"Social media must be done well and consistently, and even then it may not work," warns Indianapolis Business Journal columnist Tim Altom, even as he acknowledges that "much of the Web market now arrives from Google searches." The smart money, he explains, is going to search engine optimization to get companies listed as far up the Google ranking as possible.
It doesn’t appear Altom’s trying to turn back the clock. He’s actually saying something I like to emphasize about blogging – it’s just one piece of the social media spectrum, not the be-all and end-all of business marketing. How successful any one marketing tactic is depends on the nature of the business and its relationship with its customers.
Morning Coach, J.B. Gossinger’s website, has become a part of my morning routine. A Glossinger Word of the Day a couple of weeks ago comes to mind when thinking about blogs as a marketing tool for business. That word, "bardolater", was used by President Obama at the reopening of the Ford Theater in April. Obama referred to Abraham Lincoln as a lifelong bardolater, meaning Lincoln had been an admirer of "The Bard" (alluding to Shakespeare).
Obama was paying Lincoln a compliment, but the word "bardolater" was actually coined by George Bernard Shaw as a derogatory term. Shaw referred to Shakespeare’s adoring fans as "foolish bardolaters" and "bardolatrous ignoramuses".
There’s a message here that applies to business blogs and to social media in general. As Chris Baggott, CEO of Compendium Blogware puts it, "Blogging is a fantastic and legitimate marketing tool." But blogs are only one tactic in a business’ overall marketing strategy, not some sort of magic that singlehandedly overcomes all challenges and all challengers.
As a blogger for business, I occupy just one seat at the "table". The other "seats" are taken up by the web designer, the marketing consultant, business manager, and sometimes an employee or two. As Velma says in the musical Chicago, "I simply cannot do it alone!"
Real bloggers write blog posts, but they aren’t bardolaters of blogs. Real bloggers are firm believers in the power of their posts to accomplish "pull marketing" and "win search". But real bloggers aren’t idolaters of any one marketing tactic, not even of blogs.
Real bloggers – just keep blogging!