Blog vs. Facebook

Facebook vs.bloggingI built a website for a local brick-and-mortar business recently, and in the process asked if they would be including a blog.

We discussed the key benefits of blogging. My client asked, “So could I use what I’m posting on Facebook as blog posts?

It’s a valid question. For attracting the attention of a crowd, a blog post and a Facebook update may seem to be equally effective. However, they actually serve very different purposes.

There are millions and millions of blogs on the internet. But there are billions and billions of people on the planet. Online, bloggers are the business owners, the creators, the publishers, the ones who dare to take the lead. They are definitely in the minority, even though their number potentially includes every business owner alive (and anyone with a long term mission, come to think of it).

If you have a website, without some kind of blog you’ll have trouble attracting site traffic. This reality means that business owners who hope to use the internet for marketing must understand their role as creators on the web. You may be a plumber or a psychologist, but you’re also a leader. Today’s world requires that you share your leadership through web publishing.

On Facebook, a minority creates expressive posts, and if they are good, their tribe enjoys repartee around those expressions. The vast majority of people are commentors on FB, happy to consume and producing comparatively little of their own. Social media is aptly described as a cocktail party, where some wear the lampshades while the rest guffaw. Everyone’s engaged, even the wallflowers at least to some extent, just by virtue of being there. Likewise, everything you post on FB is about being engaging.

Your blog, though, is a different story entirely. Remember that blogging is by no means confined to the lengthy written format. Your blog is the continuously changing data on your website, whatever shape it takes. It’s the mechanism through which you notify search engines and the world that you are alert and contributing. It is, very simply, your Open for Business sign. Without some kind of sign, it’s impossible to know if your website is still relevant.

That is the simple definition of blogging. When you blog, you establish your self or your brand as an item. It’s the indication that you are participating, you’re in the swim right now. And then beyond providing evidence of your current activity, the blog is where you show authority, and where you accumulate evidence of your leadership.

On FB, you interact with your followers. On your blog, you interact with your field and the world at large. The interaction on FB is conversation and ephemeral social proof; the interaction on your blog is the growth of your reputation in the field, a more lasting kind of engagement.

It’s not quite correct to think of a blog as a marketing tool, because it is so much more than that. Nor is it simply social media;  it’s more like a small cafe than a cocktail party. Yet it is an indispensable part of inbound marketing.

Creating a blog may seem as though it takes you away from your business, but it actually brings you much closer to what you are doing, and why, and how well.

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What format do you prefer for your blog? Please share in the comments.

About Mary Ruth

Mary H. Ruth is a virtual assistant, online marketing manager, copywriter and editor, and certified inbound marketing specialist. She has over 30 years' experience in administration and marketing in both non-profit and business sectors, having earned a degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. Now living in Gainesville, Florida, she's been working online since late 2007.
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