Mashable recently listed a few rules about small business social media that I’ve adapted to apply to blogging and blog content. As with most rules break them as fast as you can but still keep them in mind as you do.
Social presence via blogging isn’t like advertising. Screaming at your customers in adspeak will just tick them off. Social media can definitely be used for marketing but your blog should concentrate mostly on information, entertainment and problem solving. Your blogging goal should be about trust and building relationships.
Blogging isn’t about self-promotion. If that sounds completely wrong just read on. Mashable gives the example of the cocktail party boor who just talks about himself. Think about the person you really want to listen to; they tell stories, they’re funny, interested in others and actually listen. Blogging can be the same. Especially the listening part. Customers come to you to fill a need, ease their pain, solve their problems and since you know how to do that (this is the listening part) you fill your blog with things they can use. Occasionally add case studies or how you went the extra mile for a customer but that’s not blatant self-promotion.
You don’t have to write lengthy posts every time but you should post regularly. Even a short paragraph about a new law, new product or timely information can make a potential customer feel like you’re active. I just wrote a post for a client about geothermal heat pumps and added the info that a there’s a tax credit available if you buy one. See what I did there? Informed the reader of a benefit to a new product. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.
You’re not Apple, Ford, Coke or Taco Bell. And thank God for that. Think of the social media workload they have to carry to continue to be interesting. Sure, they have a gaggle of 23 year olds doing their social media (big mistake by the way) 24/7 but the have a huge monkey to keep fed. You can do a small but steady amount of social media work to keep your business current and bring in new customers now and then. But really what you want is to be found on the interwebs. Creating content is how you do that. And then when they arrive at your site you hit ‘em with your smarts on your blog and fabulous website.
Writing about your business and industry is writing about what you love. It doesn’t have to be purely technical or strictly business, look at what others write if you’re just not sure. You might be surprised to find you like it after a few tries. And if you still just can’t get your head around social media and how it can complement your other promotional efforts just give a shout to Turn The Page Online Marketing. We offer training and support so you can get started or we can take care of it for you. We love this stuff and even better we love showing small businesses how using social media can bring a positive spin to their business efforts.