There are numerous potentially alluring social media tools for the small business owner to try out, in hopes of reaching out to and connecting with a community. First up in this three part discussion, we’ll take a look at how Blogs can be incorporated into your business communication strategy.
What is a blog?
Think of a blog as an online diary for your business. Here, if you so choose, is your opportunity to present your thoughts and ideas to the internet public. Although maintaining a blog of your own might require more time and effort than other social media platforms, a blog posting (unlike Facebook or Twitter, for example) will often live a longer ‘life’ on the internet than a quick tweet or Facebook status update, and allow for more depth and creativity.
Why should your business blog?
Here are three simple tips to get you started with your business blog:
- Choose Wisely. Many free online blog publishing websites make it easy to create a blog of your own in under 5 minutes (Wordpress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad.), but this abundance of choice can make it difficult to choose the best program for you. Instead of blindly picking one website, try out a few and see which feels the most comfortable, as you’ll likely be spending a lot of time using their system. Remember: There are also blogging websites devoted to small business blogs such as SageSpark.
- Make it public! Be sure to arrange your settings to allow full public access to your blog. If your goal is to market your business, or to connect with your customers, blocking access to your blog or requiring viewers to request permission to view content doesn’t make sense!
- Review related blogs. Not sure what to blog about? Try looking at blogs run by other small business owners to see how they spread their message. Of course, every blog will have its own unique style and voice, but chances are you’ll find some inspiration (or at the very least learn what you don’t want your blog to be!). A quick Google search for "Bed and Breakfast" + Blogspot for example, will return hundreds of relevant blogs (mostly written by B&B owners themselves, and others about travellers who frequent B&Bs).
Even if you don’t find that blogging is for your business right now, it’s still a useful and fun way to research your industry and its customers. Although most of the ideas you’ll find in the ‘blogosphere’ are based more on personal opinion than on hard fact, this anecdotal evidence can often lead to new ideas or inspirations you might not find in traditional media.
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