Big companies can often employ marketing teams to handle their blogging and social media; others rely on outsourcing (the very reason Firebrand Messaging was created!). For those businesses who want, or need, to do it themselves, how can they know where to start?
Which should come first: an active blog, or an active social media presence? The simple, and the complex, answer: it depends.
Who are you trying to reach? Are you trying to enhance the experience of people who are already visiting your website, and/or to drive more traffic to your site through better SEO? Then a blog may be the answer. Blogging offers you a unique ability to expand on your branding message, offer advice, and share the complete details of your company's accomplishments and expertise. On the other hand, social media posts are easily shared and can garner a lot of attention quickly, if your followers are actually invested in your business. If you're trying to engage with a wider audience, whether or not they're actually your customers, consider starting with social media.
What can you realistically maintain? Neither a blog nor a social media program will do you much good if you don't keep up with them. If sitting down to write 1-2 blog posts a week seems daunting, but you're addicted to your smartphone, then social media would be a natural choice (plus, "microblogging" via social media is an easy first step). However, if you enjoy writing but feel overwhelmed by the pace and constant, timesucking stimulation of social media, then try blogging. Think about your own preferences, your routines, your talents and your own motivation levels.
What's your end goal? I maintain that one of the best benefits of keeping up with your blog is that it gives you the opportunity to position yourself as a true leader in your industry. You're able to craft topical, detailed commentary on topics of importance to your readers, and "sell yourself" in a non-obvious way, simply by showcasing your own intelligence and talent. That being said, there's also a tremendous benefit to being active on social media: the endless potential for meaningful interactions with your followers, particularly the tech-savviest ones.
The most important thing is just to start. Every day that your business isn't engaging on social media and/or creating meaningful blog content is a day that others in your field are one-upping you. Keep an eye on this blog for resources and ideas, and if we can help you manage the burden of blogging and social media, be sure to let us know.