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Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Do I Craft a Blog Welcome Post?

How Do I?

How would you go about crafting a Welcome post for your blog?

To craft your Welcome post, I'm assuming you've done some preliminary homework and established your social media guidelines. If not, then go to How Do I Start With Social Media Guidelines?

At this point, I try to 'feel' the space I intend to create with my blog. Is it a living room? More of a kitchen table, a backyard BBQ grill? Or, perhaps a cozy fireside chat? Note that these are all places where conversation takes place.

Start, then, with a greeting. If your blog [or other social media marketing platform] is to be a conversational setting or virtual third place for gathering, then how might you greet or welcome visitors? What should newcomers know about? What about those who have been coming for a while? How do you get the two groups to interact?

Describe how the concept for your blog came about. Was it the result of a conversation? An Aha moment? What was the impetus for wanting to create a social media beachhead and commit to it and to the conversation that you hope develops?

Next, offer a 'tour' of your space. Will others be contributing or is this your sole space? What topics will you address? How do they relate to the overall purpose or vision for your blog? Do you anticipate any recurring series ideas? Expect things to evolve over time, but think about how you are adding value to your audience.

You should definitely address the 'fine print' or your social media policy or guidelines and set expectations for behavior. If you prefer not to include this in your Welcome post, definitely make it your second post. It's critically important to address how will you interact, what's on topic and off-topic, whether any topics are confidential, will you moderate comments, would you rather have specific customer issues addressed elsewhere, and how do your social media platforms relate to those existing customer service platforms... For ideas, read through How Do I Start With Social Media Guidelines?

To put you in the right framework for welcoming visitors, readers and future community members, I suggest that you read Jason Falls post titled How To Become Your Customer's Valentine. There, he explores how social media has brought humanity back to marketing - something that your welcome message should convey. He reminds us how important listening, honesty, trust, consistency and freshness are, urging us to:

1. Expect less, get more
2. Give incentives and rewards
3. Have daily briefings
4. Implement change
5. Keep costs low, benefits high

Welcome to the marvelous world that social media marketing has brought back to our customers and us!

What would you add to this post and to your Welcome Post?

Image credit: Wordle How Do I" by C.B. Whittemore
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