If you’ve been on the web for more than five minutes, you’ve no doubt heard of blogging. Blogs and blogging are everywhere. Twitter is often referred to as a “micro-blogging” site and the rise of Instagram and YouTube has created another category of “vloggers”. Although it might seem like a harmless, banal form of self-expression, here’s why you can’t ignore blogging websites anymore.
Blogging websites aren’t the digital version of a hole-in-the-wall cafe that nobody knows about. They’re plugged in. They’re networked. In some fields, it’s nearly impossible to get a job without a blog — employers don’t feel like that they know the candidate well enough to take a chance on them. A personal blog can also be a great way to get your ideas out there, or keep a running record of your accomplishments. It’s a digital resume.
On the other hand, a business needs a blog. Without one, your customers interact mostly with your marketing efforts, which studies show are having less and less effect, and at the same time, ringing increasingly false to the consumer. An engaging and informative blog cuts right through these discouraging trends, and builds trust and brand loyalty with your customers.
When you or your company is “trending” it can be either a blessing or a curse. The news cycle in the blogosphere is lightning fast, and you can easily develop what’s euphemistically known as a “Google problem”. Even if the problem blows over quickly, it can leave a lasting mark when your company name is Googled. Having your own blog, as well as presences on Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn can help you not only catch and manage any problems, but muffle the effects as well.
Proactive company leaders can effectively harness the power of community goodwill. CEO of Aetna Insurance Mark T. Bertolini met a young cancer patient over Twitter and has now promised to cover every dollar of his cancer treatments.
Individually, each interaction on blogging websites is miniscule. But it sets up a powerful echo effect that reverberates powerfully to the public.
Social Media Marketing
The line has blurred between social media and blogs. When everything one posts can be cross-posted to a dozen outlets, it’s hard to decide where the edges are. In the same way, networking and reputation management easily blur into social media marketing. Whether it’s engaging your fans on your Facebook page to solicit suggestions for improvement, sponsoring a charity event or giving away free swag, it’s become all too easy to engage with clients on a continual basis.
So easy, in fact, that there’s no excuse not to. So easy, that if you don’t, your fans may start to think your business is arrogant, out of touch, or just plain incompetent. It’s become the new standard. You ignore the eco-system of blogging websites at your peril.