A recent study by eMarketer forcasted the next five years of blog
readership, and creation. The findings weren't surprising, as
eMarketer expects the number of people that read blogs, and those that
blog themselves, to continue to grow dramatically. What this means for
your business is that increasingly, your customers are going to be
reading blogs, and writing them. eMarketer is now forecasting
that 58% of the U.S. internet population will be reading blogs by 2013, a roughly 20% increase over current levels. Additionally, eMarketer sees 17% of the U.S. Internet population blogging in 2013, almost a 30% increase over current levels.
If your customers are going to be increasingly reading blogs and writing blogs themselves, how much longer can your business afford to not take part in online conversations that are happening around your company and your industry?
Two common objections that small businesses offer to adopting a blogging strategy is that they don't have time, and no one online is talking about them anyway. First, limited resources/time is a very real consideration for many small businesses. If you don't have the time and/or people to launch a blogging strategy, you can still build relationships with bloggers and leverage this as a way to increase awareness of your business online. This post offers a great primer for launching a blogger outreach strategy in 24 hours
The second objection many small businesses offer to why they aren't blogging is that no one is blogging about their business now, so why should they care? This indicates that the business has an awareness problem online, as do many small businesses. But the great advantage that a small business has over a large company is that they can often times CREATE the online conversation around their business, instead of reacting to it. Think about it, most large companies have plenty of people talking about them online. But that means the conversation already exists, and the best they can hope for is to participate in that conversation.
While a small business, can often times create the conversation around them. That means that can have more control over the form and flow of the conversation. A large company will likely have to do some 'damage control' when they first enter into an online conversation, because there might be some misconceptions about them. But a small business can start out with a clean slate and get their point of view out from the start. They don't have to 'repair' tarnished images that large companies frequently have to do.
So my advice is to start now by monitoring what your current and potential customers are saying online about you, your competitors, and your industry. Participate as you can, and look for ways to use blogs as a tool to connect with your customers. As eMarketer's study indicates, these people are going to increasingly be using blogs to talk about you, your competition, and your industry.
Why not become a participant in that conversation?
May 5, 2009
Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.
His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.
Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.
You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.
Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.