Could you use your time better? Most of us could. Marketing yourself using blogging or social media is time-intensive, and you struggle to fit everything in. Sometimes we all have to make a choice as to what doesn’t get done. Large companies are increasingly dropping their blogs. Is this the right decision for you, too?
The biggest drop in Fortune 500 companies’ social marketing is in blogging, and this fall happened in 2014 and 2015. Social media usage also declined from 2014 to 2015, except for Instagram, which is the flavor of the moment. These companies spend three times as much on social media as they do on their business blogs. Is this a sensible decision? Probably not.
Social Media Pros And Cons
Social media can be automated to an extent, which is a large part of its appeal to big business. Its short-term Return on Investment (ROI) can be calculated by measuring a campaign’s impact on your chosen metric. It is this immediate and measurable ROI that set social media accounts apart from blogging and may explain why big companies with MBA-qualified leaders opt overwhelmingly for social platforms over company blogs.
Customers expect to see you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so you need to live up to those expectations. Disgruntled buyers will use Twitter to voice their anger, and you need to be there to defuse any negativity. Having a Facebook page and group is more important to Facebook users than having a company website because many expect to do all of their web browsing through Facebook.
Newsjacking on Twitter can lead to massive numbers of new followers and readers, but that is only your first marketing touch. [pullquote]Social media users are not motivated by any need or immediate pain that you can solve; their browsing tends to be random, sparked by atmospheric noise rather than any deep interest in you or your products.[/pullquote]
Blogging Pros And Cons
Blogging is a long-term proposition. You cannot calculate ROI because you never know what blogging action converted the buyers.
You can calculate an immediate ROI on a post if you are recommending a product, but that ignores the reputation-building effect that previous posts have had. Nobody ever buys after a single marketing ‘touch,’ rather it takes seven to thirteen ‘contacts.’ Which touch should get the credit for a sale? Each contact led to the next, and the sequence would have broken if any one contact did not occur.
- Gives you your own public relations outlet, where Google will pick up on your new ideas.
- Lets people in your target market find you and allows you to grow your reputation by helping them.
- Generates traffic and improves your Google rank.
These three factors are where a blog wins over any amount of social media activity. No amount of Twitter and Facebook activity can do all of that. All are unquantifiable but unarguably contribute to the sales process.
A blog, combined with an email marketing platform is an ideal way to have the multiple communications with prospects that are necessary to convert them into buyers.
Do You Need Both?
Certainly, you cannot manage without either a blog or some social media presence. But which one should you spend more time on? You are building your blog to secure a future for your business, its benefits are there, but cannot be quantified. You need to be posting two or three articles a week to your blog to grow it to a level where it becomes the engine house of your company’s marketing.
Social media platforms are by their very nature, owned by third parties. It is a very naive small business owner who puts all his or her faith in someone else’s platform. You surrender all rights to any content you post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and these companies can use your photos and posts in any way that suits their own businesses. Your business pages can be closed down, blocked or deleted without warning or compensation, leaving you with no access to followers to explain what has happened.
Blogs are your property, provided you have your own domain name and avoid using blogging platforms such as Blogger. If you set up your blog using free software from WordPress.org and paid web hosting, then you are golden. This is one of the reasons it’s recommended to use WordPress whenever you build a blog.
Yes, you need company social accounts, but they must never replace your own blog, on your own domain, where you own every single word and image, every video frame and sound recording. Why not breathe new life into your old blog and enjoy the rejuvenating effect it has on your business?