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Social Media Commerce: Blog for Your Business

When you feel you’re ready to take the next step in social media commerce and do something beyond a business website, you can develop a blog to connect with customers. Blogs provide a place for your company to enhance its message as well as to respond to readers’ comments. A blog (from web log) can be a commentary, as in a journal, or a description of events.

The Technorati 2011 State of the Blogosphere cited some important figures about entrepreneur bloggers:

13% of the blogosphere is characterized as entrepreneurs, or individuals blogging for a company or organization they own. 84% of these bloggers blog primarily about the industry they work in, with 46% blogging about business and 40% about technology. 76% blog to share expertise; 70% blog to gain professional recognition; and 68% to attract new clients for their business.

Sound about right to you? If this sounds like a good idea, a blog may be for you — or your business.

When considering whether to blog, start by searching for blogs in your industry to see what others are doing. You might become inspired.

Some people view a blog as a low-cost alternative to a website, but that position is simply not the case. Instead, if you want a blog in addition to your website, make sure your blog is linked to several times from within your company site.

To blog successfully, you must

  • Enjoy writing — or at the very least, enjoy researching the web for tidbits on your industry to share

  • Have a good command of the English language and grammar

  • Schedule a time to produce your blog and be prepared to post at least once a week

Your company’s blogger should be you, a respected employee, or a family member. If you won’t be blogging yourself, you must be comfortable that the blogger’s message reflects what you would say yourself.

Becky McCray is a small-business expert and coauthor of Small Town Rules. She also writes an occasional blog post for her liquor store, Allen’s Retail Liquor Store. This retail store’s blog is filled with interesting facts and tips that are geared toward her local audience. She hosts the site with Google’s Blogger.

This figure shows how engaging content can be just about anything that has to do with your business.

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She offered the following advice for small business blogs: “Write down every basic question a customer asks you. Start today, and do this for two weeks. If you end up with a long list of questions you can answer, you have enough material to start a blog.” Combine those questions with information about your products, and you’ll have the start of your own commercial blog.

Becky adds, “The one BIG secret to making it work? Focus on what the customers want to know, not what you want to tell them about your business.”

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