3 Reasons Why The Inc. 500 Are Wrong To Lose Favour With Business Blogging

As a specialist digital agency focusing on delivering business blogging services to organizations of all sizes, we feel it appropriate to give our views on blogging regularly, whether that’s providing ‘How To’ guides drawing on our knowledge and experience or offering our insight into related news stories, something we’re doing here.

A recent study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has discovered that there has been a decrease in the number of Inc. 500 companies – the 500 fastest growing, privately owned companies in America – utilizing business blogs for the first time since 2007, opting for a greater level of activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Somewhat of a startling fact upon first hearing it, there has been a lot of discussion around this decline, with views on both sides of the fence.

While we understand that each individual organization has their own requirements – which we respect explicitly – we truly believe that the decline in the number of 500 Inc. companies utilizing a business blog is wrong, for three main reasons.

Before we start, however, we want to touch upon one point that we haven’t seen any focus on – there were only 33 less Inc. 500 companies using a business blog than the previous year.

Having an active presence on numerous social media platforms is fantastic and you’d be hard pushed to find a large number of people who would say that having a presence and following on Twitter and Facebook, for instance, would be detrimental to your business.

However, while the likes of Twitter and Facebook are social platforms and the basic idea is to interact with your followers – all of whom are, in theory, potential customers – how are you converting followers to customers?

This is fantastic if you’re replying to a customer who has said they enjoyed your product or service, but what about when you’re trying to attract new customers to your website?

Posting something such as ‘Find Out More About Us’ followed by a link to your website isn’t likely to cut it, yet you’re going to struggle to summarise exactly what you do, on a regular basis, in just 140 characters.

And it’s here where the link between business blogging and social media interaction is as prominent as ever, as they both integrate perfectly with each other.

A business blog gives organizations the opportunity to develop a platform whereby they can publish informational, educational, product, service, organization and / or industry related pieces.

Publicise these blogs posts on your social networks and you can instantly start to develop a routine whereby you’re combining the manual, social interaction with your followers with the automatic publishing of your regular blog posts, giving you the ideal ’80 / 20′ ratio – 80% general interaction, 20% business development.

2.  Quality content will always be of benefit

One of the most prominent rules for any organization operating online is that quality content will always be of benefit to an organization.

Although there’s no doubt a short message on a social network can be classed as quality content, the simple premise behind these networks – instant interactivity – means that quality content can soon be lost or forgotten once its initial appeal has passed.

By developing and maintaining a business blog, quality content can not only be created at any length required, but it is stored permanently, meaning it will be of benefit from the moment it’s published for years to come.

3.  Research shows business blogging is going to be big

What surprised us most about the decrease in blogging activity from the Inc. 500 is that it goes against numerous other pieces of research into blogging.

Take a 2011 study into social media by Richmond Events / UK Business Panel as an example.

The research showed that organizations found blogs to be a more effective social resource over Twitter and Facebook and from a number of statements regarding usage and spending, more organizations agreed that they were to increase their social resource spending in the future over any other statement.

We would never argue that the use of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook should be discontinued for any organization, as we truly believe they can be particularly beneficial.

However, their benefits are very often greater, available quicker and longer-lasting if they are integrated with another, information-based resource – and a business blog provides the perfect platform for this.

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