While some research studies may suggest that outside influence of social media can be both a boon and a great threat to your business, I suggest that the greatest threat to your company’s brand and business is your own apathy.
Astonishingly, 60% of businesses have blogs, but 65% haven’t updated theirs in a year or more (Source: Blogging.org).
The worst damage you can do to your company brand is to give up on social media. Nothing screams, “I don’t care” louder than an abandoned Twitter feed, Facebook page, and loudest of all, an abandoned blog. Your blog is the rawest form of your company voice and most often it’s accessible through your company’s home page.
If you abandon your blog, you will be prejudged
On Facebook and Twitter I asked followers if they prejudged a company if their blog wasn’t updated in at least a year. The overwhelming response was a clear and definite, “Yes.”
Richele Benway remarked, “I assume they’re closed”
Tom Humbarger said, “I assume they don’t get it…and don’t care.”
Ariella Brown (@AriellaBrown) concurs with Humbarger, “Yes, it doesn’t look good. It shows that either they are not paying attention or they generally fail to follow through.”
It’s hard not to judge a person or company if they abandon their blog. How can you expect that person or business to care about you if they obviously can’t take care of themselves?
No one wonders why you’re not blogging
While abandoning social media can be damaging to your brand, fretting about not engaging in social media is not going to help either. Explaining why you’re not blogging is equivalent to the “Under Construction” animated GIFs we used to see on websites in the late 90s. It’s unnecessary.
I’m amazed how self centered some people are that they think their audience is actually worried why they stop blogging. It’s such a prevalent feeling that hundreds of thousands of bloggers feel they need to explain themselves and ask for forgiveness for their non-blogging behavior. In fact, there are more than 670,000 search results for the phrase “Why I haven’t been blogging,” most of which are blog posts with that very title.
Same is true for Twitter as there are close to a half million results for the phrases, “Why I haven’t been tweeting” and “Why I haven’t been on Twitter.” It’s rather egotistical to think that people are truly thinking at any time why you haven’t been blogging or tweeting. No one has ever thought that. No one…ever.
So people care, but they don’t care?
It’s a situation a timing. People are not consistently caring about what you’re doing on a day to day basis. It’s impossible for us to know who is participating regularly in social media and who is not. Nor should it actually be a concern for us.
We are concerned when we all of a sudden take an interest in you and your business. The time we show interest is when we go to your business site and blog and try to make an assessment of you. We look at what you’re presenting about yourself, and if you’ve chosen to blog which we greatly appreciate, we look to see if it’s current. If it’s not current, we realize you don’t care about yourself. Therefore we don’t care about you.
What if you can’t keep your blog going?
You very well may have a legitimate reason for not keeping your blog going. But abandoning it with no explanation is not an option.
That’s the simplest solution to an abandoned blog. “To just let it wither and die opens up judgment,” said Melançon.
I’m an enormous proponent of blogging for your business. In fact, I think it’s the first and most necessary form of communications that you should do. Yet, as with any part of business, it’s hard to keep every element you want going on a consistent basis.
“We talk to clients about the commitment of doing a blog and make suggestions about how to manage it,” said Rob Adler (@robadler), Cofounder of Vantage Communications. “But if they don’t have the bandwidth to maintain it regularly, we tell them to focus on contributing to other people’s blogs.”
How do you suss out a company?
What cues can a company give off that will embolden your trust in them? If not a well kept blog, what else? Does an ongoing engagement in other areas of social media help? What if they have a poor website, but a spectacular blog? What if it’s a spectacular website, but a poor blog? What works, what doesn’t work for you?
Disclosure: Tripwire is a client of Spark Media Solutions.