With all of the hype surrounding social media lately, an observant company might wonder: do business blogs still have a place at the marketing table?
It’s an excellent question and one that makes a lot of sense to ask. Couldn’t a company save a lot of money and a lot of time and effort by avoiding blogging altogether and simply establishing a presence on a series of social media sites?
While it’s understandable that a company might think that blogs are a thing of the past, my take on the question is this — I believe that the business blog is still a valuable and important marketing tool for a business.
In fact, for maximum branding impact a business blog should be used in combination with a social media presence.
Here are some advantages that a business blog can still provide to a company:
- Longer, more detailed platform – often social media sites provide a limited amount of space in which to get your company message across. (Twitter , for example, only allows 140 characters per message.)
- A single location – While your social media comments may be spread across multiple social media tools and interspersed with unrelated messages and comments, your blog entries are all in a single online location.
- Concentrated customer feedback – One of the biggest benefits to business blogging has always been customer interaction. Business blog posts provide the perfect opportunity for customers to provide feedback and the company to respond.
- Search engine benefits – Because blogs are frequently updated, having a business blog can help to get your business site noticed by the search engines. (Be sure to update your business blog regularly.)
- Build brand awareness – Blogging often and consistently about your products and company can help to build your company’s brand online. Blogs are also a great place to introduce readers and customers to new products.
- Strengthen relationships – As you continue with your business blog you will begin to notice that something has happened. You will begin to have regular readers that you interact with often. A community has developed.
A recent study of how women use blogs and social media (42 Million U.S. Women Use Social Media: Blogs Most Influential – a summary of a BlogHer study by Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends) shows that a substantial number of women now look to blogs as well as social media for information.
BlogHer is an organization for woman bloggers, so the information in the study was specific to women. However, I believe that if a similar study had been conducted using male respondents the results would probably have been similar.
Blogs and social media have become a routine part of many people’s day.
Does your company use business blogging and social media together?
Why, or why not?