Category Archives: Corporate Blogging Statistics

Blog early, share late: research findings

Early birds catch the blogworms. Or so suggests research by blogging metrics maniac Dan Zarrella. You have the best chance of getting eyeballs to your posts if you get that content out before 10am US Eastern time. In a recent webinar hosted by Hubspot, Dan unleashed a torrent of findings from his surveys and research of over 170,000 blog posts.

This fine infographic does a great job of summing up general reading/feedback trends seen across the blogs studied:

Whether it’s views, links or comments, most activity happens early in the day. Saturday is a big day for commenting. Which could well be related to this activity on social networks:

Retweeting follows a similar path. It looks like most people read content early in the day, with little variance across the week. As we get nearer the weekend, people start getting social: whether that be retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook (and getting around to commenting).

Judging by the success of this webinar, interest in blogging definitely isn’t on the wane, which makes me somewhat skeptical about a recent study suggesting that although corporate blogging isn’t exactly dead, it’s reached saturation point.

There was no evidence of this during Dan’s study of blogging, which had the Twittersphere ablaze for the full hour of the presentation. You’ll see there was particular interest in the tie-up between blogging and other social media: in particular those duelling siblings Twitter and Facebook. And that’s where blogging can really come into its own: as the content destination for inbound marketing tactics across Facebook and Twitter.

To my mind the Dan’s research also highlights a key difference between search- and social media marketing. For search marketing, attracting those indefatigable search bots that trawl the web for new content is a time-independent task. Just make sure you get content out in short order to win favor from the recency filter was the long and short of what I was told not so long ago by search experts here at IBM. The time of day really has little importance: algorithms aren’t more likely to read posts in the mornings.  Whereas this research from Dan bears a closer resemblance to the findings you might see around email marketing which is often deemed to be time-sensitive. Readership is near-synchronous and content is highly perishable. And if you are blogging outside the time-zone of your key audience, beware. Your content could well end up overlooked. As you may have noticed, I’m taking Dan’s messages to heart and working on getting this content out in a timely fashion. Right, now time for breakfast!

For further details on this study, check out the aforementioned post by Dan or listen to the On Demand recording of Dan Zarrella: Science of blogging

Does social media need to be personal? | Corporate blogging news digest

One of the so-called rules of social media is that you should adopt a personal voice. After all the medium is all about helping companies look less monolithic and to engage on a one-to-one basis, right? Well, not necessarily, according to Ann All’s article in IT Business Edge. Content is content, and as long as you are producing unique, interesting subject matter, you may still find an engaged audience lapping it up. Ann points out that the IT Business Edge profile on Twitter and Facebook fan page are little more than warmed-up RSS feeds. This is fine for their audience: it’s more about putting links to useful articles on the networks where their audience congregates.

I’d say I largely subscribe to this view, and some of our own corporate Twitter accounts are not conversational: they just point followers to useful content, eg. BRMS Updates. With practically no promotional effort, we’re getting at least 1 new follower per day. And the followers know what to expect. If we do need to engage with our audience on a more personal level, we’ll probably open up a fresh profile to handle this.

After all, is social media really that different from the traditional media that went before it? After all, our media is as diverse as we are. Some of it is informal, some of it entertaining, whereas some is a mix. All of it can enjoy a share of the limelight.

So rather than concentrate on ensuring a ‘personal voice’, think about who your audience are and what value you can pass on. By all means, think about using a vivacious personal tone rather than turgid lackluster corporate-speak, but there are times when you just need to get the information out there and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use a direct, formal approach if this will work for your audience.

News highlights

Blog takeup still low among Fortune 500
Findings from the Society for New Communications Research shows that blog take-up still low at the corporate level. Many companies are still trying to work out what are the relative merits to launching and maintaining a corporate blog.

Roundtable with social media luminaries (Marketing Nirvana)
Mario Sundar offers a video of a recent roundtable featuring some top names in social media. Some good points here if you are new to social media (aren’t we all?).

Inside social media at HP: a closer look at HP’s Community Core Team
HP has a central group that pulls together web marketing professionals from across the company to discuss initiatives and share best practices. Could this be a model for other large businesses?

