There are currently 133 million blogs worldwide. The world doesn’t need another blogger, right? Wrong. In the short 6 months that I have been blogging, I have come to the conclusion that blogging is the missing piece in a successful social media strategy. Here are five reasons why:
1) Blogging allows your nonprofit to have a consistent stream of fresh, timely new content to Tweet, post on Facebook, etc.
Social media is content driven. Blogging allows nonprofits to quickly and easily create and post content that’s timely and relevant to the here and now. That’s especially true on Twitter. Your organization is much more likely to be successful on Twitter if you can respond quickly to breaking news related to your mission and/or organization. People don’t RT old news, and the static content on your website is only interesting for a Tweet or two.
The subject of nonprofits and blogging was very popular in 2006 and 2007. The main idea was to put a human face to your organization’s mission to better tell your stories and successes. While that’s still true, blogging as a tool for nonprofits needs to be re-evaluated in 2010. MySpace and Facebook weren’t being utilized by nonprofits in 2007 (except for a few early adopters) and Twitter did not exist. Today these sites have transformed how people use the Internet and get their news. Through blogging, nonprofits can share their stories, break news, and share resources quickly, easily, and successfully to their communities on social networking sites.
2) To improve your search engine results.
In recent years Google, Bing, Ask.com, etc. have all changed the way they search the Web to archive and list Web pages in their search engines. SEO experts and spammers got so good at utilizing meta tags to manipulate search engine results that Google and others have now changed their search “spiders” to look for keywords in page titles, not meta tags. Blogging tools like WordPress and TypePad automatically add the code for page titles in every new blog post you publish to the Web.
This was a real opener to me. For example, I used the meta tags “Facebook” and “Nonprofit” on my website, but my site wouldn’t show up in the first 10 pages of a “Facebook Nonprofit” Google search. But just recently I created a blog post with the words “Facebook” and “Nonprofit” in the title, and within one week my blog post showed up on page one of a “Facebook Nonprofit” Google search. Wow. Showing up on page one in Google search results has led to numerous press interviews and a few new clients… all without spending one single penny on search engine optimization. It’s time for nonprofits to re-evaluate blogging, its purpose, and its effect on search engine optimization.
3) To get access to statistical data.
Nonprofit Tech 2.0 utilizes WordPress (a blogging platform) and the statistical data WordPress provides has been incredibly helpful in helping me understand my readers and the content that they are most interested in. From daily to monthly visits and most popular blog posts, WordPress also allows you to view referral URLs and how many visitors came to your blog from Google searches, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. It consistently amazes me that the posts nonprofits read the most (anything about Facebook ) are not the ones that I think they’d be most interested in (mobile technology ).
4) To build community around your mission.
Buzz words like “Community” and “Engagement” have become very popular over the last 12-18 months in reference to sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, but blogging and blogging platforms (like Blogger, WordPress, TypePad) gave birth to the idea of a social web. The ability to post comments on blogs is where it all started, and honestly, I’ll take a comment on my blog over a comment on Facebook any day of the week.
5) To grow your fans and followers on social networking sites.
I have icons for Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, etc. on my website and my blog, but very people click on them on my website. Many do on my blog. Why? I think because my website is classic old school marketing (which is still necessary and serves its own purpose) while my blog has a face, a name, a personality, an opinion. People want to “Friend” and “Follow” humans with emotions and opinions, not marketing bots.