As internet fledglings quickly realize, keeping up a website and blog can be a “time suck.”
After creating attractive sites to promote their products and services, some growers and shippers have added newsy sections featuring news releases from 2009, new onion varieties from 2010 and showcasing a new packing shed slated to open in 2011.
Kim Reddin, director of public and industry relations for the National Onion Association and the face behind the Onionista blog on the association’s website, understands the dilemma well.
“It’s been a challenge to keep The Onionista current and active,” said Reddin, who continues to use Twitter and recently began posting photos on Pinterest.
“We’re analyzing the results we get from the different mediums and looking at whether we should keep the blog or how to strengthen it,” she said.
“We also need to decide whether we should keep it in-house.”
Reddin advises companies to analyze the goal of their web interaction and decide how much time they want to put into it or how much time is needed to get the results they want.
“A lot of people say a blog is like a newborn baby that never grows up, so you’ve got to keep feeding it,” she said.
“Like any other correspondence, it takes management and planning.”
The onion association has found Twitter helpful in directing people to its website and building traffic.
Reddin said it can also drive traffic to other social media sites and helps the association interact with consumers, bloggers and other industry members.
The next step, Redding said, is video.
“A huge goal for me is to really ramp up our YouTube channel,” she said.
The association has shot a video showing how to cut an onion.
Although there hasn’t been an opportunity to create more videos, Reddin said bloggers have shown that step-by-step photos and videos encourage people to cook in the privacy of their own homes.
“They’ve helped people not be afraid to try new things,” she said.
“Social media and visual things like YouTube are becoming more and more a part of daily life,” Reddin said, “and it’s not going to go away.”