What Twitter Looks Like For Twitter Employees (screenshots of the backend)
How do you monitor the most hyped microblogging platform on the planet? This is what Twitter does.

Beware: corporate blogging is no guaranteed goldmine (Unspun)
Just because you start a corporate blog doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed traffic (and the potential value that comes with all those people). There’s some nuggets of advice nestled in the gloom of this post.

A Brilliant Social Media Presentation (Kyle Lacy)
It’s amazing just how powerful can be the juxtaposition of contradictory symbols. Check out the wonderfully crafted old school design in this Slideshare presentation. You may well snag those doubters and luddites.

Corporate Blogging Pitfalls (Buildify)
Struggling drawing up corporate blogging guidelines? Think of potential pitfalls and build the list out from there.

HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics (Mashable)
Mashable picks up on how you might track social media. This often gets tricky as much of your social media efforts maybe concentrated on 3rd party networks (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and so to some degree you are at their mercy.

6 Guides for Better Business Blogging (WATBlog.com) – Web, Advertising and Technology Blog in India
Maneesh Madambath offers his pick of articles and papers on how to improve your blogging strategy.

Technorati: State of the Blogosphere 2008 (The Culture Mind)
Every year Technorati releases its State of the Blogosphere report. The Culture Mind do a great job of dissecting this and pulling out some choice findings. Such as just how savvy bloggers are and how they measure success

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Should you have a social media department? | Corporate blogging news digest

Should you ensconce all your social media buffs into one team? Geoff Livingston wrote a great post against this siloization (is that a real word?) claiming that social media can touch every part of the organization and so doesn’t deserve to be hived off in a special unit (normally within marketing or communications).

He makes the point that for social media to be effective, it needs to be integrated with the organization. It’s about two-way communication between a company and its constituents, and everyone can have a role to play.

Whilst I broadly agree with the underlying message, I see strategic advantages in consolidating social media skills within a central function.

This is particularly true when considering those parts of the organization that are most affected by emerging communications technologies. Marketing is one department: gone are the days of broadcasting messages at the target audience. These days marketing has a strong role to play in obtaining feedback from prospects and customers, and where necessary picking up external threads and championing these within the organization. The customer support team is another example: social media can help them get closer to their constituency and interact in ways previously not possible. This isn’t to say these functions should remain siloed. As an example, if marketing (through its social media monitoring) see a Tweet from a prospect asking a technical question, they may need to engage a product expert to frame a response.

Another key role for a social media team is to act as expert facilitators. Although they may not run every campaign, they can still have valuable input (for instance advising on etiquette on a network like Twitter). In many respects, this is what is happening in PR. Whether it be through blog posts, forum threads or a discussion on LinkedIn, more people within the organization are becoming communicators on behalf of the company they represent. Does that mean we don’t need PR? No, on the contrary, we need professional communicators who can guide and coach employees who are unwittingly becoming company spokespeople.

A centralized social media team can also ensure that best practice is isolated and transmitted. Whether this means letting a blogger know that their post received more visitors than any other, or finding out how one product team managed to build engaging discussions on LinkedIn, there is value in pulling this activity together. A social media manager can help motivate disparate teams and ensure good practice moves rapidly through the organization. They can also be the ones that sell the story at the executive level and build a case for more involvement in this area.

So, my vote goes strongly in favor of setting up a social media department, albeit one that is open to the whole organization and doesn’t just focus on its own projects.

News highlights

Twitter Is Not a Strategy (The Exception Magazine)
To steal the punchline: it’s a tool. You need a strategy on how you use a tool like Twitter. Simple stuff, but how often do we confuse this?

Corporate Blogging and Sled Talk with Chris Reid of Yamaha
Yamaha’s perspective on the touchy subject of using an external agency to run a corporate blog.

Social Media Marketing Industry Report (880 marketers surveyed)
A survey of almost 900 marketers on their opinions on social media and what it means for them in practice. Twitter crops up time and time again. Traffic increases for as little effort as 6 hours a week.

