Integrating Your Blog with Social Media

If you have a blog and are consistently posting on it, good for you. You will see a difference in your online presence simply from having dynamic content added on a regular basis. However, there are other ways to boost your blog’s reach. Namely, through integration on social media.

In essence, most social media platforms are free marketing opportunities for your business. Sure, you can spend money to run ads and promote posts. Those can be effective strategies to really grow your exposure. However, if you have a decent following on any of your social media pages, you need to be sharing links to each blog post to maximize the readership.

Many of today’s blog sites or blog pages built into standardized website themes will have settings that enable you to share each blog post automatically. You can set a link to be shared on any social media page you have for your business. Even if automatic sharing is not a feature on your particular blog, it’s still really easy to copy and paste the links to your blog posts. Typically, you’ll want to use the “shortened” URL address, which is usually easy to find once any blog post is live. The shortened link is particularly helpful on social media services like Twitter, where you have limitations on the amount of characters you can use.

Also, make sure every blog post link on your social media is accompanied by a picture. That starts with having at least one picture in the blog article itself. With most automated sharing features, the featured image will generally come through. If not, it’s quite simple to add a photo on any social media post.

If you can tap into social media, you’ll really see an impact in your marketing exposure—especially with today’s tech-savvy consumers. Most younger people (“millennials” if you prefer) digest almost all their news, marketing and social networking through various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. If you can build up a strong presence on any or all of these social media, the results can be amazing!

At NextGear Marketing, we believe in the power of blogging and we know the exposure can be exponentially bigger the more you integrate your blog posts onto social media. It’s easy to do and it’s worth a little extra effort.

For more information about blogging and social media integration for your small business, contact NextGear Marketing for a complimentary consultation.

Case Study: Ralph’s Transmission

When Mario Jauregui purchased this run-down old shop near Downtown Modesto, CA in 2015, he had a vision. He liked that the business had some positive history in the community and the original name had brand value, as the shop has been sitting in the same location since 1969 and always been family owned.

When it came to renovating and reopening the shop, Mario wanted to preserve some of the history while upgrading as much as possible to make it a modern facility. When it came to branding and marketing, he sought the help of Keith Lindsey at NextGear Marketing, who he has been working with as a marketing advisor for many years through the course of multiple business ventures. Together, they decided it was worth keeping the Ralph’s name attached to the business rather than rebranding from scratch with a new name.

NextGear created a new logo design for Ralph’s Transmission that had the ideal retro/modern style to represent what this renovated shop would be all about. The new slogan spoke to the strong roots of the business and the level of service Mario wanted to provide: “A Commitment to Quality Since 1969.”

NextGear helped create a full suite of marketing materials for Ralph’s, including brochures, receipt holders, stationery, direct mail postcards, signage, print advertisements and billboards. Billboards were placed all throughout the Modesto area in prime locations with two simple messages. One featured the slogan above. The other highlighted their strong 3 Year, 100,000 Mile Warranty program.

The look was clean and powerful with bold colors, and the marketing messages were direct. Those billboards and other key advertisements helped draw a lot of attention to the “new and improved” shop that many people probably forgot was still around.

Now, it was onto the online marketing. Mario signed up for the Standard Web Content Package from NextGear Marketing. Keith personally writes a blog post each week for Ralph’s Transmission, which is then also shared on their Facebook page. The messages are positive in nature and have covered a variety of subjects that relate to what’s happening at Ralph’s. Mario took some great pictures around the shop that Keith has been able to integrate into each blog post for an even more personal touch. They are currently working on having each employee fill out a personal questionnaire provided by NextGear, so that employee profiles can also be posted regularly on the blog.

In addition to the weekly blogs of the Standard Package, Mario opted to upgrade his plan with a monthly press release. Keith writes each article and coordinates the placement through PRweb.com. These press releases, in conjunction with the blogs, have put so much great content online about Ralph’s Transmission that the organic search results continue to rise. As of this post, Mario now attributes more than 40% of his business comes from Internet leads.

“It’s amazing what can happen with a fully integrated marketing approach. And in the months since we started the blogs with NextGear, we’ve seen the impact with a stronger online presence,” Mario says. “I can only imagine how things will continue to grow as more and more content is added through our blog and through these press releases.”

