I’m sorry. I have been remiss in keeping the PRagmatist up to date in recent weeks. I realized it’s been more than a month since my last blog post so it is high time I added some fresh thinking here to share with you.
But then, I’m just following the trend of corporate America. According to a new research report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, corporate blogging is clearly on the decline:
Of the companies they surveyed, only 37% were blogging in 2011. That’s down from 50% in 2010. If you look only at Fortune 500 companies, the percentage drops to 23%.
Why are corporate blogs falling out of favor? USA Today says, mostly because Facebook and Twitter are so much easier to manage.
Well that makes sense. I heard a news report today that with the pending Facebook IPO there are now more than 900 million active Facebook users. Twitter says they have hit 500 million users. Clearly people are hanging out on Facebook and Twitter as their online water cooler, and that’s where a lot of companies want to be seen, with an impact.
Keeping up a blog is a lot harder than people think. I’ve dealt with dozens of clients who jump in with grand plans of updating every day! They soon learn that updating even once a week is a chore. It’s amazing how quickly seven days pass when you need to come up with a fresh blog post.
Facebook and Twitter are easier to keep up with, but everyone is throwing their pebbles into the same pond so it’s harder to make a splash, let alone a ripple. People with interesting things to say will rule. Just ask George Takei who has 1.7 million Facebook “likes.” He reposts material from his fan-base and occasionally sprinkles in information about his latest project or a political message. The funny posts keep it interesting so he can deliver the stuff that matters. For most companies, keeping it interesting and staying on brand message is a real challenge.
What blogging does does for you is give you focus. It allows you to tell a story in a way that you can’t do in 140 characters or a status update. It allows you to elaborate on an idea in a way that builds a different kind of rapport with your audience. Why does corporate blogging matter?
- Blogging lets you tell a story in detail, with nuances and context.
- Blogging gives you an independent voice isolated from the social media noise. If takes you away from the cocktail party for an intimate conversation.
- Blogging gives you greater searchability. You build more web credibility and Google credibility with a blog than you can with Facebook posts or tweets.
I like blogging because it forces my clients to focus their best brand thinking, and it’s that thinking that drives outreach through Facebook and Twitter. I consider the blog home base of the mother ship; the incubator where you can test and refine ideas before you take them out on the road.
So while the survey says that corporate blogging may be on the decline, those companies that are passionate about their brand and sharing that passion with their customers and others will continue to blog. It’s still the best forum to tell a complete story.