This is a guest post by Jeannette Paladino (@jepaladino)
Here’s good news if you’re a small business owner: social media has helped to level the playing field. In the past, smaller companies couldn’t compete against the corporate behemoths with huge advertising budgets to reach customers and prospects. If you’re a small company, now you can go directly to your target audience with a WordPress blog as the centerpiece of your social media strategy. Think of your blog as your home base.
Feed Your Blog to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
From your home base, you can feed important information directly to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many other social media sites where your customers are forming communities. Post an article, and it is immediately “pinged” to sites of your choice with a link back to your blog. The viral impact is enormous as readers Like, retweet and comment on your posts.
You might think that you can just throw up a facebook page and use that as your social media base. But that could be a huge mistake. With a blog, you own your content. When you rely on a third-party social network, you are at the mercy of their rules. Remember when facebook started company pages? What a drag it became to populate both your personal and information streams. Recently, facebook changed its format again with timeline and resized of the insert in the large image on your landing page.
With your own blog, you can create the content, insert and delete copy, add videos, images and podcasts that promote your products and services. You make the rules. And your content won’t disappear if a social network disappears (think Friendster).
Why a Blog Will Build Your Brand
Your blog can serve as your website that you update regularly by writing articles, called blog posts, that will build your visibility and your brand. You feed the social media universe’s insatiable appetite for news by blogging and developing awesome content targeted to your customers and prospects.
Think of a blog post as a magnet, with your content drawing people to your home base where they can learn more about you and your services. Or you can use Syed’s analogy: Your blog is the heart of your social marketing campaign that pumps the “fresh content” to social media outlets “limbs”.
Here are other advantages to having a blog and posting regularly to build your brand:
- Impress Google. Blogs rank highly in search, unlike static websites, because the content is changing all the time. Post new content and you’ll see your audience grow. Static websites just don’t cut it anymore.
- Build credibility. A 140-character tweet has its place. But your customers want to know there is a full-service company behind the tweet. Your blog will burnish your brand much more effectively than a tweet or brief post on a social media network.
- Collect market intelligence. Readers leaving comments on your blog posts provide you with valuable market intelligence and endorsement of your ideas.
- Attract followers. Visitors can subscribe to your blog. Just think, a built-in audience for your articles, newsletters and surveys on important topics. As your list of subscribers grows, you can begin to sell them products and services directly, bypassing social media networks and distributors.
- Engage Employees. Employees can receive the complete story from the company about new developments and not from third parties who may get the information wrong.
- Invite guest bloggers. As your reputation grows, you will be approached by guest bloggers and you can invite people who are important to you – like your clients – to write guest posts. Everyone loves publicity.
By the way, the most highly ranked blog on the Technorati 100 is The Huffington Post, one of the most influential newspapers, either online or offline. Most people think it is a website when it’s actually built on a blog platform. At last count, The Huffington Post’s monthly circulation was 37 million with 1 billion page views, and is must reading for business executives, politicians, entertainers – and other news media who regularly quote from it.
WPBeginner is an example of a smaller company that grew its following from zero to millions of viewers in the past few years with a dynamic blog where they are now selling a portfolio of services.
If you already have a website and don’t want to convert right now to a WP blog platform, then consider starting a blog and linking it to your existing website. I write a blog for a client and it quickly became the leading source of traffic to the firm’s main website. New content = more traffic = more sales. That’s the formula that’s worked so well for companies with WP blogs.
Jeannette Paladino is a social media writer and blogger helping organizations to build brand awareness, increase revenues, and engage employees as brand advocates on social media. She writes the content for blogs and websites. Visit her at Write Speak Sell.