The Better Social Business BlogJournalizing work in the trenches of all things web, social & interactive
On 30, Jan 2012
Let’s get right to the heart of this University of Massachusetts study, shall we?
Here’s the quick recap …
- Corporate blogging is down, folks: Just 37% of Inc 500 keep a corporate blog down from half in 2010, 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008
- Blogging as primary social media tool is being questioned: The leveling off of the use of blogs raises questions about whether the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool for business
- Social media’s rapid penetration: This research cites that social media has penetrated parts of the business world at a tremendous speed
- Corporate usage of social is a changin’: The study also indicates that corporate usage of social media within the Inc. 500 has changed in the past 12 months (“”We are now seeing the incorporation of new platforms and tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, texting, downloadable mobile apps and Foursquare while we note the reduction in use of blogging, message boards, video blogging, podcasting and MySpace.”)
- Small biz too???: Small businesses are also “backing away” from blogging as a marketing tool and shifting to other social media outlets as well
Ugh … I can’t take this news much longer LOL … but let’s continue to the whopping conclusion and get this over with …
So what’s the main reason the study claims is the number one culprit impacting the health of the blogosphere?
Answer: Social media outlets, of course!
The most popular platform in 2011 was Facebook (no surprise there), with 74% of companies using it. LinkedIn came in a close second, with 73% of companies using the professional network.
OK … I’ve been thinking about these study results and honestly, I do not find them surprising but not for the reasons you might think. Yes, updating a status on a social network or social utility tool has gained a lot of popularity over the years and I totally get it. It takes far less effort or brain power in comparison to blogging to create a tweet or leave a simple status update on Facebook. Moreover, consumers and individuals have become comfortable with the micro-update or the abridged format of Twitter and Facebook. Such postings are nimble, easily digestible and quick to scan and consume.
Conversely, good professional blogging requires far more thought, strategy, time and resources than many of us have or want to be bothered with.
Blogging, when compared to 140-character tweets or 2-3 sentence Facebook status updates, is not as easy. It’s not that blogging is “hard” but what the rise of social sharing has made many clearly realize, in my humble opinion, is that blogging requires far more elbow grease than many care to expend or feel necessary.
Moreover, the act of blogging, as many of us know, requires an ongoing commitment and much stronger communication skills vs. the more casual nature of status updates.
The thing that studies like this fail to emphasize, however, is that the rise in popularity in one medium does not negate the value of the other. Social media sharing definitely has its place in today’s e-communications. You will get no argument from me there.
Still, blogging does indeed still have its place. Countless of web sites and professionals have and continue to write about why blogging still matters and why blogging helps you differentiate within your market and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Oh and let’s not forget the how much search engines reward us with traffic and higher rankings for blog posts with original, insightful good content.
In the end, I think that while most businesses and professionals may surely lean towards the path of least resistance (posting on social networks in lieu of blogging), the value, credibility and differentiation blogs contribute to our digital communications is an essential component of our outbound outreach mix.
In my view, blogging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon … so don’t be too quick to write it off just yet. Yes, there may be changes in the blogging landscape but overall, for those who continue to view this method of communication as key will still heed the blog as a must-have tool in their e-marketing arsenal.
In between professional engagements, Mayra guest blogs and contributes content regularly to a number of publications both in and outside the Washington DC metro area. Mayra is also the editor of The Better Social Business Blog, "Pet Tech" columnist for the Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine, contributes an “e-Trends” column to the Loudoun Business Journal and is founder of the Loudoun Fairfax Local Bloggers Meetup group which mentors and helps local bloggers network, learn and exchange ideas.