A recent study conducted by Burson-Marsteller revealed that ONLY 15% of Fortune 500 companies communicate with consumers via blogs. This number was quite lower than I expected, at least as far as Fortune 500 companies go. It is not surprising to me however with regards to businesses in general. While any business that has an online presence should be blogging, a large majority of them are not.
Here are some common excuses they come up with along with reasons why those excuses are invalid.
1. We Cannot Afford To Install a Blog
Seeing that WordPress is completely free, this is not a valid excuse. Sure you may have to pay a designer to adapt your site’s “look and feel” to the WordPress platform but in all reality, if you do not have any budget for this, there are literally thousands of pre-designed templates you can use. Furthermore, if you or someone within your organization has the very basic level of design skills, you can very easily customize headers, footers, cascading style sheets and the like.
Don’t like WordPress? Movable Type also has a free version of its blogging software.
So if costs are your excuse for not adding a blog to your site – you have no excuse unless FREE is still too expensive for you.
2. We Have Nothing To Say
Do you sell a product or service? If the answer is yes, do you have sales copy on your site to promote those products or services? Then you have something tosay. Even e-commerce sites can come up with a variety of topics for blog posts.
Here are a few examples:
- Cover news in your specific industry. Add your own commentary to make your content unique.
- Write opinionated posts related to news and events surrounding your industry.
- Announce new products and/or special offers.
- Write in-depth product reviews.
- Highlight customer testimonies and praise.
- Do a Q&A style of post to deal with most common inquiries from clients.
- Publish company news – the more personal, the better.
I could go on had I all day to reflect on it. I think you can see that no matter what kind of business you are in, there is something you can write about on a company blog.
3. We Have No One To Write For Us
Okay, I can understand this one. You may have a small company in which you have just a handful of employees – none of which has any writing skills whatsoever. Does that mean you just curl up and completely avoid the blogosphere?
How about when your computers need repair, or the air conditioning goes out in your office, or the copy machine breaks, or a myriad number of other things? Do you just ignore the problem or rather, do you call on a specialist? I would venture to say that most would refer to a specialist unless you are one of those die-hard do-it-yourselfers.
So, if you do not have any writing talent within your company – outsource. There are literally thousands of freelance writers available to write on a continual basis for your blog. Their pay scale varies from incredibly cheap to very pricey. Obviously the higher quality of writing you want, the more you are going to pay for it. However, even with a small to moderate budget, you can easily find a company or individual who will crank out posts for your blog.
4. We Are Afraid!
This is a common complaint I hear. Companies are afraid that their customers will talk about them or even worse – to them. This is why many companies do not have blogs and many that do, do not allow comments. The problem with this excuse is that your customers are already talking about you. So why not get involved in the conversation?
An active blog with a open comment system will allow you to transition from a one-way conversation to more of an open dialogue. In today’s Internet age, customers want to be able to communicate with the companies they choose to do business with. They may offer up praises, make suggestions on how to improve products and/or services, request additional information or even criticize you.
The main idea is that a blog with open comments will allow them to interact with you and visa versa. This is becoming increasingly important in a world where online reputation management is becoming more crucial to monitor and manage.
If you don’t allow them to talk on a blog you control. they may talk on another venue in which you have no control and sometimes are not even able to respond.
Well, those are the most common excuses I have come across as we push our clients to enter the world of blogging. I’m sure there are others and would love to hear feedback from folks who have either wrestled with corporate blogging or have had to deal with reluctant clients. Stories of success as well as failure are all invited!
Hey, you didn’t mention trackbacks and weaving into the social ecosystems of authority online. I’m amazed at how many companies don’t even know you should link to other blogs in order to grow your influence.
Tribal awareness of who’s the leader and more are important to choosing who you should link to and with what content.
So many think of blogging like an article-management tool when it’s really a social tool.
Great post – and a timely find. I have approached the subject of renewable content with a number of clients – outlining the ideas and opportunities blogs introduce and I’ve heard every one of these excuses.
It’s amazing how many companies are still struggling to deal with the basics of the digital era (websites that don’t suck, SEO, SEM), and refuse to acknowledge the emergence of the whole social era.
Thanks for the post!
The “we have no one to write for us!” excuse is a pretty common one – and you are right, freelance writers are probably the way to go for smaller companies (ideally ones that understand blogging and social media).
Very good post and all very true. I’ve always found the ‘we have nothing to say’ reason being very common – many companies have very little imagination when it comes to what they can write about.
Wow..15% of Fortune 500 companies have a blog? These excuses can’t even apply to such massive companies…. with all the money, people and overall resources – they are better equipped than most businesses to do exactly this. Boy are they missing out!
Having a business blog is a great way to advertise your business. It is seldom a misconception that putting up blog is costly..in fact there are so many blogging sites that come for free.
Good post. I can really relate to this, “your customers are already talking about you.” If you show them that they often come around.
Excellent post! And I can say that it is all true. Thank you so much.
We Are Afraid!, thats the most common excuse here in spain…
What you said was true. And that is kinda scary.
For organizations moving data from multiple operational systems to a new data warehouse or client/server environment, adhering to any of the following excuses for not re-engineering legacy data could lead to a data disaster.
I have found that large companies are afraid because they feel like they have too much to lose by opening a conversation with their customers while small businesses don’t have the resources to “do it right”. The former is inexcusable and shortsighted while the latter is understandable yet fixable.
For me blogging is a very cool and easiest portal to do…, not all blog hosting get paid, there are many blog hosting sites that offers free creation of blog.
Awesome post. Blogging is really fun to do and I do that almost everyday.
I enjoyed reading your post. I see many people in the IT field picking up internet marketing as their small time career. Internet marketing is growing slowly in the society.