More SMB Chat Recap

It’s been an exciting few days growing a community of SMBs (that’s small-t0-medium businesses) yesterday and the day before right here. To recap the heretofore in brief:

  • The news about health premiums rising to “pay for” health reform and targeting SMBs, individuals put me over the edge. In speaking with Neicole Crepeau   in a fabulous Twitter conversation detailed here, I asked how we bloggers could unite and create a larger voice. She suggested a Facebook page, and off we went.
  • By engaging my tier one tweeps (you can see their identities via links in this post), what resulted was the most rewarding exchange of social media brainstorming world-wide without speaking one word. (I am in awe and thank each of you for participating in this experience.)

The results are still unfolding:

  • Facebook was initially suggested as the forum for our SMB community to reach the small service businesses and others needing  information and peer group support we’d offer. Comments to the contrary said it was a “personal” place while LinkedIn was pushed as the first choice.
  • Comments about LinkedIn say it’s highly professional and peoples’ experience with its groups hold low regard. My sense is lack of familial exchange and inability to create a friendly forum in which to exchange commentary and free thought.
  • This blog, Soulati-TUDE!, is new. Its voice written by moi as a public relations practitioner is not theme oriented per se; it’s about social media, PR, teaching and observation about what impacts me. While some see this as not having direction, it is perfectly me — I thirst for knowledge and return it back strategically. The SMB audience is always a focus albeit not an emphasis.  
  • To grow the SMB community here, this blog’s backend needs work with new plug-ins, upgrades, and a general-take-it-to-the-next-level thrust; Facebook Like, LinkedIn button, e-mail comments plug in, and other things as advised by you. (I develop content; the tech stuff kills me until I learn, learn, learn.)
  • I’ve officially registered #SMBChat on What the HashTag. (Thanks, Jenn!) People asked for a Twitter forum to review issues easily and trend the topic, too. No official name as of yet for this; I like SMBChat, really. (How about you?)
  • Neicole suggested yesterday this blog would suffer SEO if some of it is devoted to SMB and the other posts to PR. Not sure I really care about that? As said earlier, my agency PR background pings me all over. Who has expertise to share on the importance of that, please?
  • On that note, differentiating a blog from others in the same vertical takes consistent effort. This emphasis would engage hundreds of tweeps in no time at all from across verticals and offer rich perspective for those with no voice at all.

And, so, away we go! Please suggest other thoughts to push us into the home stretch. Thank you!

9 comments
Gregg Morris
Gregg Morris

Ok, a little more on this, especially in light of what you said about not wanting to actually run the Twitter chat around that hashtag.

Once you answer who and why it's strategy and tactics time. And it's very important not to confuse the two. It's also fine to copy or emulate someone else's strategy. But not their tactics. Those will be unique to you and should be built around your strengths.

For instance, Michelle's commenting on other blogs is a tactic and from the sounds of it she's quite good at it so I'm guessing it plays to one of her strengths. Running the Twitter chat would be a tactic. My two cents on that one, while you might not want to commit to it yet, it does play to strength of yours.

Gregg Morris
Gregg Morris

Fun reading the comments. :-)

Michelle makes some very good points about the SEO factors as did Neicole yesterday. I think this is the pertinent part: who are you trying to reach and why?

Answer that one and the rest should fall into place.

Michelle Quillin
Michelle Quillin

Hi, Jayme!

On the SEO question, it's important if you want this blog to get more traffic than we can provide. Do you want SMBs to find you when doing a Google search for small biz topics? Or are you looking to keep this small and intimate?

Speaking for myself, SEO is important to my overall strategy to drive traffic to our internet presences for New England Multimedia and New England HD, because I use social media as part of a larger marketing strategy. To that end, the time I spend commenting on other blogs hopefully drives traffic to our businesses. I think many biz bloggers are thinking about reach when they're commenting on blogs, so the greater your search engine presence, the more likely they are to take part in the community -- if they're thinking about reach.

For example, if I comment on a blog that gets very little traffic, there's not much chance anyone's going to see my comment and then follow me to New England Multimedia or New England HD.

But if I can be one of the first (worthwhile) commenters on a post by, say, ProBlogger, I'll get some traffic out of it.

That's why your SEO strategy is good for your commenters. ;o)

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

OK, wow. You're absolutely right. I relish that kind of stuff -- running this and that and taking the lead on things. What was that post? Blogging Takes Confidence and so does everything else -- stumbles beget wisdom. Fear and anxiety are only about the unknown and once you tackle those the sky is the limit. Thanks, thanks. Lots to ponder and all good, Gregg.

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

Gotta agree with Gregg - that's the question to answer.

Did you also want to run a Twitter chat with the #SMBchat tag? Maybe I misunderstood.

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

Agreed. Who is the target audience to speak with. Of primary importance -- why blog? Thanks -- perhaps at the end of the day this should've been done 101 posts ago (considering today is 100). But, I wasn't ticked off about health insurance then either! Gracias, Gregg.

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

That's why I need experts like you to help think this through. Thanks for this; I need to get a better handle on the ins and outs of SEO. It's not something I've done a good job at, for sure.

Neicole also mentioned something yesterday similarly. Thanks, Michelle!

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

I think you should consider the twitter chat at some point but yes, it does take quite a commitment. I could see you running that quite easily though!

Again to agree with Gregg, first things first - who and why, then strategy and tactics.

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

Per Jon Buscall, he asked for a forum page/site and also a Twitter chat/trending topic. While I'm not prepared to actually run one of these for an hour weekly or whatever, (maybe others are), the stories I find on-topic can be relinked to via #SMBChat and allow for marketing of the group, contents, etc.

Am I in line with what you're thinking about, Jenn?