Is Blogging for Businesses?

Blogging matters to business because blogging can represent your company in a positive light. Blogs can pinpoint employees you don’t want to hire and help you do market research. Yet, blogs can also criticize your company and review your products unfavorably. You need to know about business blogging. There are eight reasons blogging is important to your business or organization – to start. Here are the first five reasons blogs matter.

  • A business blog is an informal, easily maintained method for regularly communicating with your customers. A business blog offers a more approachable, informal information-providing approach in which customers find enjoyment, get to know your company, and learn about your products, achievements, and innovations.
  • A business blog is an informal, easily maintained method for regularly communicating with your employees. Whether you host your internal employee blog on a commercial site, on your webpage in a password protected location or on your Intranet, you have created a strong communication tool. Multiple people may post on the blog and information can be shared daily. No more waiting for the weekly one-page update or the monthly newsletter, employees can read company news every day. The blog differs from email in that a permanent record of posts is maintained by category. The second advantage is that all employees receive the same information at the same time.
  • A business blog can provide a “voice” for your company that educates and informs your website visitors; it is more easily updated than traditional Web pages. These are several good examples of company blogs, that are supported by the company. They tell potential employees about your company’s culture. They make customers feel as if they know your company. They inform your current employees and your customers about new products and services. Take a look at:
    –Google Blog
    –GM’s FastLane Blog
    –Butler Sheetmetal Ltd. or Tinpot Alley
    –The Visual Lounge at TechSmith
    –Companies like Sun Microsystems encourage blogging and provide employee blogging space.
  • The business blog is a recruiting tool for your company. Potential employees can learn about your culture, your policies, your way of interacting with the world, and the process you use for hiring employees. Business blogging is a powerful tool for engaging the people who might want to potentially work for you.
  • Your employees may also be blogging. You want to ensure their blogs do not give away company confidential or proprietary information, or trade secrets. Yet, you want them blogging to share intimate and insider experience of your company and your products. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, surveys in mid-2006 established new contours for the blogosphere: 12 million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership now stands at 39% of Internet users, or 57 million Americans. Indeed, a 2004 study revealed that 12 percent of Internet users have posted comments on blogs; I imagine the percentage is much higher now.
  • In the same vein, as a company, you can search other business and company blogs for competitive and market intelligence you might not find available otherwise. Keep track of the blogs written by your competitors, their employees, and any industry sources that may blog about your industry, products, or customers. Perhaps one of those millions of bloggers, in the United States alone, has competitive information for you.
  • Since your employees are likely blogging, your company will want to establish policies and guidelines that require your employees to take care about what they express about your company and customers online. Blog posts can live forever.
    • Once a blog post is picked up by a search engine such as Google, any potential customer or employee can find and read the blogs your employees post. Even if an employee deletes a post, archived versions stay online in locations. Thus, it is better for you to provide guidelines on the front end rather than later when you are unhappy with an employee’s post.
      At the same time, I seriously caution you that you should not infringe on the free speech of your employees. Their personal and enthusiastic support of your products, your customers, and your company, in their unique voices, cannot be replaced by public relations and marketing efforts. Their encouraged and supported interaction with the blogosphere gives your company an image and reputation you can’t buy through advertising.
      This presumes that you have created a work environment and culture that motivates, inspires, recognizes, and retains employees. While their interaction with the world will not always be perfectly positive, you can generally depend on their support.

I’ll provide you a detailed presentation on blogging in my next blog.

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2 thoughts on “Is Blogging for Businesses?

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