I donÂ´t believe that every business needs a blog.
Maria says she does “agree somewhat.” She was probably being cautious because I chose not to elaborate on the point for the sake of brevity. I should have said,
Not every business needs a blog. Yet.
If a couple is just starting a retail dry cleaning business, there are other things that need to be done before they start a blog. It’s quite possible, given that the blogosphere is still in the early adopter phase of the bell curve, that they could be quite successful without ever having a blog.
On the other hand, if the same couple started a retail store selling board games, collectible action figures, and comic books, they they could probably get a better ROI by starting a blog early on. Gamers and collectors probably spend more time on-line than off-line.
Church of the Customer has seven reasons why small businesses should blog as well as five “don’ts.”
As a customer, here’s 12 reasons why I think a small business should blog.
1. A well-written blog can give you credibility; it can make it obvious you know what you’re talking about.
2. It can educate me about your products in a less formal way than Web sites.
3. I can ask you questions by leaving comments on your posts or by tracking back to you from my blog.
4. You can provide tips on maintaining the product that I buy from you. You will be doing me a favor and I will feel obligated to return that favor by frequenting your business and sending you referrals.
5. You can alert me to sales and other good deals.
6. You can reassure me when something goes wrong, such as a product recall.
7. I may defend you against negative buzz if I’m one of your delighted customers.
8. It’s easy for me to refer people to you by sending them a link to your blog.
9. You can cross- and up-sell by posting about related products and accessories.
10. You can appear more “personal” to me and less “corporate.” You can show your attitude (think SW Airlines) and be more fun.
11.You can post about your involvement in my community, and I may buy from you instead of your competitor because improving and supporting my community is important to me.
12. You can pique my interest about a product and get me thinking I can’t do without it.
Or look at it this way, a blog, unlike a Web site can enhance relationships between business and customer. For example. You’re a store selling flooring. On your Web site you publish the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life logo showing that you are active in your community.
But if you had a blog, you could have your employees post pictures and posts explaining how they felt when they participated in the event and experienced the fellowship of coming together as a team and participating in all of the fun and serious activities. People can relate to those posts much easier than they can to a logo.
Blog = Personal. Web site = impersonal/corporate.
Need a best practice? Read the Two Maids blog by Ron Holt, the owner of a cleaning service in Florida.
Maria, back to you:-) Did I miss any?
BTW, if you’re going to blog, enable comments and trackbacks. Use SW Airlines blog as a model. I say this even though this blog is not able to accept comments or trackbacks. That’s beyond my control although I’ve been assured that a new customized platform will change that. Personally, I can’t wait. In the interim,feel free to e-mail me.