So often, we want to focus on writing great content in order to grow our blogs.  But we can sometimes forget why social media works so well; because it connects people.

Here's a big tip for any company that's blogging: We can connect with people easier than we can with you.

So how do you work this to your advantage?  You don't focus on your company, you focus on the people that work for, and interact with your company and its products and services.  You give every blogger a picture and bio and you put it on your blog.  You have your writers identify commenters by name.  You post pictures from and about your customers.

Notice how HomeGoods has a huge picture of their bloggers right at the top of their blog:

Homegoods.jpgImmediately you can 'see' who is writing this blog.  Already it's much easier for a reader to connect with and ultimately trust what they read on this blog, because they know it is coming from real people with real names like Deb, Cathy, Joan, and Susan.  What if the blog didn't have any pictures of its bloggers, and didn't identify who they were, only to say that each post was published by 'The HomeGoods Team'?  This is what many business blogs do, and it simply puts another barrier between the company and its customers.

Look at what the fine people at Graco do with their company blog.  Every Wednesday, they focus on either their customers, or the families of their employees.  Why is this important?  Why does it matter that we know what the chief blogger's granddad looks like?  Because it drives home the point that these are real people that are living real lives just like us.  So again, we can more easily connect with them, because we connect with other people more easily than we do with anonymous companies.

Graco.jpg     
So if you are wondering what to write about next, my friend Chris Brogan has some amazing advice:

Write posts about people in your company and what they're doing outside the company. Talk about Surya's bike race. Cover Monica's graduation ceremony for her MBA. Don't write like you're a proud company. Write like a person covering interesting moments in a person's life.

What does this bring back to your company? It brings a sense that you're human, that your organization contains humans, and that every message from you isn't a pitch or a sale. Instead, you're someone who not only markets, but cares about the people inside and outside the organization.


What he said.


September 2, 2008





Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.






Comments(7)

Excellent post, Mack. I think this is a great tip that is very underused in the blogging world. People love to see a face to the author, and it really helps them establish a connection with them. I think this is also referred to as a "hero shot".

Mack, great post. Many people on Twitter, have been experimenting with different photos.

And they've been finding what you have nailed on the head. Most people will trust (and click, connect and follow) a person with a trustworthy photo more than anything else. I've been experimenting too with different photos and most people like the most open photo and not the one of me hiding or a silly photo of me when I was 5 years old. I invite all of you to participate in my survey at http://eimr.blogspot.com/2008/08/your-photo-your-brand-says-godin.html

Absolutely! The psychological factor is extremely important. You can check by visiting any shop. A person would sooner buy from a cheeful open shop assistant than a gloomy and reserved one. This is a person's nature. We tend to trust people that we like. All in all blogs are made for users so this is important. Nice tip. Thank you.

You said to focus on the people in your company but what about your customers? Isn’t that also a way of connecting to them? Giving your customers an opportunity to be seen (especially with your product) is also important and it’s a strong selling tool.

"You said to focus on the people in your company but what about your customers? Isn’t that also a way of connecting to them? Giving your customers an opportunity to be seen (especially with your product) is also important and it’s a strong selling tool."

Casey, a company blog should absolutely focus on its customers as well as its employees! I mentioned the Wednesday series that Graco does on its customers and its employees and families. That's a great example.

Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts blog is another that does a fabulous job of posting about customers and getting them involved in the blog's content. (Here's their blog, which is excellent, BTW: http://innocentdrinks.typepad.com/).

I think focusing on customers is incredibly important as well, and it only makes good sense to put the spotlight on the people that are keeping you in business.

Great reminder Mack. I've also been a believer of putting faces on blogs :)

Thanks for the reply…the blog you suggested is a great read..

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Putting Your Best Face(s) Forward on Your Blog