Twitter FAQ: RT, HT, OH Explained (Brent Ozar)
If your new to Twitter, this is a great introduction on some of the abbreviations used to keep messages under 140 characters. Other random facts like the artist who designed the Fail Whale.

Twitter and Facebook Post Huge Growth Numbers in March
Twitter grows 77% in a month; Facebook 23.4%. The adoption by mainstream media is cited as a contributing factor. Follow-up story:
Compete: Twitter surpasses New York Times in audience
When thinking about PR and who are key influencers, should you take these stats into account? Given that this community is still growing at 1202% per annum, how soon before mainstream news sites become irrelevant?

Businesses divided over the value of blogging (Business Applications Blog)
Although businesses see bloggers as an important and influential audience, 63% of tech companies do not blog, according to a study by Eurocom Worldwide and Simpson Financial and Technology PR (it’s not clear, but I think this is a European study). The time required for these initiatives is a major factor, coupled with the lack of perceivable value.

Tweetdeck blog allows you to post comments to blog and Twitter simultaneously
Is this feature set to grow? Makes sense to me.

Is Twitter Killing RSS? (Venture Chronicles)
You should really put your blog content onto Twitter. Or so the argument goes…

Why Bit.ly Will Upstage Digg
Tracking links from Twitter will become a bigger deal for online marketers. Services like bit.ly could be at the forefront of this.

What An Executive Blog Editor Needs to Know (Chris Brogan)
Chris Brogan proposes you think of business value when it comes to content creation:
‘[Blogging] can be built around solid business intentions, such as content marketing (writing posts that are intended to deliver action, or at least actionable information), thought leadership (ideal for consulting opportunities), or even media sales model (typical “write good stuff and put ads against it” thinking).’

Top 20 Ways to Share a Great Blog Post
It’s one thing writing great content, but you also need to get out there and peddle it (although funny that this article comes from Mashable: one of the few blogs with such massive natural readership it has little peddling to worry about).

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CoTweet: Twitter tool for businesses | Corporate blogging news digest

If you’re using Twitter for business purposes you’ve probably already realized some of the shortcomings of most Twitter tools:

  • Managing multiple accounts can be tricky
  • Having multiple authors for a single channel can cause confusion and duplication
  • Dealing with actionable Tweets
  • Creating groups and categories for incoming Tweets

Whilst there are tools that let you perform some of these functions (Tweetdeck and Twhirl spring to mind), few cover all these features. Until now, that is.

CoTweet is a powerful corporate Twittering tool used by the likes of BestBuy, JetBlue and Ford, that helps manage and process your Tweets. I’m afraid it’s still in private beta (I’m afraid I’m only speaking from what I’ve read: I haven’t tried it out yet).

News highlights

Four business uses for Twitter | 26 Mar 2009 | ComputerWeekly.com
Gartner’s classification on micro-blogging uses: marketing tool, building reputations, sharing experience, information gathering.

How has PR changed over the last 10 years? Social Media PR Blog takes a stab at a top ten list
The way PR professionals conduct their business has changed drastically over the last 10 years. Video, corporate blogs and SEO were all practically non-existent at the end of the last century.

The state of digital marketing in Asia (Market-interactive.com)
“Despite the hype on mobile and social media, marketers in Asia will focus on corporate websites, email campaigns , search engine optimization and behavioural targeting as the key digital marketing strategies in the coming year, according to results from an annual digital survey.”
Is this particular to Asia or applicable to other markets too?

Free Social Media Monitoring Tools (Take Me To Your Leader)
A great list of the top tools for measuring social networks: from blogs to forums to Twitter.

Blogging rediscovered (The Korea Herald)
An interesting article covering the history and current state of blogging in Korea. Interesting cultural differences, such as the prominent position of meta-blog services that “interconnect individual blog sites in different portal services, leading to greater traffic and Web exposure”

8 Excellent Tools to Extract Insights from Twitter Streams (Social Media Today)
If you need to measure your influence on Twitter, or know how many times one of your links has been clicked on, check out these tools.

