Somebody had to say it.
There was another "Blogging is dead" news item that crept out of USA Today today titled, More companies quit blogging, go with Facebook instead. Here's what the article is saying: "A survey released earlier this year by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says the percentage of companies that maintain blogs fell to 37% in 2011 from 50% in 2010, based on its survey of 500 fast-growing companies listed by Inc. magazine. Only 23% of Fortune 500 companies maintained a blog in 2011, flat from a year ago after rising for several years.
The trend in business is consistent with the broader loss of interest in blogging among all consumers. In late 2010, the Pew Research Center said blogging among adults ages 18 to 33 fell 2 percentage points in 2010 from 2008."
This isn't about what's easy, it's about traffic and laziness.
We need to better define the word "easy." People think that Blogging takes a lot of time and just blasting out a tweet on Twitter or updating a Facebook page is much easier. It's not easier, it's just takes a little less time to create the content. Is that the benchmark we're going after as a marketing industry? How quickly we can produce content? You will not see me arguing that pinning something to Pinterest is way quicker than tweeting, which is way quicker than writing a Blog post or shooting a video for YouTube, but is it really all about the speed (and from the speed we get volume) that matters? Be honest. If I pulled you aside, is the marketing you're doing for a business about how fast you can put a message into the market or the quality of the message? It is about how many people see and connect with that message or who connects to the message?
New media. Old mistakes.
That's the four word summation of the USA Today article. With all of the tremendous opportunities we now have available to us - as brands - to connect with consumers in a world where we are all publishers - in text, images, audio and video. You can, without question, have an idea and share it with the world, and all we're really doing is rallying around the latest and greatest shiny, bright objects in the hopes that once the masses are there, we can blast them with an inane amount of inane messaging as quickly as possible (and because it's easy, it's better).
Here's a truism: It's not about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or your blog...
It's about being relevant. As someone who follows a lot of brands in the many channels that they can now play, it's safe for me to say that brands that sucked at blogging are sucking at Twitter and Facebook too. Sorry, but it's true. Just because it's easier and quicker to post, it doesn't make the brand any more relevant or interesting. What these brands are actually doing is fooling themselves and creating a very false sense of brand security.
Get over the channel. Get into the story.
Yes, it's obvious, Facebook and Twitter lets a brand be more agile, but if you have nothing to be agile about, it's all for nothing. Too many brands are chasing likes, follows, +1 and retweets as if they are an elusive customer acquisition, when what we're really talking about is an instant attention grabber... and not much more. Is Twitter really easier than Blogging? Here's the test: start a brand new Twitter account and start trying to get people to follow you, retweet you and connect with you. How's that working out for you? You see, it's not really about the channel at all: it's a mindset that whatever it is you're going to be doing in the social spaces will be creative, innovative and help to tell your brand story in a new and interesting way (that actually fits the channel and is accepted by your audience).
If you think that any of this is fast, easy or free... you've got another thing coming.