So you’ve got a blog for your business. That’s a great and vital step towards a healthy and integrated social media strategy. If you haven’t developed a corporate blogging policy yet you are in danger of unravelling all of the progress you have made thus far. There are many reasons to do this but I’ve outlined a few top of mind here. A company’s blog can be used for a variety of different communication types. You can release company information, write on topics relevant to your industry, provide insight into your corporate culture and many others. Utilize all of these or just one. That’s up to you. But developing your blogging policy will help you outline what you want your blog to be and the type of content that will go in it. That will in turn make it easier to come up with content ideas as you go.
Define What You Will Not PublishNot only will content ideas come easier, but what you don’t want for content will be easier to determine. Are you trying to become an authority in your industry or is your goal to engage your consumers? Different types of content would be appropriate for these audiences. Some ideas you may want to scrap (or move to another property/category/etc) if it doesn’t align with your goals. Surely there are times when your company partners with another business for sponsorship or promotions purposes. You need to determine your threshold for promoting these relationships as well as decide how they’re going to be promoted. Your blog is not ad space and should not be treated as such. However, there is a lot of gray area when a partnership is on the table. Determining how you will and will not use the blog in these situations can help you and your ad sales team navigate these conversations more effectively. If you’re involved in social media for your brand then surely you’ve had the opportunity to deal with difficult people as the face of your company. Determining how you will deal with these people and situations on your blog before they arise will save you from potential mis-execution and give you guidelines to follow taking the emotion out of potentially heated situations. What you include in this policy is just as important as why you should create it. Some pieces to consider:
1. PurposeThis is where you will outline your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with the blog? Drive traffic? Build links? Outline all of these in this section.
- Type: Industry specific is often very appropriate when you’re trying to establish your business as an authority of if you’re concentrating on B2B whereas content related may be more appropriate if you’re B2C focused. Also consider if you’re going to be publishing inner-company related information and your thresholds for promotional content as I mentioned earlier.
- Language: Are you global? Localization of language may be something you’ll need to consider. Beyond that – are slang and/or curse words going to have a place on your blog? What type of language will be tolerated in the comments? That should be outlined in this portion.
- Tone: Whether your blog content is going to take on a casual, formal, fun or personalized nature can be broken down in this part of the policy. Consistency is key in developing a voice in whatever space you are operating in so be deliberate when making this determination.