Ralph’s Transmission is just one of many success stories that NextGear Marketing has helped write for automotive shops throughout the country. It illustrates the power of marketing and how dynamic web content created through blogging can really make a major impact. To learn more about our web content packages, contact Keith Lindsey at 714.348.0642 or fill out our contact form.

The Power of Blogging

Many people have the wrong idea about blogging. So many individuals have their personal blogs about whatever is on their mind. Perhaps they are sharing travel stories, favorite restaurants or new music tastes. Blogging is great to share personal insights and information that others may be interested in.

However, blogging can also be a powerful business tool. As an automotive shop owner, there are so many different topics you can write about and share on your online blog. Did you get some new equipment in the shop? Did you hire a new employee? Did you attend a training seminar or industry conference? Are you advertising a service special or limited-time discount? Did a customer just give you a positive review? These are all great topics that will give potential customers a positive look into the way you do business.

In addition, you can provide helpful information about services you offer. For instance, say you are a paint and body shop. You can write an insightful article about how to achieve a smooth paint job, from the body prep work that goes in to the application of the paint. It may not seem exciting since it’s the kind of work you do everyday, but somebody out there may be interested and that somebody could be a customer someday. They might be looking for information about automotive paint and a Google search leads them to your blog post. That blog post intrigues the reader and they start following your blog. Pretty soon, you have a loyal customer even if he has yet to bring his car into the shop.

Even if readers aren’t reading every single one of your blogs, simply having an active blog will be a huge boost in your SEO (search engine optimization) appeal. The more content you have on your website, the better. And, the more fresh content you have (meaning new stuff that is added on a regular basis), the better your search results will be.

Blogs can and should be loaded with keywords and search terms, so that if someone is searching for information that may ultimately lead them to your shop, it improves your chances of your site (or a specific blog post) coming up on the search engines.

Another powerful aspect of regular blogging is what’s referred to as Online Reputation Management (ORM) in the field of public relations and marketing. The more positive content about yourself that you are putting out there through blogs, the more you can control how your business is perceived by potential customers. You can’t control what people might post on review sites like Yelp! However, if there are negative comments anywhere, you can essentially drown them out by putting more positive information out there.

In future articles, we’ll talk more about how to write effective blogs and delve deeper into bigger issues such as SEO and ORM. If you have any questions about blogging for your automotive shop, just contact NextGear Marketing for a free marketing and web content consultation.

What is Dynamic Web Content?

Every business today needs a good online presence. Many automotive shops grow through positive word of mouth, but think about it. What is the biggest mouth out there right now? Yes, it’s the Internet and social media. These are how today’s consumers share information, reviews and recommendations with one another.

The mistake many shop owners (and business owners of all types) make is thinking that all they have to do is put up a website and the business will come. This approach will never work. First, the website needs to be integrated with search keywords and meta tags. These are the foundations for effective search engine optimization (SEO). Today’s websites need to be mobile-friendly, as well. This means the site needs to be easily viewable on different mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) along with traditional computer web browsers. In addition, quality branding goes a long way toward building a strong reputation. In other words, you want your site to look good.

Even the best-looking websites with excellent keyword integration will only get you so far. You cannot simply put up a website that never changes and expect to get business from it. One of the best ways to improve your search engine rankings is by having new content added as often as possible. This is otherwise known as dynamic web content.

One of the best ways to add dynamic content is by having a blog. Make an effort to post as often as you can, ideally at least once a week. So many business owners start a blog with the best intentions, only to post a couple of times and then forget about it. You can post about anything relating to your business. Shop news, training events, product reviews, employee profiles, service features, deals, warranty information, and customer stories/testimonials are just a few good ideas to consider. They can be as long or as short as you want, but generally 300-500 words is recommended.

Whether you choose to hire NextGear Marketing to handle your blogging or you do it on your own, it’s vital to have dynamic web content added to your site on a regular basis. You also want to share each blog link on every social media page you own. Not only is it a great way to disperse the information to your fans and loyal customers. Posting on social media also creates more inbound and outbound links to your site, which helps with SEO.

To learn more about how dynamic web content and regular blogging can help your automotive shop grow, contact Keith Lindsey of NextGear Marketing at 714.348.0642.