In comparison to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and new social media players such as Foursquare and Gowalla, blogs aren’t sexy or glittery. Blogs are four-door sedans, Twitter and Facebook are two-door convertibles with the top down. It really wasn’t that long ago that blogs were the toast of the town but that seems like ancient history now.
But while blogs may not be shiny, sleek or sexy, they are the workhorses the social media. Sure, they require a lot of time and effort but the benefits of having a well-written blog that engages, entertains and informs is invaluable.
A good way to think about a blog is it’s a content machine that can be a key pillar within a social media program. At their core, blogs give companies a public platform to deliver perspective and insight, while offering customers and potential customers the opportunity to get involved by leaving a comment or sharing a post with other people.
For companies looking to establish a stronger digital footprint, blogs are valuable because Google and other search engines love new and fresh content. If you are looking for some organic search engine optimization, get blogging.
Another important role played by blogs is they generate content to fuel a variety of other corporate activities. A blog, for example, can be used by communications, marketing and sales teams to offer information about what a company does and how it thinks and operates. In some respects, blogs can be dynamic digital brochures.
Blogs can also fuel social media programs. For example, a blog post can provide content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare – content that can be automatically posted using tools such as TwitterFeed and Ping.fm.
Blogs can also enhance a company’s personality. Rather than just a static Web site that provides corporate information, blogs are written and nurtured by people who can connect and engage with readers.
Despite the benefits of a blog, it can be a tough sell when companies are exploring the use of social media. The biggest obstacle is that blogs require time, ideas, creativity and good writing skills. These are things that many companies may have a hard time sourcing or allocating.
At the end of the day, however, a blog is a solid investment that can generate healthy dividends.