OR – Social Media Tips for Boring Businesses

In my last blog post on How to Use Social Media for Your Business, I provided ideas/topics that could work well as tweets or Facebook posts. In this post, I’m going to address an issue that many business owners claim to be an obstacle to social media success – Lack of an Audience. Several people I talk to claim they just don’t have an audience for what they do. Their business is in a particular niche and A) most people don’t care about what they do OR B) they don’t want to market to a lot of people – they just have a small group for whom their product or service is applicable. A cable manufacturing company that creates cabling for airplanes or medical equipment seems to have BOTH of these issues. Most people don’t care about cable manufacturing, and the company is really only targeting a very specific audience.

Oh dear.

Perhaps there is no social media help for such a company.

But there is. Just because your company’s Facebook profile or LinkedIn page might not have the stature of Coca-Cola’s doesn’t mean that your company’s ventures into social media are pointless. You might be targeting a smaller, niche audience, but maintaining a robust social profile will still help establish your company as an authority in your industry – especially if your competitors aren’t doing much in the social media arena.

But what can you post about?

Industry News

Most companies often claim to be leaders in their industries, but how do they prove it? For the cable manufacturer, perhaps this would mean posting or tweeting about a new cable designed to withstand more extreme temperature in airplanes. Or they can comment on/congratulate advancements in technology made by some of their clients.

Take the time to post about any industry trade shows that your company attends. Making these efforts reveals your company’s dedication to staying up-to-date in its industry.

Company Events

Posting about company events can be a great way to communicate your company’s values to your consumers. For example, if your business holds a small birthday celebration for its employees, post some pictures of the event. Such events send the message that you care about your employees, which sends the larger message that you care about and are positively invested in what you do. These types of images also help humanize your corporation.

Local Events

Is there a blood drive going on in your local community? What about a Walk for the Cure event? Show that your company is an active member in the local community by helping to spread the word about these events through your company’s social media accounts. Once again, these kinds of posts show the softer side of your company.

These are just a few ideas to help businesses that think they’re too boring to work in social media. However, if you view social media not as an opportunity to spew out ads to thousands of fans but instead as a chance to showcase the depth and scope of your company’s work, you’ll find that it quickly becomes applicable to all business – boring or not.

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Neither do we sometimes.

Some people tell you to write about what you love and to make it STAND OUT. Be witty. Be creative. Write in a way that everyone will immediately want to share your wisdom through Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Very nice advice.

But how can you be witty and creative if you have NO IDEA what to write about?

If you don’t know what to blog about for your company’s website, here a few ideas that will (hopefully) be more helpful than someone telling you to be creative.

1) Comment on Existing Articles

Maybe you don’t have anything interesting to say, but lots of other people do. If you run across an article that you find intriguing, sum it up in a blog post and provide your personal interpretation/input on the article. Try to end the post with a question for your readers, so you encourage interaction.

Writing blog posts based off articles is a good way to get your feet wet if you’re new to blogging. It will help you get into the habit of blogging, and you’ll probably start getting more inspiration for future blog post topics.

2) Keep a List of Ideas

Oftentimes, the one thing keeping people from writing a blog is that it takes too much time to think of something to write about. I hear people say, “If I just knew what to write about, I could whip something up in 30 minutes or less.” They don’t have the time to sit around and ponder blog ideas, so then they end up just not writing a blog.

If you find yourself in this situation, first, follow Step 1 above, then keep a list of any new blog ideas that occur to you. Try to jot down the ideas as they occur to you, otherwise you’ll probably forget when it’s time to write the blog. Refer to the list any time you feel a lack of inspiration for a new blog post.

3) Look at Your Competitors

If your competitors’ websites have blogs, take a peek at what they’re writing about. You’ll probably be able to pick up a few ideas and make them your own.

4) Provide a Weekly Recap

This is similar to the first point, but in some ways requires LESS work. If you don’t want to take the time to provide your personal spin on Internet articles, simply provide your readers with links to several useful articles that you found over the course of the week. To personalize the post just a little, you could add comments, such as “Great tips on XYZ” or “Good summary of ABC,” next to each link.

You probably shouldn’t have this be your only blog post every week. However, if you’ve been good about putting other content on your blog on a regular basis, you probably deserve a little break.

In the end…

Sometimes writing a blog post isn’t about trying to make it go viral. It’s just about writing a blog post and getting it on your website. Then writing another blog post and getting it on your website. Once you’ve started the habit, it will be MUCH EASIER for you to become that brilliant source of information that people always reference. While having a piece of content go viral has AMAZING benefits, regularly posting fresh content on your website also has benefits, particularly for SEO.

Don’t give up on a blog for your website. Over time, you will find that it IS worth the effort.

And if you don’t have the time to write, consider getting an intern.

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