Design Your Website

Business Blogs Work — but Should Be Watched

Article Rating: 3 / 5 Votes: 10

Category: Design Your Website , Using Website Add-ons

Business web logs — blogs — are an effective and economical way to put a personal face on your web marketing efforts, and can be a lively forum for discussion. Business web logs are so easy to use and economical, your competitors, not to mention former and disgruntled employees or customers, might be using blogs to make inaccurate and possibly damaging statements about your business.

Its a good idea, therefore, not just to add a business web log to your web marketing efforts and site promotion campaigns, but also to keep a constant eye out for comments.

Fortunately, that's easy to do.

  • Watch Your Own Blog First: Most blogs offer a place for readers to make comments. This feature can make a business blog a very effective spot to discuss new products, services, promotions and other special topics. But it can also be a place where negative and unwanted comments are posted. Most blog programs offer you tools for removing unwanted or inappropriate comments, but you will want to think carefully about doing so. Legitimate concerns and, yes, complaints posted on your blog should be answered publicly and promptly, by you. In recent months several large companies have faced exactly this situation, and have handled it through blog postings of their own.
  • Watch Your Own Bloggers: If employees or family members have access to posting blog entries, keep an eye on what they say about your business — and about you. Even small indiscretions or revelations of confidential materials or plans can have negative impact on your business. Establish clear rules about what can and cannot be said on your business web site blog and enforce those rules.
  • Watch Other Blogs: While there are now tens of millions of blogs — known as the blogosphere — on every conceivable topic, there are also easy ways to monitor subjects — like your business. Specialized search engines such as Technorati.com can quickly search through millions of blogs for specific topics such as the name of your business, your own name, and so on. If you are aware of, for example, a disgruntled former employee, search for that employee's name. Not a bad idea, also, to search the blogosphere for the names of your competitors, vendors and so on, using search engine keywords that will give you a sense of what is being blogged — good, bad and indifferent — about your business specialty.
  • Watch What You Say: Just as you would respond to comments made about your business, web marketing or site promotion efforts, your competitors will respond to anything you might say. The best advice is to restrict your own comments to your own blog, unless a posting demands that you make a statement, in which case, as noted, you should do so in reasonable tones, promptly, responding with the facts — not with anger or defensiveness. (Exceptionally negative or inaccurate comments or postings may be actionable: in such cases, consult your attorney before responding.)

Even if you never encounter a negative posting, keeping an eye out will give you a sense of what people are talking about in terms of your industry, product or profession, and may even give you some good ideas for future web marketing and site promotion blog entries and campaigns.