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Behold, for I have returned from the foggy clouds of obscurity.  My return, heralded by the electronic choir of Facebook and Twitter, has been delayed too long.  During my sojourn, I worked tirelessly in the world of web marketing.  My learning took my to many sites and I came across a startling realization.  Much of the web community has a strikingly lacking level of communication with their user base.  This surprised me as I had hoped to find much in the way of blogs, articles and other pieces of content that illustrate the personality of a company.  Excuse me, my naïveté is showing.  In light of this realization I have decided to do my part in promoting the power of communication. Facebook and Twitter have long been the social media staple, however there is so much more to it than that.

The Blog

If you are here, then I do not have to explain to you what a blog is.  Take a look at the following points, remember them well.

  1. A blog is not a place to spew corporate gibberish (try to sell, deals, promotions, why we are awesome, blah blah blah [or should I say “blahg blahg blahg”])
  2. It may seem like  a great place to inform customers about deals, promotions, and other benefits; we generally advise that this be kept to a minimum or done on the main site and that the blog be kept “pure”.  It will resonate more with readers if the blog actually gives some insight into the people behind the company instead of being another marketing tool.

  3. A blog is not a place to tell people about the inner workings of your personal life.
  4. This will only result in disaster.  Not only do people on a corporate blog care about your personal life, but there is a veritable army of “haters” just waiting for a blog like yours.  They will make your personal problems much, much worse… :'(

  5. A blog is a great place to show off the personality of your company
  6. I believe that many people underestimate the power that a blog infers upon its writer.  Take me for example, a lowly intern at a web marketing firm.  I have been given a voice on the site, the thought alone is empowering.  More importantly, it allows for the personality of cMedia to show.  I mean who wouldn’t like us after reading my posts (I have no friends *sob*).  This display of personality is even more important in a company that deals directly with consumers.  The average American is tired of the faceless business, they now look for interaction and identity.  A blog is a great place to convey this.

  7. A blog is beneficial to your SEO
  8. On a more technical side, a blog is a great place to generate search engine optimization (SEO) power.  If you write a creative, informative and personable blog, consumers will grow to like your company.  Many of the more tech savvy will be likely to link to your blog (thus passing delicious link-juice into your main site).  However, if your blog is just another page of corporate propaganda, then it will not see a very high volume of linkage.

  9. Most importantly: make sure you are offering something of value
  10. Above all, make sure your blog generates something of value.  Do not be afraid to give out free information.  If, for example, you are a home improvement firm then your blog should include tips on projects.  It should be a resource for the consumer.  By giving out the free information you are unlocking the shackles of consumer distrust.  You will have freed yourself from the prison of the “business mentality”.  For those of you who are wary of shelling out free information, look at it this way: the internet is a vast sea of information where each and every tip can be found if sought.  The information your consumer base seeks will be found, and it will anger them that you have hidden it.  Instead, make it easy and accessible, bring the information to your consumers before they feel the need to find it themselves.  This will give them a feeling of convenience that will ensure happiness, loyalty, and loose lips (they will tell their friends).

I have found, in my travels, that social media is a highly misunderstood world.  As it becomes more and more crucial to businesses in general, it is important to look beyond Facebook and Twitter.  There is a much broader picture of social media that is still being painted.  Today I have started with the blog, a very common yet underused form of social media.  Next week who knows what topic I will choose.  However, I will soon be visiting the other, lesser known facets of social media.

Also, the Japanese have game shows down