“Daaaamn Daniel, Back at it again with the blog posts,” my own personal interpretation of the current viral internet sensation. This week’s musings will cover blogs, blogging and bloggers (say that five times fast!) and what success is in relation to them, both for personal and business use. So…
As explained by Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), short for Web log, blogs are a more in-depth personalised version of platforms available on social media. They are a form of diary, where the author expresses their interests, musings, activities or information, through posts often in reverse chronological order, for the world to see, explore and follow. Popular blog sites today include Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger and Medium. Personal blogs can literally be on anything – animals, cars, travelling, lifestyle, science, social media papers… or a culmination of them all – and since the rise of blogging platforms were the predominant type of blog. Around 2009 the foundations of blogs began to change, with the introduction of multi-author blogs, where blogs are written by a group of people and professionally edited and microblogging, which is blogging but on a smaller scale, like Twitter. Now, blogs are being implemented by businesses across the globe for a number of reasons, such as to:
- inform and update consumers on new or existing products and events
- educate and inspire their consumers
- encourage followers to engage with the brand’s other forms of social media
A successful blog in business is another invaluable asset to the businesses overall promotion strategy, here the ‘Social Media Examiner’ (a blog about social media) has examples of the top 10 businesses doing blogs right.
However blogs can also be used internally within a business. Jue, Marr, and Kassotakis (2010) explain that blogs are incredibly helpful as a means of communicating with employees in a large organisation. As blogs carry a more collegial tone, they are a good way to share the directional views of the organization leaders and are effective learning tools.
It’s all in the detail
Creating a blog is not as easy as some may think. When I set out to start this blog, I admit, being a self proclaimed technologically savvy, millennial, I did think to myself this would be a walk in the park. Just trying to find the place to change the ‘About’ page, was shamefully difficult. But once you start, with the right guidance you will be rolling in no time. Mashable’s ‘5 tips for writing a blog that people actually want to read’ was a godsend to provoke thought and give direction. Other crucial aspects to consider when creating a blog are:
- Voice – tone and personality of your blog, informal vs formal
- Frequency – how often will you post
- Style – are the names, themes and colour palette consistent with what you are trying to convey
- Features – are you utilising all the options at your disposal for making your blog efficient and interesting, like links, widgets, categories, tags, share buttons and feeds.
- Audience – who are you blogging for, are they satisfied, are they being engaged to comment and discuss
The sociality of blogging
Wikipedia so aptly states that because blogs are interactive by allowing visitors to leave comments and messages, they are therefore distinguished from other static websites, and it is that connectivity that allows blogs to fall under the glorious banner that is ‘Social Media’. More so, because the bloggers, be it individuals or businesses, not only produce content through posts on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers, blogging is actually considered a social network service. A service that businesses can use to leverage their followers, market their goods, build a bigger online presence and to gain valuable feedback from their consumers.
In the ever changing and advancing world today, businesses have new technological ways of collaborating, cooperating, collaborating and connecting with their markets. Blogging seems to me an important aspect of the whole picture that is social media networks for business.
Thoughts on this…
This close examination of what blogging is has lead me to some further questions:
- How can a business know if their consumers want a blog, and how do they measure the effectiveness of their blog?
- Is all of this social media really necessary for successful business, or is it just perceived? Is overshare really not an issue.
This last question stems from my personal experience. Only on two instances have I found myself on a business’s blog, and that was because I wanted to go there, often when businesses suggest going to their blog or social media page I scoff and keep on scrolling. But maybe that is just me and my inner marketer talking, what are some of your thoughts?
If you enjoyed this post and the last, now would be a great time to follow by blog, where you will be updated when I’m back at it again, next time with Web 2.0 and 3.0 if I don’t run back and hide under my comfort zone.
References in order of appearance :
Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Jue, A. L., Marr, J. A. & Kassotakis, M. E. (2010). Social media at work: How networking tools propel organizational performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.