As a consultant, one of the biggest areas of resistance encountered among entrepreneurs I meet occurs when I advise them that they will have to set up a blog, get more involved, and generally ensure a more consistent presence on social networks. Baby Boomers — who still are mostly decision-makers at most organizations, honestly — barely see any use to blogging. What’s worse is when they don’t even want to listen to discussions about it. Their arguments are usually around these topics:
- It’s not my responsibility as a chief executive or senior leader
- I don’t have time for this, because if I do this, it will hurt true productivity
For most, they assign it out to their assistants, someone in marketing, a freelancer, or an intern.
But why does blogging matter to leaders and entrepreneurs?
In so doing, they deprive themselves of an effective platform to reach their customers and communicate with their staff. More than ever, corporate blogs are proving essential tools to ensure complete and successful web presence — as well as a strong showing on social media. They can enable leaders to stand out and build their reputation by asserting their leadership in their industry.
Being involved in the strategy and the content also allows you to have a bigger role with public relations, which is tremendously important to most senior execs I’ve worked with.
Last year, I was honored to participate in a study for the MBA program at Middlesex University Business School in Toronto. The study focused on the impact of new media on the agenda of the emerging oil industry in Quebec — and the results showed that the Quebec-based oil companies looking to exploit shale gas had lost control of the public opinion because they had remained virtually absent from social networks throughout the debate.
Consumers today in virtually every industry expect to get answers from those responsible. They are no longer willing to use third party. They are now demanding that their voice has a direct impact — and in real time.
Organizations that neglect corporate blogs, then, are literally condemned to oblivion.
The Trust Barometer 2016 from Edelman also revealed that companies regain credibility among the population when they participate in the life of their community — and when CEOs ensure a constant presence on the social networks and blogs. Your credibility can drastically increase in the eyes of your potential customers — especially younger customers, who someday will be your primary customers — and that’s crucial because trust and reputation drive referrals, and referrals drive many businesses.
The concern, of course, is that many senior executives focus extensively on short-term financial results — which is often how they’re judged — and don’t focus nearly enough on longer-term plays like blogging and building relationships with potential customers, as well as explaining the value-add of the organization.Organizations that neglect corporate blogs, then, are literally condemned to oblivion. Click To Tweet
Startup founders and blogging
We’ve mostly been talking about mid-size to larger organizations so far. Let’s shift for a second to discussing entrepreneurs and startups.
In this case — the entrepreneurial class — blogs are the basis of their online reputation. This is where they define their leadership and their market position. Create and disseminate relevant, interesting, and original content — and you know what? You’ll become viewed as a leader in your industry. (And yes, unfortunately, it will take more than 1 or 2 quarters.)
Consider this too: when things go totally awry (which happens in business sometimes, sadly), a blog can be a place to post about values, views, changed course, etc. This can help you ‘get out in front’ of a problem — and also regain the trust of your consumers, which is massive for your business and its bottom line.
For entrepreneurs, it is therefore essential to convey the vision and company — and get staff engagement in the dissemination and implementation of image value brand on social networks. (That’s commonly called ’employee advocacy.’) Corporate blogs are the best channel to achieve this.
What do you think? Do you believe that leaders must now get involved in creating and writing blogs?