Have you read Social Media 101 – Part 1, 2 & 3?
This post will make more sense if you have.
We have already covered: What is Social Media, networking sites My Space & Facebook and Twitter.
Blogs (short for Weblog) are the closest thing to a website of all the social media. The user can choose the content and update it at will (within a choice set templates). Blogs are usually more text and supported by images, audio or video. They can be a simple page with things of interest; a business site where customers and owner interact and share information or a series of articles/stories with pictures, videos and links to other sites or blogs. Like the other social media mentioned here, you can set a Blog up for free. Create your own blog on: Google’s Blogspot (www.blogspot.com) or WordPress (www.wordpress.com), these are the most popular. Each allow the user to customise the look and content of their page with tools to enhance your blog (called ‘widgets’ in blog speak).
Blogs are prolific at the moment. Visitors are invited to ‘follow’ or subscribe to’ the Blog. They are updated every time there is a new update, or ‘post’ in blog-speak. There is the facility for visitors to leave comments and interact with the author of the blog as well as each other.
Blog retail store application:
- you can create a blog for their store
- think of your Blog as your own magazine, newspaper or TV channel
- invite communication across a broad scope of people, including customers
- ensure the look and feel of the store is reflected in your blog (colours, style, design)
- link to website, Facebook, twitter
- provide store contact details
- post regularly, expanding on the things mentioned on Twitter and Facebook:
such as: new stock in store, sale information, product information, funny short stories, nice customer interactions, website updates, loyalty program information etc
- upload pictures of your product lines and discuss them, providing information that will help with the buying decision
- invite customers to comment on posts
- ask questions and engage your customers
- provide information that will serve as post sale service (how to look after the item – additional uses etc)
- feature staff members (they will then link with their social media…..)
- add a calendar of in-store events to your page so customers know what is coming then review it and upload photos after the fact
- remember to promote your Blog instore on your information and on your website and other media
- link to associated blogs, as well as to customers and suppliers
Creating an account is easy on all of these sites; they are designed to encourage you to join. Each have step-by-step instructions as well as comprehensive help pages. If you get really stuck you can always ask your Twitter or Facebook community for help and advise!
The beauty of all these social media is that you can connect them so that an update on one updates the others. By connecting Facebook and Twitter; every time you Tweet, it shows on Facebook, every time there is an update to your Facebook store page; it will show on twitter. By adding the Facebook & Twitter ‘Widget’ to the Blog, visitors will see a ‘feed’ in a box on one side of the Blog that will show the last few Tweets and Facebook status updates. They are also linked to each other so visitors can click from one to the other and still stay on your pages. EASY!
All the sites mentioned here are free to use and have a great support network. What could be easier!?
I have not really touched on the content of your communications in this article but it is important to say it must be interesting, engaging, relevant and original. Any mistakes or exaggeration you make online, will spread quickly and harm your business irrefutably.
Social media does not necessarily replace your website, it is meant to compliment your website by driving more traffic to the site and increasing your online profile.
(By the way, this site was build on the WordPress blog!)