So, I started to do some research and all roads lead to blogging. Basically, without it, the clear message is that your business will not flourish in 2016, and the ‘experts’ in the social media field mean any business.
Recently we launched what we think is a nice little online store selling unique Scottish gifts to the American market, hoping to appeal to the many Americans claiming and being proud of their Scottish heritage. Sounds like it makes sense? We thought so. So far we have been up and running for about 2 months and have only had a trickle of sales, pretty well all through word of mouth. So where are all the orders? Having worked so hard to get this far, nice products and a nice web site, why is it not an instant hit? We’ve done everything right, have we not? We even have a Facebook ‘like’ button on our website to tick the social media box. But still, the orders are not flooding in and my little bubble of hope was deflating fast. A chance conversation with my step-daughter about my dilemma lead to her suggesting I write a blog. Her husband blogs, she said, and it has made a difference to his business.
Now… having a love hate relationship with Facebook, the idea of writing a blog was neither on or anywhere near my radar. Was blogging not something that was done by the super intelligent or those with literature degrees that liked to write? Or worse, those that think they have something to say but actually no one is interested? Unconvinced, I spoke with my daughter who is in the process of completing a Masters degree in Marketing and asked her if I should blog. “Yes, you should blog”. My little bubble deflated a little more.
Not knowing the first thing about blogging I decided to order a couple of books and thought I should include one on social media. Browsing through Amazon I chose one by Mark W. Schaefer – ‘Social Media Explained’. Should you be interested here is a link to his website- http://www.businessesgrow.com/
He caught my attention and I felt like I had just woken up after a rather dreamy snooze. He talked of early medieval marketplaces created in Europe around 1000 AD and the characteristics of these that made them a success. They weren’t just about buying and selling, they were socially based, intimate places to do business and they worked. He suggests we have evolved so far away from this original concept with the advent of the printing press, radio, television, the internet, websites etc., which although we can reach many more people than in those old marketplaces, the way we have been marketing over the years is not really working today. We have lost the ‘social’ part of the process. I was sold, converted from skeptic to devouring as much information as I could about this new ‘social’ marketing world of today. It all made sense to me. My little balloon full again, and with a thirst for more information, I ordered a further two books by Mark W. Schaefer, ‘Born to Blog’ (a joint book with Stanford A. Smith) and ‘The Tao of Twitter’. The very idea that I may one day ‘tweet’ still surprises me. But that is for another day. For today…. I blog.