Do I need a blog?
24 January 2013
Q. Should I have a blog on my company website?
It depends on your customers and business sector you operate in.
If your business is owned by a figurehead or well-know personality, then it may make sense to leverage off that and have that person blog. In general, most customers really don’t care what the CEO has to say otherwise. They’re more concerned about meeting their own needs.
If you already have a one-to-one relationship with your customers, then a blog is a very good way to add value. For instance, if you already have a newsletter mailing list. Think about using the newsletter content on your blog and let people make comments. You may be surprised how much value a dedicated customer can add to your business through a blog comment, and it makes you appear open and honest about your business.
A useful business benefit from blogging is to help build or strengthen your relationship with your customers through the comments and replies to your blog posts.
Many people now expect to be able to interact with a company through the web by leaving suggestions and comments, in either your blog or your social media site. They want more than just a simple Feedback page, mostly because so many companies don’t monitor the feedback page or bother to respond promptly (I’ve never understand why companies do this – you wouldn’t setup an 0800 line and not have someone manning it).
Blogs often allow people to leave comments, perhaps about something the someone said in the blog. It’s a great way to get tips from your customers, but only if it’s natural for your customers to use the web for this. I’m unlikely to visit the website of my local butcher, just to see what the owner has to say, but I’d definitely be inclined to let Telecom know what I think of my broadband being offline.
Be prepared for the negative comments though, take them on the chin and respond professionally. Within the bounds of decency, don’t censor negative remarks – it will make you look more honest if others can see what was said. Better still, make a plan for a PR disaster and how you will handle it through your blog and website.
But isn’t blogging dead?
In many ways, Facebook has replaced blogging as a way of interacting with a marketplace. Like a blog, it can certainly be a very good way to get feedback from customers. But you have less control with Facebook than you do with a blog and it can back-fire on you, so consider how you want to interact with your customers.
On the other hand, many blogs have become successful communication additions to a business and some have even spawned a profitable sideline.
At Wired we blog to share ideas and thoughts with our market. Hardly anyone comments. And you can always turn off commenting on a blog if you wish!
Some links for more reading: