5 Days to Social Media Smarts: Blogs

Choice is something we think we want, but then when we get it, we feel overwhelmed and regret ever having asked for it. When it comes to social media, we are spoiled filthy rotten with choice. Talk about overwhelmed. Every day seems to bring a new networking tool, a new widget, a new piece of research. If you’ve put off learning about what social media can bring to your organization thus far, you’re likely to feel a solid understanding slip further away with each new day.

But learning about social media is not impossible, and you stand to gain so much by using social networking tools that it’s worth making an investment in at least understanding what they’re about.

Just to show you that you really can do it, we’re putting together a plan to get you from zero to “Oh, now I get it!” in five days. By Friday, you’ll have an understanding of the most useful social media services and the foundation for assembling your own social media plan.

Ideally, set aside an hour each day to dedicate to your one-week education. It doesn’t have to be 60 whole minutes at a time; feel free to break that up into four 15-minute chunks. You’ll probably find you know more than you thought you did and can breeze through our recommendations for the day.

Day 1: Blogs

Social media widgets may come and may go, but blogs are here to stay. They take dedication and work, but they offer the best payoff for your efforts.

Now take some time to browse through some blogs and think about how they’re structured. Don’t simply read the postings; page through them. Get your notebook out and jot down your thoughts on:

  • >> Anatomy of a blog, from pages to comments to RSS feeds. How are your blogs structured? Where do the links take you?
  • >> How is the blog published? Is it on a program like WordPress or Blogger? How does it fit in with the publisher’s website?
  • >> Pay attention to the postings that have comments, and the ones that don’t. Do you see any patterns?
  • >> Note where the publisher is focusing their blog and to whom they’re writing, as all winning blogs have a tight focus and clear audience. Audiences need to know what they’re getting.

You may already have a list of your favorites, so use those as a starting point. If you need help finding some blogs, turn to Google’s Blog Search to look up topics you want to know more about.

When you’ve spent some time reading through these blogs, jot some notes on what you like and what you think works, because you can use these notes to structure your own.

Tomorrow: get ready to learn about Facebook.

[Read the other posts in our series 5 Days to Social Media Smarts.]