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RingCentral Team
March 22, 2011

Social Media 101 for Small Business: Why You Should Be Blogging

Blog in typescript lettersContinuing our special series Social Media 101 for Small Business Owners, we’re discussing why an increasing number of small business owners are finding blogging to be an effective way of increasing their online presence and boosting awareness of their brand.

Blogs, like the RingCentral Blog for Small Business, are fast becoming part of many businesses’ social media strategies as a way to engage with a wider audience. Perhaps you’re wondering if it makes sense to have a blog for your business, when time is already in short supply. Here are several of of the top reasons why a growing number of small business owners are choosing to publish articles, updates and announcements on blogs.

Improved Search Engine Rankings
Many small business owners mistakenly think that once they have a website up, they can just forget about it. Unfortunately, online marketing isn’t quite that simple. The reality is that search engines like Google and Yahoo love new content. Over time, your site’s ranking in the search engines will drop unless you update your content. To attract potential customers, fresh online content is a must!

This seems simple enough, except for the fact that mastery of HTML is often required to make these updates on a typical business website. Blogging tools such as WordPress are easy to use, though. Any business owner who is familiar with Microsoft Word can add fresh content to a blog. And this fresh content can help a business be found and indexed by search engines. This translates into more customers finding your site!

Brand Awareness
For most businesses, it typically takes multiple brand “touches” before a sale is made. Blogging is an effective touch that can go into the marketing mix, along with advertising, marketing collateral, social media, signage and personal contact. Customers need to see your brand in a variety of locations before making a purchasing decision, and having a blog provides that extra touch that can make the difference between a sale or no sale.

Authority
A blog gives you the ability to highlight your knowledge and expertise. Through informational articles and videos, you can impress potential buyers and communicate that you know what you’re talking about. This translates into increased brand value. And when people are looking to find the highest possible return on their investment, a blog can be a particularly handy marketing tool.

Integration with Social Media
A blog can serve as the centerpiece of a well-rounded social media strategy. Through social media buttons on your website and blog, Facebook, TwitterLinkedin and other platforms can be linked together to enable your marketing message to be heard. Ultimately, the integration that stems from the blog will grow your customer base and increase the visibility of your brand.

Community
Blogging opens your business up to a community of fellow bloggers and readers. They’ll post comments, questions and tips, and through these good-will gestures, new business is often found. As you add posts, this community will grow, and you’ll be introduced to a variety of opportunities to which you wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to by having just a static website.

If you’ve been considering starting a blog for your business, now is a great time to jump in and get started. Yes, it may seem time-consuming at first to publish posts, but it’s also fun and a great way to grow your business’s online presence. And when the positive results of regular blogging begin to appear, it can become an extremely rewarding task that delivers measurable and profitable results!

We’re in the final week of our Give Love, Get Love Contest at RingCentral. Make sure to get your chance to win an iPad or a 5-user RingCentral Virtual Office Phone System for the life of your business!