Is Business blogging going bust?

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A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has found that company blogging is at its lowest level, with only 37 % of American companies maintaining their blogs last year, down from 50 % on 2010, reports USAToday.com.  This finding coincides with our finding of Blogging Burnout, seeing the decline in local food blogging frequency, which we wrote about last year.

The USA study says that due to the time required to blog, having to find new content, as well as the liability and legal risks involved in its content and comments received, Social Media Marketing via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are gaining ground.  Only 23% of the Fortune 500 companies still have an active blog.  The benefit of a blog is that the company owns the content. Twitter has a downside though, says the article, in having ‘a lot of noise’. The Bank of America closed its blog, wanting to ‘be where our customers are‘, a spokesperson said.

One reason for the failure of corporate blogging is that it is too hard-sell and company focused, instead of being informational. “Companies don’t understand that the content of a blog shouldn’t be ‘about me’. Such content tends to be dull”, said a PR company CEO. If handled correctly, blogs are an important means of asserting industry leadership through its content about industry issues, and are inexpensive compared to advertising costs.  Blogging also reflects the corporate personality via its content.

We have seen few corporate blogs in South Africa to date, with only a few players in the hospitality industry writing blogs for their restaurants and accommodation establishments.  We believe that a Social Media strategy should contain a mix of Blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, and it should not be a case of choosing one or the other.  They are not interchangeable, and attract very different audiences.  At Whale Cottage Portfolio we write a regular WhaleTales newsletter too, to reach our guests and industry colleagues who have not yet embraced Social Media, of which there are great numbers.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

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