Simple tool is a key way to reach out to, engage with customers.
The social media revolution is no longer on the horizon or a surprise. Its value and power have become pretty clear over the past few years.
Facebook has accumulated 800 million users age 13 years and older. In June, Twitter announced a record 200 million tweets in one day. But the business-oriented social media king is clearly the blog.
Blogs have been around in some form for a long time. Back in the early ’80s I purchased my first PC. I remember people writing on bulletin boards about the same things they write about on Facebook and Twitter today. Those bulletin boards were the seeds of our modern social media giants. They’ve been growing, maturing, providing value and filling demands for almost two decades.
Suspend for a moment your fear of the unknown and accept the fact that it’s time for you to be contributing to the blogosphere. Just as the website has evolved from an oddity to a must-have asset, so too will blogs be++come the communication forum every business must have to fully serve its customers.
If you don’t have a blog yet, go online to one of the hundreds of sites that offer free blogging. From WordPress to Google , Yahoo and Blogger, starting a blog can be simple, easy and free.
It doesn’t require deep technical expertise, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. If you can invest 60 minutes to get your blog started and post your first entry, all that’s left is to go back and add to your blog when you have something else to say.
It’s important to recognize that this is your chance to become a subject-matter expert, an authority on your business and industry. A blog is the perfect soapbox. You can write whatever you want, and it’s unlikely anybody is going to stop you.
However, recognize that what you’re writing is available for anyone to look at, which includes your customers, employees, mom, dad and your kids. Once it gets posted, it can be captured, saved and duplicated by anyone, so your words will live forever. But that’s a small price to pay for the ability to quickly and cheaply share your business’ success stories, new products and services, and ideas that can help your customers and attract prospects.
You’ll want to start putting valuable information up on your blog and encourage your clients and prospects to look at it.Write about what’s new, exciting, and important in your business, community and industry. Use your blog to promote upcoming sales, product features and stories about your staff helping clients. Ask customers and stakeholders to go to your blog and contribute testimonials, comments and experiences they have had working with you.
You’ll want to put a link to your blog on your company website. Also, set some internal policies about who can post to the blog as a representative of the company and what they can and can’t blog about.
If you can take that first step and get something, anything up on the web, you may find you have a never-ending supply of things to write about. Having a blog is inevitable if you’re planning on being in business. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be back in the mainstream of business communications and poised to benefit from this wonderful business tool.
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