Corporate blog expert Debbie Weil has asked the question, “Should blogging be the hub of your social media efforts?” Tomorrow afternoon, Jay Baer and Chris Baggott will take a stab at answering that in a Compendium Blogware webinar of the same name. Sign up now. Seats are limited.

While Debbie has a fantastic discussion going on in the comments section of the post mentioned above, I thought it appropriate to talk a bit about the hub theory of blogging and ensure the notion is looked upon in the proper perspective.

First, we need to assume that we’re talking about blogging for business or corporations. This differs from personal/hobby or media blogs because with each you have slightly different purposes, goals and outcomes of success.

Hub and spoke

Image by base10 via Flickr

Personal blogs are ego driven. They are either personal opinion platforms for the author or the content is almost solely what the author chooses to write. Hobby blogs are much the same. Media blogs are focused on driving content around an audience’s needs or interests to draw eyeballs and increase exposure to the site’s advertising. The best corporate blogs are focused on driving business success while serving the audience’s needs.

As an example, look at Fairytale Brownies. They have a corporate blog which has a prescribed goal of winning search results around specific keywords. Their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presences clearly drive people back to the blog for more information (along with other site-specific content that serves its respective community there). The blog is clearly their hub for connecting with customers.

If you visited their blog in February, you found specific calls to action for Valentine’s Day themed promotions. When you clicked through, you were taken to custom landing pages to buy Valentine’s Day brownies for your loved one. With similar approaches around the year (see St. Patrick’s Day ideas there now), Fairytale Brownies have driven thousands of visitors to their e-commerce site and report an impressive 13 percent conversion rate among those visitors to qualified leads. While they do not disclose specific financials, they have shared a 170 percent return on their investment in business blogging.

The reason (though I’m sure Baggott wants me to tell you it’s because they use Compendium) is because their blog is a hub for their social media efforts. They do participate genuinely on Facebook and Twitter, answering specific questions, thanking fans and the like, but continually bring the focus of the company’s social media efforts back to the blog and e-commerce opportunities. The clear focus to drive customers to the blog, thus giving them the options to click through and purchase is what drives their online success.

Can social outposts be your hubs? Sure. Are they as effective? I don’t think so. You can control you blog completely. Focusing that content on winning search results is easier to execute than on Facebook or Twitter. The more search traffic you can drive, coupled with the social media traffic you move from your outposts, the more your efforts are optimized.

For more, check out the webinar with Jay and Chris tomorrow. It’s free and will certainly be full of great information.

In the meantime, what do you think? Is a blog best used as the hub of your social media efforts? What about focusing your activities on Facebook or Twitter? The comments, as always, are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.ribeeziemedia.com/blog Ricardo Bueno

    Thank you for the link my man! Much appreciated. I'll revisit it over the weekend or early next week.

  • http://blog.mycroburst.com/ Christian Logan

    Nice post. Driving traffic through relevant posts is a great way to get business. But still it's not everyone's cup of tea. Content has to be entertaining both, target audience and search engines. Plus I think twitter doesn't cater to every industry. Or does it?

    Btw, I've read about FairyTale Brownies before as well. How come people end up quoting this website every time? Must be good :)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Well, it is brownies.com. Heh. Thanks Christian.

  • http://blog.mycroburst.com/ Christian Logan

    Nice post. Driving traffic through relevant posts is a great way to get business. But still it's not everyone's cup of tea. Content has to be entertaining both, target audience and search engines. Plus I think twitter doesn't cater to every industry. Or does it?

    Btw, I've read about FairyTale Brownies before as well. How come people end up quoting this website every time? Must be good :)

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Well, it is brownies.com. Heh. Thanks Christian.

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  • http://www.annelienaes.com Annelie Näs

    You truly open up a for a great discussion here Jason. Personally, I'm not sure that the blog necessarly needs to be the hub for you social interactions, but I do think that everyone should define a hub. Because it makes it easier for the followers, reader or commenters to know were do go to for information. Though I does not have to be the blog, I think there are many good reasons for it to be, as you can freely do what you want on your blog and anyone could visit. On the other hand it could be very useful to have the facebook page as the hub, since you constanlty remind people of you precens as you show up on their feed, and they do not have to redirect themselves to find you. I'm sure that there are other aguments for other option, but my point it; hub= defintely, place: optional.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Well said, Annelie. I tend to agree with you. A blog does need to be your
      hub IF you have certain goals in mind. (Search wins, on-site engagement,
      etc.) If not, your hub certainly can be elsewhere. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.annelienaes.com Annelie Näs

