New research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth analyzed social media usage among The Inc. 500 and found blogging is on decline as other tools like Facebook and Twitter gain popularity among fast-growing companies.
Corporate blogging had increased each year, the research found, from 19 percent of Inc. 500 companies in 2007 to more than 50 percent in 2010. But 2011 showed a decline, with just 37 percent of the Inc. 500 blogging.
Why the decline? One possible explanation is that companies shifted to Facebook, Twitter, etc. because they saw better results on those platforms. Another explanation is that those platforms are cheaper and easier. Creating content for a blog takes time and money, and maintaining it is an ongoing investment.
Blogging Is Not Dead…Again
Social Media needs content. Without a blog, what are you sharing on Facebook and Twitter? Engagement is critical on Facebook — it factors heavily into how visible your updates are to fans — but content is what sparks that conversation. Blog posts are excellent fodder for conversation.
Search engines love blogs. The sheer volume of content you create on a blog gives search engines more material to show to searchers. The frequency of updates also signals search engines to visit your site more frequently. And unlike Facebook posts, Google is indexing your blog posts. Once a Facebook update has vanished in the stream, it’s as good as gone.
Your customers need a destination. You’ve got a vibrant Facebook community. Your fans respond enthusiastically to your updates. They’re primed to buy. Where do you send them? A competitor’s website? Let’s hope not. A blog gives you a branded destination and brings them one step closer to a sale.
the Decline in Corporate Blogs is an opportunity
Think of a blog as real estate. Your competitors all own land, too, but some of them just abandoned their land to rent a condo in Boca (aka, Facebook…obviously). If you continue to develop your land, you’ll be primed for growth, while your competitors will be beholden to their landlords.
Does your company have a blog? Has it ever abandoned a blog? How do you measure your blog’s contribution to your business?