The Many Challenges of Corporate Blogging

We should try to be unbiased when it comes to social media, point out the good and the bad, this is one post in my ‘challenges‘ category, read the others, it’s important.

With there being so many social media zealots out there, It’s important to ground things in reality. When it comes to corporate resources, time, money, and effort to try new activities takes risk.

First, it’s important to note that I do believe that blogs are indeed the right tool, but only for the right objective. Secondly, I’ve gone through this process within corporate, and I know the common mistakes. Lastly, it’s obvious I believe in the power of blogs.

So, before you get into blogging with your corporation or client, do know the challenges, this way, you’ll be able to overcome them with plans, resources, and preparation.

Let’s get into it…

The Many Challenges of Blogs

Most don’t receive a lot of traffic: Truth is, from one day to the next, there aren’t massive increases in eyeballs to the web, also, there are only so many hours in the day. The same applies to blogs, while there are millions out there, only a few rise to the top of their marketplace and really stand out.

May require a lot of time: Take it from me, blogging’s biggest cost isn’t money, it’s time. When this comes to executives, the cost per hour radically increases from a support technician or a line marketing manager. For a special case, read about the challenges of CEO blogs. Blogging is costly, I easily spend 1-2 hours every morning managing this blog.

Being conversational is unnatural: Traditional marketing looks a lot more like carpet bombing than conversations at a coffee shop, and despite good intentions, corp comm dictates the voice and spirit of blogs created by employees.

Often, no ending date: Blogs aren’t marketing campaigns, there is no ending flight. Bad blogs may whimper along for months, great ones will also continue on, at what point does one stop?

As employee bloggers become popular, brands get concerned: This happened to Scoble and others, as bloggers became more popular as individuals rather than being behind the collective wall, they develop a platform to move on. This happened to me as well, and I know it’s happening to others, so why would a brand invest in individuals that aren’t execs?

Legal has hangups: Two way dialog that allows objective and negative content is scary for legal. Furthermore, how do we react to colleagues that may look like they are making promises on behalf of the company?

Our employees don’t represent our brand: I’ve actually been on a call with a client where they indicated the mental capacity of some of their employees (laborious retail jobs right out of college) really weren’t going to make great bloggers, and they were concerned with the activity they had on MySpace and Facebook. The same applies to blogs, some employees may cast the brand in the wrong light

Hard to measure success: Marketers measure campaign success by drops at the end of the funnel: visits and registrations. The problem with blogs is that social software success could take the form of comments, trackbacks, and qualitative intangibles. With management looking for those raw numbers, how does one succeed?

You tell me: Leave a comment below with your blogging challenge, primarily in the context of a corporation

For each of these challenges, I do know how I would respond to them, but it’s really up to you to figure out how you’re going to hurdle over these barriers. Take for example what Dell’s Bob Pearson is doing to deal with the changing world of online communication.