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Wrong Question: Should I blog about my business?

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As the CEO of a public relations and social media company, I get this question quite a bit.  My answer is always the same: first take a step back.

Better Question: What is the strategy a successful blog will support?

It’s true…social media is a real game-changer when it comes to generating leads, supporting the sales cycle, enhancing search engine optimization (SEO) and promoting brand reputation.  We are all part of a dramatic shift of time and attention from traditional media venues such as newspapers and periodicals, to participation in more dynamic online communities. Blogging is playing a very important roll in that process.

Consider these facts:
  • There are nearly 800 million people over the age of 15 online worldwide (ComScore)
  • Blog search engine Technorati tracks more than 112 million online journals
  • Facebook has grown to more than 200 million users (April 2009)
  • Users upload 10 hours of new video to YouTube every hour of every day
This is why organizations of all sizes have gotten active in social networks and as a means of effectively and cost efficiently promoting their business.  And a corporate or executive blog can be an effective tactic to realizing the value of social media. Yet, it’s just a tactic. Any well-designed, carefully crafted marketing promotional program begins with the establishment of a set of goals. 

Are you focused on enhancing your company’s reputation?  Is executive visibility a priority?  How about lead generation? Once confirmed, it then becomes critical to define target audiences and evaluate the most appropriate channels to reach them.  For network and information technology engineers, it may well be that a blog promoted in social networks is the best tactic. If you want some brainstorming ideas you can check Buzz Marketing Blog.

However, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies tend to shy away from engagement in online communities.  Advertising and direct mail are most likely the most appropriate tactics to reach this audience. Prior to investing the time to stand up a blog, take a deep breath…outline your goals…and identify your audiences.

Now you’re ready to make a tactical decision. It is very likely that a blog will be part of an overall strategy, but for maximum effect, it should be part of an overall strategy.

Marc Hausman is a thought leader in social media marketing and you can follow on Twitter and subscribe to his blog here.

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