Blogging can be a great way to connect with your consumers. For the mass transit industry, this is another way to connect with it’s riders. Most blog posts consist of routes and closures, but there is that opportunity to connect. If there is a large light rail project with several potential routes, the company blog may be the arena to start the discussion.
If you are considering a blog, here are a few suggestions:
1. Create Policies and Procedures. This includes for blogging topics, editors,and how to handle comments. A set of guidelines will need to be established on how the blog can affect the business. Know what you are getting into and how you will handle the risks. You may discover a blog is not the right fit, right now.
2. It’s NOT About YOU! This is an opportunity to engage, not to sell. Any attempt to sell will backfire. Readers are looking to be a part of the dialogue not a recipient of your ads. If you make a connection, they will buy. Make the post about them and they will continue to read.
3. Timing is Everything. Keep your content fresh and relevant. There are so many ways to do this just look at the company news, jobs, new products, etc. Even commenting on recent events and how it will relate to you and the reader is a great way to connect.
4. The Blog is Your Image. This is a direct reflection on the company. Keep the image consistent as well as any messaging. You want to be open and transparent with the readers. Keep in mind that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Be mindful of how you respond to comments.
5. Be Engaged. Always respond to comments whether good or bad so they know you are listening. If you need to direct them offline then do so with a comment. If you find a comment has brought up a few good points that starts a conversation, use this in your next blog article.
6. Mingle Your Social Media. When you post a new blog article, tweet about it or post a link of Facebook. This is a great way to cross-market and can get more followers pointed in the blog’s direction.
7. Know When to Say Good-Bye. Nothing lasts forever as this includes your blog. Here is a great blog about ending a blog, How to Know When to Stop Blogging.
The key is building a solid understanding and foundation on what the company’s goals for the blog are currently and where they want to be in the future. To continue your education on starting a blog, consider reading Corporate Blogging: 7 Best Practices by Kari White and Blogging for Beginners: 17 Tips Before You Start Your Blog. This case study about the Boeing blog will make a great benchmark on how to sustain your blog for the long haul, B2B Social Media Example: Boeing.