    You truly open up a for a great discussion here Jason. Personally, I'm not sure that the blog necessarly needs to be the hub for you social interactions, but I do think that everyone should define a hub. Because it makes it easier for the followers, reader or commenters to know were do go to for information. Though I does not have to be the blog, I think there are many good reasons for it to be, as you can freely do what you want on your blog and anyone could visit. On the other hand it could be very useful to have the facebook page as the hub, since you constanlty remind people of you precens as you show up on their feed, and they do not have to redirect themselves to find you. I'm sure that there are other aguments for other option, but my point it; hub= defintely, place: optional.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Well said, Annelie. I tend to agree with you. A blog does need to be your
    hub IF you have certain goals in mind. (Search wins, on-site engagement,
    etc.) If not, your hub certainly can be elsewhere. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://fiskerstudio.com/ ralph fisker

    Great to see that the 'uncontrolled platforms' trend is relative when a blog can function as hub. It does guarantee a stable channel whereas API's change constantly and seem unfit to keep information available over a longer period of time through interlinking between platforms. Resulting dead links are a major pain in my opinion.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Great point, Ralph. There's so much good and bad to consider when you look
      at marketing through the lens of search engine optimization. Unfortunately,
      too few companies understand it or prioritize it. Great thoughts. Thanks for
      commenting.

  • http://fiskerstudio.com/ rafdevis

    Great to see that the 'uncontrolled platforms' trend is relative when a blog can function as hub. It does guarantee a stable channel whereas API's change constantly and seem unfit to keep information available over a longer period of time through interlinking between platforms. Resulting dead links are a major pain in my opinion.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Great point, Ralph. There's so much good and bad to consider when you look
    at marketing through the lens of search engine optimization. Unfortunately,
    too few companies understand it or prioritize it. Great thoughts. Thanks for
    commenting.

  • twentieslife

    I've been having trouble figuring out this balancing act myself. I most often just use twitter and facebook to push readers back to my blog, but I'm wondering if there is merit in using those outlets to build a community on their own tools, rather than just using them as a funnel back to my blog.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      It all depends on your goals. There will be an audience on each that
      appreciates you driving people back to your blog, and there will the those
      that think it's promotional and spammy. As long as you mix in plenty of
      other sharing, you'll be fine. But it's worth it to see if there are more
      specific focal points you can use with Facebook and Twitter. Ask yourself if
      your audience on each network is a little different, if so how and cater
      your content to them based on those results. Thanks for the comment.

  • twentieslife

    I've been having trouble figuring out this balancing act myself. I most often just use twitter and facebook to push readers back to my blog, but I'm wondering if there is merit in using those outlets to build a community on their own tools, rather than just using them as a funnel back to my blog.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    It all depends on your goals. There will be an audience on each that
    appreciates you driving people back to your blog, and there will the those
    that think it's promotional and spammy. As long as you mix in plenty of
    other sharing, you'll be fine. But it's worth it to see if there are more
    specific focal points you can use with Facebook and Twitter. Ask yourself if
    your audience on each network is a little different, if so how and cater
    your content to them based on those results. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://DCincome.com/blog chiropractic social media

    Actually I like its honest answer but in my case blogging is a best way to promote a business and using social media is the tools and techniques to do that successfully.

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  • Yuws01

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. Thumbs up!

  • http://magnetechtransformerrepair.com/ Mitchell Causey

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for the post, it is clearly a topic that deserves discussion…

    In my opinion, having your customers come back to YOUR blog is the most important thing that you can achieve. If you can get people their, they are in your “home court.” I say this with the caveat that your blog and website need to be seamlessly integrated (WordPress, etc) so that your traffic does not have to leave one site to go to the other (very low brand consistency).

    My opinion is so heavily swayed to having your customers come to your site (especially for sites with ecommerce) because that's where the point of purchase is. Period. If you can't make a sale in your distribution channel, I will have a difficult time finding purpose in it.

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    Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

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  • http://www.d2moto.com/c-758-harley-davidson-accessories.aspx Harley Accessories

    These are some great points. I forgot to e-mail as an option to capture the benefits of a blog. I may have to explore some of these changes.I would like to add a Webinar Whitehorse, which highlights how blogs and content management in general a little easier.