We all know of, or have seen someone sporting a now ancient flip phone. You know – not smart phones?
Generally, our reactions are all ones of shock. How can you not have a smart phone? Seems crazy right?!
The same logic can apply to small businesses who in the year 2014 still don't have a blog: there's no excuse. And believe us, we're familiar with the excuses: time-strapped marketing managers don't have the money, the resources, the writers, they don't see the business value or link between blogging and social media, etc. But we're at an inflection point where managers may be running out of excuses. Actually, let's amend that statement: there are no excuses.
- Free sites like Wordpress and Tumblr allow you — yes you, the technically challenged marketing manager — to create a blog within 15 minutes.
- You and your staff can easily whip up as little as three 150-word blog posts a week.
- There's no shortage of tactics to overcome writer's block. (But if writing is still too daunting, you can hire a blog writing service to do the work for you).
Now we admit, these are all negative reasons to have a blog in the sense that the absence of obstacles should convince you to take the plunge. But the positive reasons to have a blog, particularly how a blog will enhance your social media strategy, are even more compelling.
So with that in mind, here are three ways how a blog can take your social media presence to the next level:
Blog = original content = sharing = social media gold. We all like to share photos of kittens or a video, like the one of that amazing Budweiser commercial with the puppy and horse, but as far as attracting new customers and positioning your firm as an expert in your field, that won't get you very far. Original content, on the other hand, will help you drive social media engagement, generate new followers and expand your brand.
It's a referral machine. A follower sharing your content on a social media site is one thing, but when executed properly, the content will also refer customers to your home page, shopping cart, etc. Case in point: an October study found that media sites in particular saw a 170 percent increase in referrals to their sites thanks to visitors clicking on content on Facebook.
Social media success "lifts all boats". This is an awkward play on "a rising tide lifts all boats," and what we mean is this: visitors click on and share your unique content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. What happens next? Well, some then visit your site. Others sign up and bookmark your blog. Others, meanwhile, go as so far as to purchase a product online.
You may be noticing a pattern here: a single piece of compelling content can have a chain reaction whereby other parts of your marketing strategy unrelated to social media are affected. The classic example of this is how quality content helps you boost your search engine optimization efforts. Search algorithms will notice that real humans — not robots — are reading and sharing unique content and as a result, will bump your site on search results, leading to even more exposure.
Ultimately, blogging and social media are inextricably linked. The former provides the fuel to expand your social media exposure, while the latter helps drive traffic to your blog. Neither operates in a vacuum. So if your firm is all-in on social media, make sure you're not missing the most critical ingredient of them all: a blog with unique content to make your social media strategy hum like a well-oiled machine and not a 2007-vintage flip phone.