I read an interesting article today titled “How Small Business Is Using Social Media”. The article presented data about social media sites that business owners choose to use to interact with their customers. What struck as odd in this article is the fact that having a Blog represented only 39% of what Business Owners choose to use as a way to communicate with their customers. I mean, what is a better way to educate your customers about your services and products than writing about it in a way they can understand?
As the chart below shows (copied from source itself), the most popular social media tools that are being used are also the easiest to create. It does not take more than 20-45 minutes to create a (good) Facebook page or a LinkedIn account (45 minutes if you have a lot of information to upload), but does it mean you are actually educating your customers about your products or services? I doubt it. Facebook, and LinkedIn can serve as a good distribution, customer service and listening platforms, no question about it, but what you really need to ask yourself as a business owner is this: what value am I adding to my costumers? Most likely not as much as writing a Blog about your area of expertise will.
The reason I think the percentage number of starting a blog is low is quite obvious. Blogging means hard work, period. First, you need to develop a good content strategy, then you need to optimize each page for keywords, and after that you need to find your “writing voice” (and also keep this “voice”), and to top all this you need to find your audience and create GOOD content. As you can now see, starting and maintaining a good Blog is a not an easy task if you have a busy schedule, but so as spending hours on Facebook, and LinkedIn every single day to monitor your clients activity.
The percentage number of starting a Blog is low, yes, but I reckon that if the chart were to examine the ROI of each of these three social media approaches (Facebook, LinkedIn and Blog) in the long run, starting a Blog will stand on top of the pyramid.
The Hierarchy of your Social Media approach as a small business owner should place starting a Blog on top, ahead of other social media channels. When people talk about ROI in the social media world, Blogging, in my opinion, can be a significant factor.
Remember this: content is king, no doubt, but creating value for your customers is the entire kingdom.
What do you think? Do you agree that Blogging can provide a better value to Small Businesses than Facebook, or LinkedIn?