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When done correctly, blogging can be valuable to a company, providing benefits for SEO and customer service. As long as it is done well, that is.
Many companies have now started their own blogs, so should your company follow suit? Very probably. Read on to understand why...
Why your company needs a blog:
Search engine visibility
Blogs are a useful SEO tool, and can give your company extra exposure in the search engines. Provided you update it regularly, your blog can provide fresh, original content for Google to index.
Get feedback from customers
A blog can provide an excellent way to get feedback from customers on your products and services, as well as dealing with some customer queries, and save a few calls to your contact centres.
Give your company a human face
If done well, a blog can allow your company to communicate with customers in a more casually way than through official contact channels. This can help your company to engage more with customers.
Communicate more effectively
A company blog can provide a fast and effective way to get information out to a lot of people, especially useful for handling any kind of crisis. Microsoft’s major nelson blog is a great example of this, providing information and updates on Xbox Live problems and technical issues.
Improved media and investor relations
Many journalists and analysts would rather monitor companies’ blogs for news than trawl through piles of press releases that have been sent to them by email.
Set your company apart from competitors
If your competitors aren't yet blogging then why not steal a march on them? A blog will help differentiate you from them and can gives you a real advantage in terms of SEO.
Helps you monitor the blogosphere
If you have a blog and an RSS feed, then others in the blogosphere will be more likely to be talking about your company. This not only increases exposure, but can allow you to find out how your company is perceived
Some reasons why you may want to t hink twice!
Loss of control over customer communication
You may be concerned that allowing someone to blog in your company’s name increases the risk that they will say something that will damage your brand. If you feel you cannot find a blogger you can trust, then this may not be for you.
Some legal departments may have concerns that, in the course of dialogue with customers, a blogger may cross this line, or else appear to make promises on behalf of the company. This needn’t be a problem if you can trust a blogger, as Google does with Matt Cutts. Otherwise, blog posts can always be vetted before publishing.
Time / money
There is little point in starting a corporate blog unless you can update the content frequently enough to have customers coming back to see updates. This means devoting time and resources to allow a member of staff to blog properly.
Hard to prove ROI
The success of a company blog can be difficult to measure, so some firms may be reluctant to put money into this if a return cannot be guaranteed. However, there are some benefits that can be seen, such as improved search rankings.
Social Media Roundtable Briefing - June 2008