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September 10, 2012

Find Your Voice

Cultivating a unique voice is essential for effective blogging. If your company has well-established branding, this will be a matter of translating that identity into a voice compatible with blogging. If your business is still establishing its image, your blog is a great place to evolve your brand and define your company culture. Use your blog to explore how you would like to be perceived, be it traditional and time-tested or innovative and cutting-edge, executive-chic or, as we at Jobcast prefer, business casual. Just be sure that the voice you choose is true to your company’s core values and becomes consistent from post to post.


Think of your blog as a brand ambassador

A successful brand ambassador portrays the company that they represent with positivity and enthusiasm, but even more importantly, they are relatable and trustworthy. Your blog is a way to make your company human. Yes, it is important to highlight strengths, but occasional posts showing weakness will keep your blog from seeming too corporate and unrelatable. Consider blogging about something new that your company is attempting to implement, something you don’t have all the answers for, as this encourages input from your readers, creating dialogue.


Foster audience participation

Your blog can be a vital part of your company’s visibility if you cultivate an active readership. Effective blogging inspires readers to comment, like, tweet and pin! Use great photos, link to some handpicked posts or online resources, use polls, catchy titles and humor. This kind of blogging encourages readers to share your posts with their colleagues and friends. And remember, in order to share a blog post on Pinterest, it must have an image. The image will be what inspires other pinners to click or skip, so make it count.

Also, write content that elicits response. Try writing posts that are open-ended, ask questions, and allow for debate. Appearing knowledgeable is important, but you must leave room for input, differing opinions and conversation. Dialogue not monologue!


Think outside of your industry

Of course it’s important to stay up to date on what other websites and blogs in your field are doing, but if you want to set your company apart, you’ll need to seek inspiration from outside your community. Think of some of your favorite tech blogs, design blogs, even food blogs. There is no reason that aspects you love about them can’t be applied to your employer blog.  Personally, I love how Food52 fosters audience participation through the “Community Picks” section of their website.


Keep it short and sweet

No one has time to read a novel when surfing the net. Your blog post is not a comprehensive article in Inc. Magazine (a fantastic resource for employer bloggers, by the way). It must be short and punchy in order to hold a reader’s attention. Blog posts work best when they provide information in a way that is quick, enjoyable and easy to read. If a reader wants more details, they can reference the handpicked links you’ve provided, or even better, email you directly.


Get social

Promote your blog through social networking. Okay, so this one is glaringly obvious, but so often overlooked. When you put up a new post, make sure you promote it through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or other social networks that suit your needs. Use captivating images wherever possible. Urge employees to like, promote and link to the company blog. Asking your staff for content ideas and feedback is a great way to encourage employee involvement. For more ideas about getting your employees onboard with social networking, see this article on BusinessWeek.com


Don’t fear New Media

A fantastic way to meet your goals and appeal to those within your talent communities is by showcasing company culture on your blog and what better way to do that than through video. You don’t have to be too technologically savvy to or spend a lot of cash to make a short video that gives prospective employees a taste of what working for your company is like. By making your companies values visible, you’ll attract readership from those with similar ideals. For more specific advice on recruitment-oriented video read Ryan’s awesome post here.


Blog with purpose

To keep tabs on the effectiveness of your blogging you need some trackable goals. If recruitment is a major focus, then a relevant goal would be to increase the number of likes or comments from desirable candidates. In essence, use your blog to grow your talent communities. Then, track sharing and comment sourcing so you can verify the results. This will let you monitor which blog posts appeal to the select audience you are looking to cultivate and help you tailor your posts to encourage sharing. Chances are they have equally desirable peers you want to reach so that when you next embed a job opening into your blog (oh, and did I mention our new job widget?), it will be seen by all the right people.


Links we Love

Check out these links for even more, possibly better, tips and some very useful apps. Happy blogging! Drop us a line and let us know how it goes.