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Just because you have a blog



I had a rather interesting conversation with a rather interesting gent (he knows who he is) as to the effect of businesses engaging with blogging and social media generally.

Business is bad for blogging

My friend’s point was this that blogging for business has had an almost corrupting influence on the thing that made blogging so popular in the first instance. In many respects, my friend is entirely right – the objective of business is to make profit and whether it is through blogging or otherwise – this remains as true as ever.

Blogging is good for business

What’s lost however as part of this conversation is what about the net effect that blogging and other social media may inadvertently have on business – or more particularly on how business does business. This is in my opinion an important point and has social consequences – having to engage through blogs and other social media will have a longer-term net positive effect.

Controlling the message

So what if businesses that are engaging are still highly motivated by a need to control the message. The enter into the arena with a set agenda, they may continue to stick to their guns for a period but gradually the smarter businesses are realising that engaging rather than controlling is where it is at.

No more lip

Of course we can argue the toss as to motive but to effectively blog, you must engage with the reader. That’s a blogging bottom line. This applies to business as much as it does to anyone else. Therefore, the act of blogging effectively means that business will need engage with it’s customers in a new way. For too long many businesses paid lip service to the idea of serving their customers, perhaps now they are beginning to not have a choice.

Just because you have a blog

Not all businesses engage through their blog I hear you say, and of course you are right, they don’t. Ok, so what, just because you have a blog surely doesn’t automatically mean that you can blog.

Surely effective blogging or indeed effective use of any social media is not about the technology – it’s about the people or the organisations behind them. Yes, businesses are slow to get it and in many respects they are merely involved in a desperate act of catching up but think about it – Who is really the one in control?



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The Author:

20 years’ experience of growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest business blogs in the world. Helped grow a niche B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members. Helped to grow 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visits per month (organically). Helped to create the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world. Have authored and co-authored several industy reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care. http://www.ahaingroup.com/

Add Your Comment

  • sianphillips

    Brilliant post. And as a beginner blogger yet again I learn more from you.

  • nialldevitt

    Sian, I wouldn't call you a beginner blogger but thx. Cheers, Niall

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Brendan,

    I was really hoping that people would start to pose these types of questions on here so thank you….. I think the simple answer to your question is yes but let me make a more general observation.

    The problem as I see it for many initiatives on-line or otherwise is the talk v action challenge, people will engage once they can see that their is a defined and speedy outcome. People are crying out for new ways to engage provided that their is a result at the end but unfortunately we continue to suffer from the lots of talk with very little action syndrome.

    I think if the network could speed up bringing ideas to market in a comprehensible way, it would be needed, valuable and a winner. It not a case of what’s out there, it’s more a case of how can we do faster, better and more effectively. We need as much “get ahead” stuff now as is possible.

    Great post!
    Niall

  • http://creativedynamic.blogspot.com/ Roisin Markham

    Great to see a discussion of this nature.
    If the choice is to go the YAN route I’d encourage a broader term of enagement so seekers and solvers can connect. This is a rapidly moving area. Which is as much about creative lateral thinking as anything else. As a facilitator, solver and catalst of inward innovation neither of these two networks work for me.

    Collaboration is easy but the framework to facilitate it has to be right.
    I think http://www.hypos.com and http://www.addictlab.com are good examples.

  • http://twitter.com/ianbrodie Ian Brodie

    Indeed!For me, blogs are ripping down the Berlin walls around companies and letting customers (and anyone else) walk right into the heart of the firm.Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends on what you do with it.Ian

  • http://brendanhughes.ie Brendan Hughes

    Thanks for the comments guys. Niall, I agree that there is a need for measurable outcomes from such an initiative. Bringing ideas to market would be one, but I guess that for every idea there are very very few that actually do make it to market. It might be a bit like a dating site – plenty of encounters, but few marriages. We’ll have to think about the kinds of measure that are put in place – these will be driven by the objectives of course.

    Roisin, thanks for the examples. Are you sure that the first one is correct?

  • nialldevitt

    Hi Ian, that's a really wonderful analogy. I like It! By the way, we need to get you blogging on here :)Great comment again,Niall

  • http://www.sensei-winbeforehand.co.uk dawnbaird

    Niall, I love your comment that “engaging rather than controlling is where it is at”. I'm gonna quote this at my next seminar! Unfortunately, many (especially larger) organisations are focusing on controlling so heavily, they never start with online communications, in order to engage in alternative ways with new customers.

  • http://www.sensei-winbeforehand.co.uk dawnbaird

    Niall, I love your comment that “engaging rather than controlling is where it is at”. I'm gonna quote this at my next seminar! Unfortunately, many (especially larger) organisations are focusing on controlling so heavily, they never start with online communications, in order to engage in alternative ways with new customers.