Blogging and Reputation Tracking (Podcasting News)
Coverage of SXSWi experts talk about corporate blogging: monitoring conversations, keeping content fresh and the relative merits of having a multi-author blog.

The Future of Twitter: Social CRM and brand monitoring (Jeremiah Owyang)
Can Twitter make money by helping brands decipher the conversations taking place in the Twitter space? This post generated a lot of interest and debate.

The semantic web, and what it means for marketers (ReadWriteWeb)
Corporate blogger John Cass goes into detail on what Web3.0 will mean for us: “the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines.” Is this a further step towards the semantic web?

Corporate Blogs Spring Up, But Effectiveness Questions Remain (CNN)
“He sees it as an excellent means of direct communication with both interested media who tap into the blog and many non-journos who get the information directly from him without the filter of established news outlets,” Dee Allen, spokesperson for GM talking about star FastLane blogger Bob Lutz

Attracting more authors for your corporate blogs (Leading Virtually)
Create a culture that supports blogging, reward blogging efforts and show success are just some of the tips in this timely article. For companies that have blogs, maintaining them is the big issue.

Less than 5% of blogs are a result of direct corporate social strategy (Moneyweb)
There’s some great stats here on the size of the blogosphere and the market penetration.

Three secrets to simplicity (Boagworld)
Bottom line: think about what you can take away from your design, rather than always looking for new things to add.

CoverItLive: live blogging platform
I’m still trying to work out where the real value-add is in this, but there’s definitely a lot of features rolled into this tool.

Ustream: live video blogging as featured on @boagworld
If you are looking to make your blog more interactive, check out UStream – a great service for getting out a live version and recording of your show.

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Write consistently good blog posts | Corporate blogging news digest

David Caolo offers some great tips as much on writing as on blogging. Don’t over-edit in the early stages, be prepared for inspiration from anywhere and setup a writing den, are gems in this list.
Tips for consistently good blog posts

News highlights

Twitter will remain online free for all (Which? News)
It looks like there will not be a paid ‘pro’ version of Twitter. So how exactly will it generate revenue? Ads on twitter.com could force people onto 3rd party clients. Ads in Twitter feeds could force people off the network, full stop.

Crowdsourcing journalism: but can corporations play a part? (Recovering Journalist)
This list focusses on grassroots use of social networks to go beyond what was previously available through traditional media channels. Would we ever get to a stage where corporations could create similar environments (say, to challenge existing industry analysts)?

Twitter Is What You Make It (NYTimes.com)
A great post if you are new to the medium. Number one rule of Twitter: there are no rules. As Ewan Williams (the creator of the popular microblogging platform) points out, you really can use the service for anything.

Why Do Corporate Blogs Usually Fail? (HighTalk)
There’s a common thread through this post: stop talking about yourself but comment on your customers/industries: “To be successful corporate blogs need stop focusing inward and start to look outward.” I’d argue this isn’t necessarily true for technical blogs. For instance, experts that normally publish academic papers could well find an audience in the blogosphere. Still the core point is a good one: remember a blog is as much Media as Marketing.

What Corporate Blogging Isn’t (Comm Unplugged)
We see countless blogging tips but here are some major pitfalls to take into account. Don’t just copy, don’t just talk and make sure there is some light moderation. All good tips, although some of these are still contentious (eg. whether some form of ghost-writing can be legitimate).

Social Media Consultant or Snake Oil Salesman?(WebWorkerDaily)
Looking for a social media expert? Here are some pointers. Particularly interesting that there is a strong focus on blogging and Twitter: from the corporate perspective, these initiatives are currently hogging the limelight. Will they remain popular as time goes on?

Corporate Blogging Emerging in Pakistan
Last week we heard about the growth of blogging in Africa. This week a side we don’t normally hear about Pakistan: 1.9 million blog readers, and growing. Main point here: bear in mind this is a global phenomenon.

Your blog on the newsstand?
Aaron Kim on a move to present blogs on a different medium – namely paper. There are a number of projects that are taking the online world offline.

