Looking to start a company blog? You’re not alone. All over the world, people see value in the creation and moderation of blogs, from the individual to the giant corporation. By the end of 2011 there were more than 70 million WordPress blogs, with a further 42 million blogs with Tumblr.
Bloggers form a community called a “Blogosphere” which is made up of all the blogs and their interconnections. As published by technorati, here are the 4 different types of bloggers:
Overall, it is estimated that within one month of creation, 60% to 80% of blogs worldwide are either abandoned or infrequently updated. This means that the average lifespan of a blog is equal to that of the common fruitfly.
Why do blogs get abandoned? Well, for some, there is a romanticism about starting a blog for personal posting in the same way many people start and abandon diaries throughout their lifetime. People who travel are likely to start a blog to keep their family and friends updated on their journey but stop posting once they’ve returned back to their every day life. In the other vein, some companies will start blogs with the intention of sharing their vast industry knowledge but find it’s too time consuming to maintain, lack the time required or simply don’t see an immediate return in sales lead generation. Others become tired with the idea that their blog isn’t immediately receiving thousands of hits a month and lack the patience or planning to organically grow the blog over a long period of time.
Other blogs continue to outlive the fruitfly and flourish with an expanding readership. Here are some examples:
COCA-COLA – Coke launched a Tumblr account on December 22 (2011) to share all of the wonderful things around the internet to do with their product. They also launched with the plan to re-blog user content that reflects their positive message in order to build a bigger online community around the product range. The tagline for the blog itself is ‘sharing Happiness – one post at a time’ and the blog is aimed towards teens with the idea to visually market the culture of the product (and thus the product itself).
More than 37 million teenagers use Tumblr with the average time spent by each user on the platform estimated to be 37 minutes a day. The blog is managed by digital agency 360i and easily surpassed its one month milestone with it averaging approximately 5 posts a day.
So how do they keep the momentum going? The secret to Coke’s success is through their long term planning. They have an established voice and posting schedule. They know exactly what
they want to achieve with the account and are well on their way to achieving it.
ADIDAS - Adidas launched their corporate blog on November 17 (2011) to build a community around the product and increase customer loyalty. The blog posts are authored by the staff and their initial post clearly shows their extensive pre-launch planning with the post articulating the reasons why they launched the blog, the community they are trying to build and their view on how a blog should work – primarily that ‘what is true on a football pitch goes for corporate blogs as well. Unless your company is a one-man show, corporate blogging should be a team sport rather than an individual sport; especially when your goal is to show the depth and breadth of your company’.
The blog surpassed the one-month milestone with goal-kicking accuracy.
The SQUAWKBOX Blog is now onto its 13th week (something we’re proud of!) and has successfully passed the one-month milestone. To achieve this, pre-launch we planned our voice, where our contributions would come from and how regularly we would be posting. We are now well on our way towards a lifespan more resemblant of our friend the dragonfly than a fruitfly, and we expect to surpass that soon too.
So, how do you avoid becoming a statistic? If you’re planning to launch a corporate blog, it’s always a good idea to start by sitting down and thinking what you want to get out of it. Are you targeting a specific audience? Is your aim to primarily engage current customers? Once you have your overall goal, you can start to plan your voice. Do you want to put a human face on your company by sourcing posts from employees? Or do you simply want your mascot or brand to impart the knowledge you have to share?
By pre-planning, you can ensure that when your blog does launch you know what to expect and where you want to go. Long term planning lends itself to long term success. If you’re going off the cuff, you’re far more likely to get busy with other work or responsibilities and your blog will suffer as a result.