The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Small Business: First Comes Love Then Comes Marriage

Looking to take your small business up a notch with social media? Have a handle on Twitter but not sure what that next step is? No fear, great blogging tips are here!

Twitter Blog

So you’re small business has fallen in love with Twitter but you want something more out of this relationship. If you look into the future you should see your small biz growing old with… Blogs. “Blogs and Twitter fit like a hand in a glove. Twitter is like the trailer to the blog’s movie”–Schaefer. Twitter allows you to promote your blog and show followers a mini version of what they are in for. It shouldn’t surprise you to know hat even Twitter itself has its own blog.

First things first you want to select a blog platform such as Blogger or WordPress. Next you want to define why you are creating your blog. What purpose is it going to serve for your small business? Whatever you’re reason is, one of your main goals is to try to build a community of like-minded people around a common interest(s). The blog is about your small biz, but it is also about the followers you gather. Think of yourself as a curator of ideas.

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Quick Basic Tips:

  • Not using your blog as a soapbox, but an area to relate and share ideas and opinions. This tactic draws more readers in and helps create a regular audience that you can even pose questions too and will receive answers back from. It helps create dialog.
  • Use links, tags, and embed videos early and often. All of these increase traffic with search engine optimization. Anything beyond plain text will help readers find you as well as others and this creates a greater sense of community.
  • Plan ahead and be timely. I know now that blogging on a regular basis can be stressful it’s just about finding that blog rhythm. Also, no one can tell what is going to happen each day in the world, but adding a reference to a current news event helps spike discussion.
  • Be brief, you’re not writing a novel, so keep it at 300-800 words.
  • As a graphic designer I cannot stress enough how incredibly important it is to use visuals. (If you a photographer this should NOT be a problem.)
  • Making everything cohesive is key. From every catchy title to the over all message of your blog, consistency matters!
  • More business related pointers and best practices here and here.

Mashable provides a very helpful article on real-life small businesses success with blogs: 5 Excellent Small Business Blogs To Learn From. It talks about how each small biz is using a blog to reach local communities and showcase the company’s experience and expertise. It outlines exactly what they’re doing right to help you to improve (or start) your own blogging activities. One role model is Cure Thrift Shop, which blogs with extreme visual creativity. Staff members update the company blog with creative pictures of new furniture arrivals, standout antiques, fashion inspirations and sale alerts multiple times daily. This lets followers know what’s new at the shop. Cure hosts its blog via Tumblr, which is a perfect fit for the thrift shop’s quirky photos of one-of-a-kind objects. Another great small biz to look up to is The Brooklyn Kitchen, which gets their message across with video. As a small biz you know that you have a fair amount of expertise to share with the world. A company blog is an amazing place to flaunt all of that pent-up knowledge and to incorporate videos can put your advice into high gear. You can also get ideas from Sweetgreen Restaurant’s blog (central hub for following company activities), BirchBox Beauty Products’ blog (inviting guest writers), and Emerson Salon’s blog (personal touch with individual staff blogs).

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Creating a blog to go along with your Twitter has several benefits. Blogging: builds trust, increases your audience reach, exposes you locally, offers you RSS feeds, increase SEO, improves integration of your other SM channels and website, and much more. Some small businesses such as Photographers underestimate the value of a blog. They feel they need to stick to image based social media channels (Instagram, Pinterest, 500px, etc.) when in fact blogs are perfect for the creatives.  American Society Of Media Photographers (ASMP) provides an even further breakdown and tutorial guide to blogging. Some real world photography blog examples to reference are Zack Arias’s Ask Me Anything and Joe McNally’s blog. Their blogs help traffic in thousands of viewers as well as continually developing their brand image. These blogs allow them to gives insights into recent and past projects on top of letting their years of experience and knowledge shine through.Read more expert advice about blogging for photographers here.

As you can see virtually any small biz can profit from taking on a blog, it is just how you go about it. Once you create a blog don’t forget about its significant other…Twitter! These two need each other to help make you and your business a successful one. If you missed the “love” (previous Twitter blog) check it out so whatever industry you maybe in you can Tweet and blog your absolute best!

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Suggested Thought Leaders:

Steve Strauss @stevestrauss: Small business expert. Senior @USATODAY small biz columnist, speaker, best-selling author; 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. Steve is the host @TheSelfEmployed; a Web portal dedicated to solopreneur success, deals, & fun.

Eric Tung @ericttung: Social media guru. #1 Network Influence @Forbes, Social Manager @BMCSoftware, Social Consultant @ChatterBlast, Cofounder @TheSMLedger.

John Jantsch @ducttape: John is the founder of Duct Tape Marketing and author of the books Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine. He has been called the “world’s most practical small business expert” for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies. He is a featured marketing contributor for American Express OPEN Forum and is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNN Money and Fast Company. Check out his website!

David Scott @dmscott: Marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 8 books including The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Newsjacking.

Recommended Reads:

Content Rules: Written by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. This amazing read discusses: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business.

BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Scott. This book is a one-of-a-kind guide on: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.

Duct Tape Marketing Revised & Updated: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

The Photographer’s Social Media Handbook coaches you on social media best practices to enhance your marketing efforts and get you noticed by potential clients. The guide is FREE, and you can have it emailed to you.

Photo Credits:

Blog & Twitter Love – Jen Salafia

Content Rules – Content Rules Website

WordPress Logo – CC

Lightbulb – CC

Category: Advanced Tactics, Blogging, Social Media Marketing 101