Sure, social media is evolving. Some say it’s dying while others still own it. It’s natural for technology to change, as some channels become more in vogue while others fade out of existence.
The one hard fast truth though, is that the web isn’t going anywhere. And social media, not as a term many are still trying to grasp, but as a media, isn’t a fad. Especially looking at Facebook’s recent numbers cited at over 500 million. Whether you love it or hate it, whether you enjoy sharing with the world some of those details you maybe shouldn’t, you can’t deny its power and reach.
So what about blogs and blogging?
It’s no secret. Savy does it a little different regarding blogs and how we set our clients up for success. But we still commonly get the question, “But what is blogging?” Generally followed by the “I still don’t get it’s”, “I don’t wanna do it’s” and the “Can you do it for me’s”. Nope we can’t, you should. Here’s why.
If you consider what blogging has allowed us to do after its entrance as a personal publishing platform, providing the ability for anyone to conjure up brilliance, put it on screen and publish it online, has and continues to change the world of publishing, journalism and the media. Fast forward to today, where we’re publishing images, audio and video on the fly, sharing instagrams and using nifty apps and dashboards to connect with others in a “right now” manner. But blogging – the art of putting thoughts on screen and publishing them for others, should still be part of your overall marketing and communications strategy.
From a recent Blogosphere report, “Despite the success of other social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, blog readership has increased steadily and is expected to continue on an upward path.” Just over half of U.S. Internet users are now reading blogs at least once a month, and this percentage will climb to 60 percent in the next four years. The main drivers are the prevalence of blogs in the mainstream media, the increased use of blogs for corporate marketing and the easy-to-use personal blogging platforms.” Mainstream media is pushing this platform forward to create and publish content, generate followers, communities and fans, links, tags and relevance, faster and in real-time.
“Blogging is just a form of social media that has become a viable, respected and tremendously influential channel for all sorts of communications.”
Tired of the meaningless jargon
Blogs seem to work because deep down people want other people, such as companies, brands, or journalists, to speak their language, sans the meaningless jargon. People want to know that those they give their time, energy or business to are there with them. People want more, and blogs can give them just that. The New York Times operates around 50 public-facing blogs that are linked into and out of the paper’s coverage. There is a near seamless connection between the traditional coverage and the blog posts.
Blog with meaning
You have the ideas and expertise. You now have the ability to project them in a way that has more meaning than the static pages of your website.
Companies that truly “get” blogging and do so in a way that has meaning, increase traffic and build community, ultimately increasing sales and customer loyalty. You can use your blog to build a bridge with customers by dedicating a portion of your website to engage with people. Your people might include customers, employees, peers, competitors, or just about anyone in between that your style connects with.
It’s important to acknowledge the “connecting with” part. Blogs are personal, not corporate. People like them because they’re the fluff-removed, plug-free, stripped-down, good, bad and ugly that emanates from a voice – a standpoint that you stand behind. If you gain followers, they’re following a conversation that you’ve begun.
Since there’s a smorgasbord of people that may connect with your blog, it’s important to write a variation of posts that engage with different interests. Use your blog as an avenue to identify needs and deliver your take on solutions in a direct, personal and, well, naked fashion. You have the ability to expose the true personality and value of your brand to facilitate genuine communications, ones that conversations are made of.
A great book for further reading is called Blogging Naked: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Although it was published 5 years ago, its discussion on how blogs, bloggers and the blogosphere are changing how businesses communicate with their consumers is still as relevant as ever, encouraging businesses about the best and most successful ways of blogging
What’s your take on the value of blogging or ways of blogging naked that work for your brand or business? Anything we’ve left out?
Creative, The Savy Agency