Blogs as Social Media Tools – How Small Businesses are Using Them for Branding
The power of social media lies in its ability to reach out to so many people, transcending limitations of time and space while engaging with them to build brands and undertaking image building exercises. When we think of social media we tend to think of Facebook and Twitter and may be one or two other social media networks. What we fail to think of is blogs which essentially can be very vital and effective social media tools.
As a teacher and student of business studies in general and marketing and advertising in particular, the use of blogs as social media tools for business has fascinated me for some time now. As a blogger who writes extensively on Indian business, art and using the web to promote business I found some interesting ways in which Indian small businesses are using social media for business.
In this post I’m sharing some of those ways…
Unleashing the Power of Storytelling
Storytelling is magical, it never fails to evince the interest of an audience and brands that tell stories always make people sit up and take notice. Everyone loves a good story and that is something that’s ingrained in all of us irrespective of nationality, race, religion and languages…stories attract people like magnets.
MORA by Ritika, a brand built by a Ritika Mittal, who propelled by her love for weaves and fabrics scours the untouched and undiscovered parts of North East India to bring to fabric aficionados the rarest and the most beautiful weaves through her designs writes her own blog called ”a thousand fireflies”.
Ritika’s use of storytelling in her blog is perhaps the most powerful element that helps readers connect with her and MORA as she takes the path not taken to discover, create and change lives of the tribes of North east India.
Showcasing Dialects and a Way of Life
One of the great aspects of using blogs as social media tools is creating a point of interest and giving your readers something to take away from your writing. People should feel like you have added some value to their lives or the lives of others in the process of creating products and services.
Again Ritika Mittal succeeds at this as she throws in tit bits of information about the Naga dialect. A little something she is doing to spread awareness about the language of the people she works with so closely.
What Makes a Product?
Simply showcasing your products is the most obvious thing business blogs do. Why not go one step further and tell people how and why this product was made? What inspired you? Chronicle a personal experience while you made it? That’s what Diya Sen, who designs exquisite jewelry under the brand Ruhh does.
Here she tells the story behind “The Broken Heart”, a pendant she designed making it all the more interesting than simply posting a picture of it.
Showcasing Press and Publicity
Getting featured is always a matter of pride for any brand and if you are a small business that is actively seeking to build an image then showcasing press and publicity is a great way of showing people that you are newsworthy.
Workshop Q, a green brand that gives scarp a quirky makeover did this when they got featured in the Creative Gaga and gave interviews to design enthusiasts. They achieved two things with this simple move of featuring these events on their blog showcased the news and told their story.
Expression of anger and outrage…if you are wondering why I have added this negative aspect here then I would say it is my way of adding an element of surprise to this post. But that is not the only reason; it is also a useful way in which small businesses can draw the attention of the public to copyright violations and trademark issues…something that small brands are constantly struggling with.
Anek Designs, the brainchild of Konica Bahl and Vivek Agarwala, used their blog to express angst about how someone else was selling their designs under another name. Rather selling off Anek designs products as their own. This drew the attention of a lot of people to the malpractice.
For a small business any brand association is one step upwards towards recognition and growth.
Art by Aarohi, a brand that celebrates the creativity of its owner used their blog to announce their association with Jaypore, the world’s first and only iPad shopping experience with their Poonch Collection inspired by stray dogs, a cause close to the heart of the designer. The Poonch collection, a collection of artsy iPad covers on a platform that promotes shopping on the iPad….how apt is that?
Most small business owners tend to underestimate the power of blogs as social media tools. Through this post my endeavor is to motivate them to use blogs creatively while engaging audiences and building their brands.
Featured image: Sean MacEntee