Friday, July 25, 2008

Are Blogs Good for Business?



One of my students sent me an email with this opinion:

"I'm not a fan of blogs. I receive the Google alerts for news and blogs related to my field, and virtually 100% of the blogs are essentially a waste of space. I feel compelled to read them in the event something interesting is written (which I cannot afford to miss), but my ROI on reading blogs is truly negative. Indeed, I spend 15 minutes of my day reading blogs that add no value. That is 62 1/2 hours of wasted time a year.

Most of the useful stuff people accomplish through blogs seem perfectly capable of being accomplished via Facebook or related tools. I therefore only see personal reasons for having blogs, versus business reasons. Granted, some Fortune 500 companies have blogs, but that isn't exactly an endorsement."

A blog is not appropriate for every business. It makes sense when companies want to create a two-way dialogue with their customers/clients/donors. For some, it has created a lot of discussion. For example, the Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog requests customer feedback, and Southwest employees definitely respond. The most comments seem to come on posts where the airline is discussing something controversial, such as this one announcing their winter schedule.

It is great to have varying viewpoints, as they create a healthy discussion. So, let's open this up for conversation!

- Can Facebook or other social media tools accomplish what blogs can accomplish for a business?

- There are many reasons for a business to have a blog (listen to customers, talk with them, be seen as an expert, create a community). Which reasons have you seen work, and for which company?
- Has your company tried a blog that didn't work out? (I showed the example of Moosetopia, from Denali Ice Cream, to my students last week; it was cute, but didn't get much interaction from customers.)

Let's hear about it!
(Photo credit: head-off)

1 comment:

Alison Terrell said...

Blogs are great for business. It gives a company a chance to build a relationship with their customers.

My company just launched our blog -http://blog.pens.com/ Our discussions on blogs in our class really helped me keep management on track for the purpose of this blog. I keep going back to Groundswell's technographic profile in an effort to manage everyone's expectations regarding the results we can achieve.