Your blog is where people meet you.
Your social media channels are where they seek you out.
It’s important to understand these differences because they necessitate adjusting your social media strategy accordingly.
Let’s use Twitter as our social example. On Twitter, people are sharing your content and it’s where people are going if they have a customer service issue or a question for you. They are more likely to want to connect with you on the sites they are already using, like Twitter, versus coming to your blog or site. They are also more likely to know you because how would they know to connect with you at all?
On your blog, a good portion of your traffic is coming from search engines. So many people are clicking on a link from Google, and then being sent to your blog, probably for the first time. This is where people meet you.
So if you think about how people are interacting with you via social and your blog, you can see that you are dealing with slightly different audiences. And you can even expand this to include newsletters, where people already know you, and want to develop a deeper connection with you.
Let’s think about how we are talking about slightly different audiences:
Social – People that are aware of you, that are following you or seeking you out.
Blog – Some people that also follow you on social, but also people coming from search who are likely being introduced to you (and your content) for the first time.
Newsletter – People that know who you are, and who enjoy your content so much that they will give you access to their inbox in order to get it as soon as its available.
Or put more simply:
Social – People that know of you.
Blog – Strangers.
Newsletter – Friends and fans.
Granted, that’s not a perfect representation and I can already hear some of you howling “But my friends all read my blog!” True, but look at your blog’s traffic from search. Almost all of that is coming from people that have never visited your blog before, and if your blog is older than 6 months, the odds are that at least half its traffic is coming from search. For older blogs like this one, that percentage can go over 75%.
So each channel is a slightly different audience and requires slightly different approaches to your content. Here’s how I tweak my content strategy for each channel:
Blog – This is where I create content based on the topics I want to be known for. I assume that you are visiting here for the first time, so I am sharing what I know and more importantly, what I want to be known for. It’s also used as my best channel for establishing thought leadership, since blog content will stay seeded in search engines.
Social – This is where I interact with people that know of me around topics that I am passionate about. It helps us develop deeper connections plus to some extent it drives traffic back to my blog.
Newsletter – This is where I interact with people that know me and trust me enough with access to their inbox. This is often people I know, and have met. So my newsletter subscribers are far more likely to be friends that I love. So I share my best content with my newsletter audience. I give them first access to any new tools or tricks I come across, and try to be as helpful as possible to them.
Now it’s worth noting how your social media strategy would change if you didn’t use each of these channels. For example, let’s say you only have a blog, and you are trying to use that blog to generate sales. You can see how your job is going to be more difficult because your main audience at your blog will be strangers, and it’s typically more difficult to see to strangers than it is people that know you and value your work.
Blog – I don’t know you. (Content – Here’s who I am)
Social – I know of you. (Content – How can I help you?)
Newsletter – I know you and I like you. (Content – This will help you, my friend)
Also, if you are trying to generate sales, those sales would likely come from Social and your Newsletter. But at the same time, these are the audiences that know you and that you know. So you don’t want to sell too much to your friends, right? Instead, you give them your best and most helpful content, and make sure they are AWARE of how they can help you. Friends don’t just sell to friends, right?
At least that’s how I do it. How do you balance your content for different audiences?