You’ve heard all about social media—but what about social publishing? It might seem like the latest buzzword in a new business trend, but don’t be fooled: Social publishing can and will help you improve your business.
What Is It?
First things first: What is social publishing? It might sound like a fancy new term for blogging, but it actually encompasses more than that.
The definition is still evolving, but it means making content a two-way street. Take book publishing for example: In the past, the publisher put out a book, people bought it and read it. Maybe they passed it to their friends to read, and if you were lucky, they joined a book club to discuss the book.
Today, however, readers can hop on almost any social media platform and interact not only with each other, but with the publisher and the writer too. Blogging is part and parcel of this, but the conversation moves from your website and blog to your social media channels, to just about anywhere else on the web.
What’s It Got to Do with Business?
Given the definition of social publishing—making publishing social—you might think it’s an activity primarily for people involved in the arts. A writer can now publish his or her writing directly, and fans can form a community around the writer, interacting with each other and the writer.
It may seem less important for a business to engage in this kind of activity. But think about something about it: The more your audiences interact with you, the closer they get to your brand. The more they come to trust you. The more you’ll stay top of mind.
How Does It Improve Business?
Social publishing has several benefits for businesses. The first thing it does is establish a presence for your company. People who are looking for answers to questions—such as “what is inbound marketing?”—can locate your content and find answers and solutions. They might share it with their co-workers, too.
This establishes your firm as a trusted expert on certain subjects and, being involved in the industry, you do have expertise! You can share your knowledge with existing clients and potential future customers, who then share your information with their networks. You build trust and reach people you may not have otherwise ever had contact with.
Starting a Conversation
The second thing social publishing does for business is boost engagement. People are aware of your brand and they trust you as an expert. Now they read your blog and download your e-books. But they might also look to you when they run into other problems. They might ask you a question on social media, or they might send you an email about a product and how it works.
This boosts your engagement; publishing is now a two-way street, and your business is involved in a conversation with your customers. Allowing your audiences to get in on the conversation helps them connect to your company, so you can build a loyal, long-lasting customer base.
“Show Me the Sales”
This is the ultimate question for companies considering social publishing: Does it actually increase sales? Better brand awareness, increased consumer trust, and driving a conversation is all well and fine—but what about your bottom line? If it’s not creating sales, is it worth doing?
The truth is social publishing does increase sales. It allows you to reach a wider audience and puts more eyeballs on your company. It adds people to your sales funnel. Not everyone is at the stage where they’re going to buy immediately, but you have a chance to start interacting with potential customers well ahead of time, creating a solid relationship built on trust and expertise—even before they buy your product.