If you’re laughing, no I’m not kidding; I’ve been asked about this more than once. If you are scratching your head about what I’m talking about; just keep reading and we’ll discuss if you need a blog and how you can use the new web for your business.
The web is an ever-evolving medium and it is impossible to keep up with everything. Jeffrey Veen with Google Analytics discussed information overload at a great conference in New Orleans, An Event Apart. He said every minute on YouTube, 10 hours of video are uploaded. (There goes my life ambition to watch every video on YouTube in one year.)
Let’s start with Blogs (not blobs). The word “Blog” is short for “Web Log”. Wordpress & Blogspot are the primary websites where you can get a blog and find other blogs. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, I don’t blogs, those things are just for kids.” Well, you’re reading a blog right now. Gotcha!
Blogs started about six years ago as an online, public diary & forum. People would write about what they thought about the world around them, a certain subject or just update family & friends about their life. A blogger (blog writer) becomes an expert on the field they are writing on, such as marketing, web design or even Smurfs. Where else could you find an expert about Smurfs, but on the web?
Now, do you need a blog for your business? Does being an expert in your field help? If you are looking for a house in New Orleans and you need a mortgage, whom do you turn to? You ask your friends & co-workers. You look online and ask some more friends. You may even look in the phone book, but how do you decide? You look for an expert in New Orleans mortgages. If a mortgage lender had a blog where he discussed different options, terminology and benefits; wouldn’t you think he was an expert, especially when you compare him to the other guy who has nothing. I do not know about you, but I’m going for the expert.
About Myface now. Let’s start with getting the name right; or rather – names. MySpace is a social networking website where people have profiles about themselves. These profiles contain information about that person, pictures, favorite songs, list of friends and a wall where friends can post messages. Facebook is a similar website, but a much cleaner system. While MySpace allows you to “design” your profile, Facebook only allows you to “customize” your profile. Facebook started with college graduates as a way to stay connected with college buddies & long lost friends. It quickly spread to high schools, corporations and then the general public. MySpace has always been open to the public, at least ages 13-99. (Sorry great-grandpa.) Traditionally, MySpace was more blue-collar and Facebook was white-collar and college educated, but both of these stereotypes are blurring today.
Now that you have a brief history about MyFace (just kidding), how can you use this in your business? You can add a profile on MySpace & Facebook and connect with others. We live in a word-of-mouth marketing society and this can be powerful (especially in New Orleans). If you are over 50 years old, maybe even 35, you will find it a lonely place at times. Both websites are full of profiles of people under age 30. So, now what? If you want to connect to friends & stay in touch with family, I’d try Facebook. If you want to promote yourself & network your business, check out LinkedIn (learn more) & Pulse by Plaxo. Both are great ways to connect with professionals, business resources & find contacts through friends and friends of friends.
If you have a social business, non-profit or are a politician, both MySpace & Facebook can be a great tool. A cool example of how to use social media is what we’re doing with the Original Dungeon. The Dungeon is a New Orleans bar near Bourbon Street that attract locals & is a tourist must see. We are setting up the Dungeon on MySpace, Facebook & Flickr connecting them with locals that are part of the brand community. Also, with each tourist that posts pictures from their trip to the Dungeon on their Facebook profile or Flickr account, the Dungeon is inadvertently being advertised as a must see bar in New Orleans. Customers can share photos of their Halloween parties, past Tattoo Contests and just every day life at the Dungeon — a unique place on any night.
When asking yourself if you should do something like the Dungeon, ask yourself if you have a fan club. New Orleans Jazz Fest has a fan club; your mortgage company does not. Having these accounts for merely business will not be profitable for the time you spend on them because you must hard sell customers. The Dungeon however would probably not do well with a blog.
If you are still undecided on what to do or are ready to get started, give us a call. It’s easy to get started & can be a powerful way to market your business. If you don’t agree, stop reading this blog.