that community that is so vital to your (and their) success. Keep it up!

    Tricia

  19. Treb072410 says:

    Very interesting post Trisha! This is a great read… I love your ideas! It will help me a lot… I love to hear more from you…

  20. This is an awesome post. It seems as though some people build an online presence only to have it be scattered, unorganized, unpositioned, as it were. You’re right, SEO can only take you so far. At Vizibility, we offer services that put you in control of your search results. Mental positioning, action, SEO, and Vizibility will -without a doubt- put you on top.

  21. Stemming from what Michael said….sometimes as I am writing blogs for SEO or informational purposes, I sort of write my way into something that I only know a little about so it turns into more of a learning and reporting type of writing. Writing is a great way of learning as well!

  22. Sean Skipton says:

    More and more people are using social media to attract an audience to their blog. I like the idea of checking out the lingo of the potential audience and positioning appropriately. What I find daunting though is the range of social media that are now available; it’s not just Twitter and Facebook. So much work, if you tried to cover every community!

  23. Jerrick Yeoh says:

    No doubt that go for the social network to market it. In online marketing, after email marketing, second effective will be social media marketing. Social media become a business tool. Lot of blogger use tool of facebook and tweet to allow other to share it out to others. Nowadays, i found that like application in facebook is equal to share which you need to like to see the content, and it will auto post in your facebook profile after you click like. It did not get your permission to share out or not. This allow your reader share your blog url and and content in their social network as well.

  24. Shyam says:

    Nice way of thinking I think that’s good for thinking like that