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Posted by: Tyler Abbott

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Did you know the first printing press was invented nearly 600 years ago? However, this invention only allowed a one-way street; publishers could distribute content, but without any input from their audiences. Of course, the business of publishing has changed a lot since then. With the advent of the internet and social media, anybody with an internet connection can share his or her own social media profile, blog, or e-book with the world. And the world is able to respond back.

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Simply put, social publishing is allowing your audience to respond, give feedback, or ask questions about your published content. A great example is the comments section of a blog post. By interacting with your audience via the internet, you can build strong business-client relationships and convert users into customers. An engaged customer can in turn become a willing advocate for your business and share your content with others!

Considering using social publishing for your business? Then read on!

Choose the Right Site

An important aspect of social publishing is picking the right social media platform for your business to reach the greatest number of people. Not all social media sites are equal. For example, a wedding planning business would want to advertise beautiful arrangements and wedding themes to potential customers. This more visual advertising would naturally lend itself to a website like Instagram, which deals almost exclusively in pictures.

If your business deals more in online articles and blogs, then Facebook may be a better medium than Twitter, due to Twitter’s 140-character limit. This can include your comments too. Want to allow your customers to write longer responses? Again, Facebook may be the better choice.

You could even go a more non-traditional route and use popular online forums to interact with your audience. Using a site like Reddit, you can organize an “Ask Me Anything” forum where you respond to users’ questions while promoting your business to a large and diverse audience.

Engage, Engage, Engage

So you have a social media profile and a comments section on your blog, that’s a good step! However, your job has only just begun. You should be regularly checking your posts for user comments, and then using them to start a conversation among your readers. Not every comment deserves a reply, as it can get repetitive for yourself and those reading to see your username constantly popping up throughout the comment section. But a well-thought-out comment should almost always get a response!

Having trouble getting your comments section started? Try posting a thought-provoking question in the comments or in the content itself. You can also invite responses by sharing your content through social media; sites like Twitter or Facebook are built specifically to receive people’s reactions.

Remember to publish often to reach the largest audience. A conversation from three years ago does not help your business today, so it’s up to you to continually engage your customers.

Just Get Started!

Social publishing is an art that you must continually practise in order to reap the rewards. This may seem daunting at first, but getting started is easy. Simply make sure you have selected the right platform for your social publishing. Once you have the right site, your next step is to create thought-provoking material and engage your audience, and make sure the conversation is flowing! Don’t forget to review other ways to improve your efforts.

Finally, it’s important to do your research on your ideal customer to learn the best times to post your content, and how to best engage them.

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