I can’t imagine how it feels to be thrust into a society where virtually all of your thoughts, feelings, and daily activities are posted online for the world to see.
A growing necessity for budding entrepreneurs looking to sustain in an economic downturn?
Blogs are one way business owners can engage customers. But the reticence and downright fear of blogging was more than evident among many business owners at the 4th Annual Small Business Summit held in New York today. Fear of devoting time, manpower, and even figuring out how to blog were some of the concerns among many of the attendees.
Speakers on the “How to Keep and Nurture Loyal Customers” panel at the summit urged all conference attendees to start a blog or Web log. Essentially an online diary or space for commentary, blogs allow you to share your thoughts on a particular area, subject, or event, online.
Why start a blog? For an entrepreneur, blogs can help increase search engine optimization using key words and tags. Linking to other Websites and blogs can add to the credibility of your company and you as a small business owner when increasing search engine optimization.
“Comment on industry-leading blogs. It will help you be seen in the right circles,” says Brent Leary, co-founder of CRM Essentials L.L.C., a customer relationship management firm.
Blogs can also help strengthen customer relationships through engagement. Talk to your customers and listen to what they have to say. Posts are usually short and informal. In journalism it’s called the “tell-a-friend” method. Draw in customers and potential customers. Find out what they like and more importantly dislike about your product.
“It’s a critical part for highly customized [customer] engagement,” says Jonathan Rochelle, group product manager at Google.
On a side note, I spend an obscene amount of time on blogs every day. I enjoy the type of community blogs offer. Not only is the content interesting and original, but I actively seek out blogs before purchasing a product. I want to know what other people have to say about it. Because blogs usually draw a niche audience that is familiar with a topic, I trust not only what the blogger says, but what the people that respond say too.
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com.