Are you using social media to market your company or brand? Are you using social media to generate leads for your business?
I’ll bet that while it works to a degree, it leaves much to be desired. Firstly, while social media is a fantastic tool, it’s pretty useless unless we know how to use it effectively and properly. Social media is all about communicating with prospective and current clients.
By communicating with clients, we’re building relationships with them. Sales has become about building strong relationships and nurturing them. In order to win clients over, they also need to feel that they can trust us. Building trust is not so easy. Our customers need to feel that they are in safe and capable hands.
This brings me to the this post’s topic. How much trust can we gain within 140 characters? Or from a Facebook update? Quite a bit actually. There are companies out there that are getting social media right. Woolworths, First National Bank and Afrihost come to mind. These companies have a strong social media presence and deliver fantastic customer service with social media.
However, if you’re starting out and you aren’t an established company with a substantial following, you are going to have to start somewhere. A blog is that somewhere. Here’s why. Not many people may know you yet. Sure, you have a website and it has all your details on it. So what? You’re just another company out there.
People do business with people. People write blogs. Blogs give insights into companies that business websites do not. Blogs reveal your human side. Your blog could explain how you manufacture your products, where they are sourced and how you give back to the community. They can reveal the inspiration to your latest design.
The nice thing that I like about blogs is the promotion of interaction. Readers can leave a comment, contributing conversation around your post, and ultimately around your business, company or product. In fact, it can create quite a stir about you too.
Writing about a specific topic helps teach people about that topic. The secret here is that you don’t need to know everything about that topic. You don’t need to be a guru. You just need to know it and understand it. You need to be able to explain it to people who know nothing about it and help them comprehend it. To them, you will be the expert. You will be the go-to person. The person that took the time to help. In fact, the more you actually help someone, the more successful you will be.
Think about it. In this day and age, we are marketing and selling nearly everything. Including ourselves. Imagine trying to sell a cellphone to somebody. You can tell them all the features, but how will it benefit them specifically? You’re not selling this cellphone to this person. You’re helping them buy it. You’re making it easier for them and yourself.
While it may not be the easiest thing to do within a tweet or a Facebook update, a blog certainly is the right platform to help people and build your credibility. Social media can now be used properly as a means to send traffic to your blog, as well as providing real time customer care. With social media, you direct people to your useful content and if your content is any good, and it must be, your readers will share your content with their friends and followers via their social networks.
Installing the appropriate plugins on a blog will allow you visitors to share your useful content that much easier. A rule to remember though, is that social media is a medium of two way communication, not only one way self promotion. Share links about your industry and the people or topics that inspire you. Your message should be a well balanced one, always promoting conversation.
What do you think? Is a blog essential to a social media strategy or not?