We’ve previously discussed many aspects of blogging and creating marketing content, including how to get your customers, readers, social media followers and – last but certainly not least – YOU excited about it, but it’s just as important for the long-term growth, diversity and quality of your blog and social media presence to actively involve the members of your team, which may include employees or volunteers. However, there are rules that should be established and followed to protect yourself, your brand and your business.
Your Blog Should Be A Group Effort
Most businesses know that they need to blog and create content, but often blogs and social media accounts are neglected and even abandoned. There are a number of reasons for this – other business-related matters taking priority, a difficult or cumbersome approval process, etc. – but one of the most common and unnecessary reasons blogs “die on the vine” is a matter of delegation, or a lack thereof. Some business owners and managers feel personally responsible for representing their brand, company or organization, while others assign all of these responsibilities to a single employee or volunteer.
It’s Not A One Man Job
When a single person is responsible for creating blog posts and social media updates, sometimes an exorbitant amount of time and dedication is necessary to maintain a solid output of creative and engaging content. Other matters take priority, or sometimes the individual responsible can just become overwhelmed by the task at hand. This doesn’t have to happen; often simply bringing other members of your team on board can mean the difference between a vibrant and popular blog and one that is embarrassingly frozen in time, yet still active on the Web.
Build Up Excitement
To begin, it is absolutely necessary to present your blogging team with an opportunity for creativity that will generate excitement for your brand. If you present the process as another assignment or chore, your team will immediately begin to dread the process – especially if you assign “homework” and strict deadlines! Instead, solicit ideas and brainstorm – allow your team members to suggest ways they would like to see your company presented online. Some may be interested in writing copy, while others may want to contribute photographs, video, other creative works or just simply ideas. If a member of your team is a product or service expert, consider asking them to contribute a “how-to” blog post or a question and answer session. It is vitally important to note that your employees should be compensated for their time spent working on this and other blogging projects.
Don’t Forget The Camera
The next step to involving your entire team is ensuring that special events, employee outings and other notable occurrences are properly recorded. Too often companies and organizations hold special events and forget to bring the camera. Whenever possible, be sure to take pictures and record video that you can later include in blog posts and social media updates. If one of your employees demonstrates a talent at recording media, assign them to the task and request that they take multiple pictures so you can choose from the best to include in your posts. Finally, make sure that any employees, customers, volunteers and other participants consent to being photographed and/or recorded, especially if the event is not hosted in a public place. People have various reasons for not wanting to be included in public blog posts, so if a participant doesn’t feel comfortable being photographed and recorded, it is a good idea to abide by their wishes.
Remember To Keep It Professional
It is important to set and enforce rules and boundaries when working with a blogging team. Your team members are most likely not marketing professionals, and they may not always be aware of what is appropriate and inappropriate to post online. However, most things on the Internet never go away, and just one slip up can have serious, even legal, repercussions. Let your employees know that inappropriate or personal content is not allowed, including any efforts to disparage or attack competitors or disgruntled customers or clients. It is never a good idea to allow employees direct access to blogs and social media accounts – instead, review, edit and post their content yourself.
Using Pop Culture
Finally, stress to your team members that inserting hidden or obscure content, especially unapproved in-jokes and Internet “memes”, is not allowed. If a certain phrase, symbol or image is later found to be offensive or in violation of a third-party copyright, there will be serious repercussions. However, some Internet phenomena and memes, such as the “Harlem Shake” craze popular in early 2013, can be a fun exercise in boosting team morale and entertaining your readers and social media followers. Just be certain that any fun and carefree content that you create or repost is free of controversy and is not offensive to any third-party.