Social Media Timesavers #2: Dump your e-newsletter TODAY

How do you measure the ROI for social media tools? By the amount of time saved.

This is the second part in a continuing series aimed at helping people convince the powers that be of the benefits of social media.

Timesaver #2: Replace electronic newsletters with a blog

Remember back in the day when people read hard copy newsletters? It consumed a lot of your organization’s time and money to lay out the content in the right format, then print and deliver copies to stakeholders. Then it was a joyous day when most orgs made the switch to electronic newsletters that could be emailed or posted to a website.

Now’s the time for the next evolution in efficiency: switch to a blog instead. Why?

Content is king
Yes, we’re all human and our eyes dance with delight as they soak in a nicely laid out e-magazine. But for most organizations, the ROI just isn’t there to justify the extra time and skill required to create such beauties.

With a blog, you can take the time you would have spent doing layout and focus on better writing. Come up with that creative headline that readers just have to click on. Write your articles in a way that draws readers in and addresses how what you’re saying will benefit them — or at least interest them.

And just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean you can’t add photos, graphics or even video. You’re just not wasting your time with layout since the framework is already permanently in place.

Old news doesn’t matter as much as the fresh stuff

With a blog, you can post quick articles (even as short as 2-3 paragraphs) when the news first comes out. No more waiting until you’ve got enough stories to put together an entire newsletter.

And, let’s face it, people have short attention spans. One timely, relevant, interesting article at a time is more digestable by your stakeholders than a newsletter full of many articles that sits in the in-box for when the reader “has time to go through it all.”

A great example of this is the National Geospatial-Inteligence Agency, which converted their electronic newsletter to a blog. Articles came out much faster, in bite-sized chunks, and blog readers posted many positive comments about the change.

One caveat
As a consultant, the answer to everything in life is, “It depends.” While this advice is good in the majority of cases, there may be specific situations where an electronic newsletter is still the best tool. One example may be if your organization puts out many articles per day. If’ that’s the case, you don’t want to email 10 stories a day to your stakeholders or they’ll unsubscribe from your list faster than TV fans stopped watching Heroes.

Bottom line: As always, choose the tool that’s right for you and your organization. But closely examine the social media alternatives out there that could save you time and money with regard to your specific situation.

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