Drilltip: Blogs vs. Social Publishing Platforms
Earlier this year, Bloggers decried a study by the University of Massachusetts pointing to the decline of corporate blogging across companies included in Inc. 500. Though we here at Brandware have certainly seen a shift in the way brands blog, the more interesting change has occurred in why brands blog.
If anything, blogging is becoming more important than ever for many brands, but it is no longer the kind of executive-level or thought leadership function that it once was. Instead, corporate blogs are evolving into what we call Social Publishing Platforms (SPPs).
These new platforms share the same basic elements of a blog including RSS feeds and reader comments. However, there are a few important differences brands need to understand in order to determine whether a shift from a blog to an SPP is right for them:
- SPPs Add Operational Efficiency to a Brand’s Social Media Presence – One of the key drivers cited in the decline of corporate blogging was the time commitment it required. Marketers cited the need to maximize their return on time invested as a rationale for shifting to newer, easier-to-use social platforms. Instead of creating and adapting content for each platform, brands can create and publish content on their SPP and then promote links to that content on their other platforms.
- SPPs Give Brands Flexibility with Content – Some social media platforms limit the ways in which brands can interact with their audiences. Key examples of these limitations are Twitter’s 140 character limit and Facebook’s sometimes stringent promotional rules. SPPs are hosted and operated by the brand. This gives owners unlimited flexibility in what and how they present content. It also allows brands to promote that content on platforms like Twitter and Facebook while still respecting platform constraints and content guidelines.
- SPPs Work Across Devices – The latest trend in websites is known as responsive design. Responsive design simply means that the web site re-configures itself based on the size and format of the screen it’s displayed on. With social media now the #1 activity conducted on mobile devices, SPPs with responsive design helps brands deliver content in a way that is naturally conducive to the way users like to consume it.
Ultimately, the best way to determine if an SPP will work for your brand is to weigh your content needs vs. your specific business goals in social media. It’s also important to note that SPPs aren’t a silver bullet. However, in many cases they do solve some key problems for brands in social media by simultaneously helping a brand expand and simplify its online footprint.