How soon do search results come to a new blog?
Douglas Karr of Compendium Blogware claims that according to their stats, it takes around 60 blog posts to start seeing a good level of traffic come through to your blog. So, don’t be discouraged in the early days of your corporate blog. Keep working on your craft and eventually the rewards will come.

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An academic book list | Corporate blogging news digest

Cornelius Puschman is undertaking some interesting research into corporate blogging and computer-mediated communication. He’s published his formidable bibliography. Great if you’re looking for academic literature around corporate communications… now where’s that extra time I put aside for reading?
Read more

News highlights

Why Should I Create a Business Blog? | Chief Ingredient, Inc.
A nice concise round-up of the key features and benefits of corporate blogging. Kind of techie but does offer benefits like ‘easy social networking’.

Would You Trust This Blog? – CopyWrite
CopyWrite goes to town on the issue of blogs and corporate trust.

Fibre optic cable to pave way for corporate blogging – Business Daily Africa
“Borrowing from the West, far-sighted private sector CEOs and government leaders are gradually turning to corporate blogs to connect with their constituencies, further strengthening an emerging culture of openness.” the corporate blogging revolution is making strides into the developing world.

Company Blogs: Most Valued Social Media Tool | WebProNews
When considering different social media tools, blogging generates most leads. 31% of respondents (by far the highest percentage) said they find corporate blogs critical to their business.

Setting Strategy, Goals and Targets for your Corporate Blog
Goals for your blog: mission, vision and objectives. Do we sometimes forget about these?

Fanboy.com ” Blog Archive ” Social Media “Experts” are the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped)
A contrary opinion on those providing info and building networks on Twitter. The service is so open it really can be used for anything. I’m sure this debate is going to keep on running.

TwtQpon Helps Retailers Push Coupons Across Twitter
This service helped Dell make a $1 million over the holiday season. I’m sure we’ll see more in this line of innovation: companies using Twitter to communicate direct marketing messages. Obviously measurement of the results of this approach is also key.

Twitturly – cagedether’s Twitter Linking History
See which sites you’ve linked to and how viral these are ie. total tweets for each link.

181 Free Twitter Buttons, Badges, Widget and Counters to Help You Find Followers
If you link a corporate blog to Twitter, why not let your users know? This is a great collection of some of the best buttons and badges out there. This is my fave.

Twitter improves service and base; next steps, revenue
SFGate in San Francisco covers the rise of Twitter as a serious communications tool and the moves over the next few months to turn it into a profitable enterprise.

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Earning back trust | Corporate blogging news digest

This week, there continues a flurry of posts offering advice in the wake of Forrester’s report on the lack of trust in corporate blogging. The rub here is how to maintain transparency and fair-mindedness on a blog that on one level is a corporate communications tool.

Meanwhile, a web communications researcher within Daimler, the German car maker, has been looking at whether blogs follow the Gartner Hype Cycle. Early indications suggest a correlation. Is this what you see on your corporate blogs?

News highlights

IBM Social Computing Guidelines
IBM takes Web 2.0 transparency seriously: they even publish the social media guidelines all employees of IBM are asked to adhere to. A great template if you manage social media or corporate blogs

Magpie – advertising on Twitter feeds. Is this a good thing?
Would you let ads be ‘occasionally’ inserted into your feed? Seems to me like this conflicts with Twitter etiquette, but monetization models around Twitter are only going to increase.

Top 25 Ways to Tell if Your Social Media Expert Is a Carpetbagger
Social media experts are springing up everywhere, but how can you weed out the fakes? Here are some pointers, although I’m not convinced on all of these, especially the points around blogging. Eg. personal blog posting frequency.

Corporate Blogging is not the same as Blogging
Short post that raises one important question: ‘Do you blog to inform or to express [yourself]’? My question: can you do both?

Is a CEO blog is right for your company?
Business Blog Advice discusses the thorny subject of whether or not it makes sense to let your CEO pen a blog.

Blogging obstacles: views from a seasoned IBM blogger
If you feel the blogging devil on your back, or suffer from blog writer’s block, Aaron Kim has a few words of advice for you. Don’t treat a blog post like a magazine article, but rather like reading and writing emails. Dip in and dip out, but just keep on posting.

