Increasingly, more and more businesses are using social media, including blogs, to promote their activities, share news with customers, reach new audiences, create sales and deliver better service.
Social media are services that let people interact and share, and create content through online communities.
A blog is an internet site that comprises a series of entries or ‘posts’ about topics of interest to the author.
The value of a blog as a marketing and promotion tool for businesses is the speed and ease with which a new blog post can be created, and the ability to engage with readers or customers and start online conversations.
Like any business activity, managing a blog requires planning, resourcing and monitoring.
This guide provides basic information about how blogs work, potential benefits from business blogs, ideas for better blogging and details about managing online conversations.
How a business blog works
Blogs consist of content that is continually updated in a diary format. They can be quite diverse, ranging from written updates to video diaries. Blogs often incorporate photographs, art, videos, music and audio.
A defining characteristic of modern blogs is that content is easy to upload and publish using a blogging service. This has made web publishing accessible to almost everyone.
Blog posts to market your business
The term ‘blog post’ refers to the content that makes up the blog. Usually the most recent post is displayed first, with older posts beneath it.
One of the most effective uses of a blog to market your business is providing an interactive experience for its readers. Allowing readers to leave comments on your blog posts creates an online conversation which can help businesses get valuable feedback about their products and services.
As a blog author you can respond to comments and may be required to manage (moderate) these online exchanges.
The dashboard is a common part of the blog accessible only to the blog authors, usually via a login.
The dashboard often provides access to administrative tasks such as changing the look of the blog design, managing posts, reviewing and moderating comments from readers, and creating and editing new posts using a built-in post editor.
Tags and categories
Each blog post can be organised via categories and tagged keywords that help to readers find posts that interest them as a means to market your business.
A busy blog, such as one that is updated daily, will quickly build up a lot of entries. These entries are organised into archives which readers can browse by clicking on a particular month, year or date range.
Storage and back-up of blog entries should be part of regular online and information technology backup procedures.