We hear a lot about facebook, Twitter, foursquare and the various other social media tools. All of them have their strengths; however, almost all of them limit your ability to tell your story in some way or another:
- Twitter gives you 140 characters per message. It is an awesome tool and it can be used in a variety of ways, but it is far from a great brand building or story telling tool (unless you get really creative).
- Foursquare is all about geolocation and bragging about where you’ve been. Businesses can run promotions on the site and they have an opportunity to connect with the tool’s users.
- facebook is the most diverse of the three tools and there is so much you can do with. But once again, depending on what your objectives are, you are limited in a variety of ways. facebook is in control.
The scary part of the numerous social tools that are available is that there is no way to tell which of them will survive. Sure, you should be out there using them and connecting to your consumers with them, but don’t make them the main part of your online strategy.
On the other hand, a blog is yours. You can design it to reflect your brand. Depending on which platform you choose, there are numerous add-ons and widgets that can help you add all kinds of functionality to your blog. You have the ability to add photos, music, video, files, etc. to your blog. But the biggest advantage of a blog is that it allows you to really tell your business’ story.
A blog is also a great way to generate word of mouth about your business. As you post great content, your customers can easily share what you have written with their friends and family simply by sending them a link to it. Think about the possibilities. You run a great in-store event or promotion. If you have a blog you can tease the event prior to it starting; post photos/video of what is going on while it is in progress; and wrap up the event with a great story and comments from those who participated.
After you have blogged for a while and built up your audience base, you can then use your blog as a way to launch your marketing initiatives and gather feedback about them. The possibilities are limitless.
Here are a few great online resources to help you get started:
- WordPress Basics for Newbies (my favorite blog platform)
- Blogging Basics 101 (website)
- How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners (the best site on blogging)
- ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging your Way to a Six-Figure Income (amazon affiliate link)