It is no longer a question of whether or not businesses should be participating in social media – it’s just a question of how they can use the new online communities to help them get the word out. This is where the confusion comes in. Social media is where the customers are – and you have to be there.
So why shouldn’t you just abandon your blog in favor of social media networks?
According to a study released by HubSpot small businesses who blog have an average of 97% more inbound links, 434% more indexed pages and 55% more visitors. Those are very important numbers, from an internet marketing perspective.
Even with today’s overflow of social media networks, blogging remains the most powerful social media marketing tool a business can have. However, with the massive focus on Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks, companies have been neglecting their own blogging platform.
It’s no surprise. Successful blogging is hard work demanding resources companies may not have. It’s much easier to setup an account on Twitter and “socialize”. Yet, blogging can make a dramatic difference in your overall internet marketing campaign.
A blogs is your best marketing tool when it comes to delivering organic search traffic. The flow of fresh content constantly attracts deep links (links to internal pages, which are very valuable) aside from bringing in return visitors.
Additionally, blogs offer great freedom in terms of ability to add new content with a slight variation in focus in order to target more keywords.
With plenty of incoming links and a variety of keywords, a blog will rank well in the organic search results for a breadth of search terms. This is something you can not achieve with a Twitter or Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong. With Google’s real time search there is a possibility of your tweet of Fan Page update appearing on the first page of the search results, but the chances are slim. A blog, however, gives you an overwhelming advantage in the SEO world.
Blogging allows your business to position itself as an expert in a particular field. It helps you grow your reputation. By constantly sharing thoughts, insight, and information you show your own expertise on a particular subject… expertise that is then associated with your blog and Web site.
Sure, you can and should build credibility across many channels, not just through your blog. However, running a blog centralizes your work, streamlines the brand building efforts and let’s you control your own marketing messages.
With so much focus on social networks, it’s been easier for companies to shift focus away from their blog. Remember, however, that what’s hot today may be gone tomorrow. You don’t have any control over those external networks. Their services could stop being free, you could get banned for some reason, users could shift focus and move on to another platform.. just a few but real possibilities.
Your blog, on the other hand, offers you a unique space you have full control over. Your blog grows in value over time as each post incrementally adds value to your site as a whole. The content you create and post to your blog acts to build your site and your authority.
Focus on using the channels you have most control over instead of chasing the next trend.
The less time you spend building content and authority for your site, the more you make yourself dependent on tools that may one day fall away.
While social networks should play a role in your overall marketing efforts, your blog should be the cornerstone of your small business social activity. And with the abundance of blogging platforms out there (WordPress being the most popular) there is no excuse for your business not to blog.