Why You Need a Blog
by Rachel Parker
If you’re going to be successful as a small business in social media, you need to have a blog.
There, I said it. Now here’s why. If you’re going to be out there on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, you need a hub to which all those roads can lead, a centralized location where you maintain all that valuable content you’re sharing with your peeps (or in the case of Twitter, your “tweeps“).
In other words, your posts and tweets are the sizzle; your blog is the steak.
Setting up a blog is one of the most beneficial things you can do to promote your small business for a multitude of reasons:
- It’s a place where you can be yourself. Think of it this way: If you ran into one of your customers at a local coffee shop and she asked, “What’s up with Widgets-R-Us these days?” would you begin spouting your website verbiage at her? Of course not. You might talk about changes in your personnel, new products or services you’re trying out, local organizations you’ve started working with, the Little League team you’re sponsoring, and so forth. You’d be open and honest while still making a good impression. In other words, you’d engage your customer, talking with her instead of talking to her—or worse yet, talking at her. That’s what social media is all about, and your blog is at the heart of that engagement.
- It’s an opportunity to let customers in. We all want to feel like we’re a part of something, and by inviting customers in to the day-to-day life of your business, you make them feel like part of the gang. And parts of the gang tend to be very loyal indeed.
- It’s a place to try out ideas. Let’s say you run a bakery and are considering adding a Steel Magnolias Bleeding Armadillo Cake to your standard offering. By posting the idea on your blog, you can start gauging customer interest before you even start mixing that scrumptious gray icing.
- It’s a place to share timely information. One Labor Day a few years ago, my husband and I decided at the last minute to eat out instead of barbecuing at home. I checked the websites of each of our usual haunts, and not one told me whether they were open or closed for the holiday. This is the kind of information that’s a pain to maintain on a website, but a breeze to post on a blog. And customers want it!
- It’s a place to share expertise. A blog is the perfect place to give customers a little taste of what you have to offer. If you’re a dry cleaner, share some tips on getting out day-to-day stains. If you’re a CPA, offer advice on getting organized for tax season. If you’re a virtual assistant, let readers in on some of your time management knowhow. It’s a great way to start building the trust that tends to turn readers into customers.
- It’s a secret weapon for your SEO. Did you know that Google’s absolutely koo-koo about new content? When search engines crawl out there and do their thing, recently-posted content gets a major headstart in the race to the top search results. A blog lets you add keyword-rich content on a regular basis, which can make you a search engine’s best friend.
Now, if the idea of starting and maintaining a blog seems overwhelming, never fear. We’ve got lots of great advice coming up in future articles that can help make blogging easy—and maybe even just a little bit fun. If you have any questions in the meantime, just drop us a note via email, Facebook, or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!