Welcome to my blog’s one year anniversary party! This is the 28th blogpost, which I will promote with my tweet #1000 from HootSuite, to around 470 Twitter followers, 230 LinkedIn connections, and a handful of Facebook friends (note to myself: Must to do more on FB!). Since I upped the posting frequency to at least 4 entries per month, this blog is attracting 100+ visitors a week, with a significant spike in November of last year, when it welcomed 217 visitors in 1 single day, with traffic amounting to a stunning 491 over the course of that week. Over the last year, 3,150 people landed on this page. I will order a glass of fine champaign tonight to celebrate, and drink to your health; a blog without readership is a sad thing – so keep breathing and coming back.
I started this blog in February 2010 for 3 reasons:
1. To learn about social media, and the way various social media platforms could (and maybe should) be integrated in order to drive maximum engagement. The marketing organisation within my company was talking about social media a lot without actually engaging, so I figured the only way to move things forward was to dive in myself. And it payed off – I haven’t seen a single marketing plan for 2011 without Social Media as one of the key pillars of the communications strategy. Even our recruitment team invited me to have a look at their plans, and see where social media could support their goals. People are talking about driving conversations now. The big challenge will be to integrate social media into the broader marketing communications mix in a way that makes sense to (prospective) customers and channel partners, and adds value to our operations.
2. To connect with other marketers researching the same exact questions and concepts around social marketing. Back then, most conversations where around Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn et cetera, so quite tactical. Over the year, strategic marketers and communications professionals started focusing on content marketing to employ social media (and any other media we have available within the marcoms mix to deliver the right message, to the right audience at the right time and through the right communications channel). This is by no means a new charter for marketing, but one that has expanded profoundly with the rise of social media.
3. To build my personal brand, and support my company’s efforts in the market place – when and only when related to marketing. The 500-hitting blog entry provided my view on a guerilla marketing activity conducted by our main competitor EMC. They have become much more aggressive in the global storage market place since, which means many people are looking for details – which brings a steady flow of readers to that particular post still. Strong, relevant posts with a sense of urgency can have a very long tail.
The great thing about a blog is that it allows you to air your personal views, and forces you to think and have an opinion about the things you care about. It will draw the attention of the interest group, vaguely referred to as ‘the community’. It’s hard to move a crowd. If your tone is too strong, you’ll push people away (or attract lunetics). If you’re too soft, you won’t entertain big crowds – people are looking for strong positions to help them build their own. Depending on your character type and community goals, a blog is a great platform to challenge ideas, people, organisations, and initiatives on a local, regional or even global level.
Blogging is exercising the freedom of speech in its purest form (maybe after standing up and speech from your own little stage in Speaker’s Corner – which has a far smaller potential audience). I’ve enjoyed the ride so far, and look forward to another year of writing to you.