Blogging strategy – pick experts and use social media for distribution
Pivotal Branding offer a few words of advice on maintaining a corporate blog. “If you have a blog and its not generating the interest you are expecting, try tweaking your approach. If you can make your content more personal and accountable, you could turn that extra web page into a community of loyal customers.”

Corporate blogging follows Gartner Hype Cycle: Daimler research
According to a PhD student researcher, the Daimler blogs follow the Gartner Hype Cycle when measured against Technorati authority. It would be good to see some more research around this before jumping to any conclusions.

Top Five Rules for Creating a Successful Video Blog for Business: MarketingProfs
As more and more companies are producing multimedia, a blog can be a great outlet for some of this content, particularly video. Brent Altomare of video production firm Groovy Like a Movie offers his top tips for producing content. Remember to be yourself!

How Obama Will Use Web Technology
There’s a lot we can learn in the corporate world from the use of social media in Obama’s presidential campaign. This looks set to continue into the presidency, including the ‘fireside’ chats on YouTube.

Writing tips from writing coach Joanna Young
Looking to perfect your P’s and Q’s? Keep up with Joanna Young’s tips on bold writing. (I’m sure she’d have a thing or two to say about my mushy prose).

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Social networking budgets on the increase | Corporate blogging news digest

This week I want to highlight a report from eMarketer that reports small businesses intending to spend 25% more on social networking in 2009 than they did in 2008.

Perhaps more of this segment’s audience now uses these tools (another report this week states 35% of adults are members of a social network). Perhaps small businesses now understand more about this area. Either way, a glimmer of hope in the currently gloomy economic environment.

News highlights

HP’s Tac Anderson talks about social media tactics including corporate blogging
Some good tips from HPs social media evangelist, such as think about your target audience and build content appropriately.
“If your customers are CXO’s (CEO, CIO, CFO, CMO) then the reason you have a blog is because the two most influential factors to a CXO’s decision making process are the Two G’s: Google and Gartner. Google is speaking to the importance of all search and Gartner is speaking to the importance that analysts play. Blogs are great for reaching both. There’s no lower bang for your buck tactic to reach the two G’s than having a high quality blog.”

Google uses corporate blogs to announce cutbacks
The medium is the messsage here, rather than the story. Google has for some time been using its blogs to release information about the company that would normally have come from a press release. Will more companies start doing following suit?

Tools for monitoring blogs and other sites: Social Media Explorer
SEO Toolbar for Firefox gives you a good indication of how a blog (or any website) is ranked by Google in particular and the web in general. Go ahead, check yourself out.

Most influential advertising, marketing and media blogs – Advertising Age
The Power 150 list of the top blogs. You’ll find some choice reading on these sites. Trend data on the blogs also available here.

Adult participation in social networks now at 35 percent
This number has raised more than 300% over the last 3 years, according to research by Pew Research.

Corporate blogging: think about presentation as well as content
Design being such a subjective thing, I’m not sure I agree with all the changes recommended in this blog makeover, however there are some good points such as including a photo to make the blog more personable and organizing posts by categories.

HP study shows humans will pursue status over wealth
A report by social computing scientists at HP labs looks into what degree we will go to to obtain social status. Their findings? We will go as far as to give up monetary rewards, if we think we can gain status. Is this what powers participation in social networks?

GSK and Centocor Abandon Their Pioneering Corporate Drug Blogs
Citing the fact that these were personality-led blogs where the personalities concerned left the company, GSK has stopped updating its AlliConnect blog and the Johnson & Johnson-owned Centocor has let its CNTO411 blog wane. Both companies continue blogging in other parts of the organization.

Tips on blogging content from Your PR Guy
Focus on the stories that are most useful to your client base: success stories, problem solution stories and testimonials. These tips are aimed primarily at small businesses but should be considered by any corporate bloggers.

Social networking budgets on the increase according to eMarketer
Small businesses are expecting to spend more on social networking than on any other form of digital marketing over the coming year. Significantly, most of this group does not blog and apparently isn’t about to start.

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