Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Blogs as Marketing Tools Best Suited for Small Businesses
Priya Ganapati writes in Inc.com that business blogs are growing as a business marketing tool, in particular among small businesses.

I'm quoted in the article (along with blogging buddy Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing) as pointing out that blogs are tailor made for small businesses.

I believe that the blog as an external marketing vehicle is well suited for smaller businesses, more so than for large corporations.

Certainly we see a few corporations where large numbers of employees are blogging. However, it takes a special corporation to have enough trust in its employees to let them blog publicly. Robert Scoble and the minions at Microsoft come to mind. Most corporations simply aren't as open as Microsoft.

And what about CEOs and other executive management? Again, I don't think so.

The idea of a C-level executive (CEO, CFO, etc.) of a Fortune 500 company speaking directly to the public in his or her own voice through a blog may sound attractive. In practice it is devilishly hard to pull off.

Large corporations have too many constituencies they have to worry about offending. The highest level executives are in a virtual straight-jacket when it comes to what they can say publicly. Legal concerns limit their public statements -- in the United States think SEC regulations, for instance.

Not to mention that it takes commitment to sustain a blog for more than a few months. Blogging takes time. Corporate executives sometimes have two or three administrative assistants to manage their schedules. How will they find enough "free time" to blog consistently?

More importantly, if you are a shareholder, do you really want to pay your executive managers millions of dollars annually to blog? Instead of focusing on crucial issues such as profitability and growth? As a shareholder, I know my answer.

Small businesses, on the other hand, have more freedom to speak directly to their audience. Their target markets are usually narrower. They don't have millions of shareholders. Therefore, they can speak plainly with less risk of offending someone. Nor do small businesses have to worry about coming up on the receiving end of an Elliott Spitzer subpoena.

Small business owners may not have more time than Fortune 500 CEOs, but they usually need the marketing push from a blog enough that they will make the time. And when they do, the return on investment to their small business is much greater than the return to, say, General Motors when the Vice Chairman starts blogging. Just look at the recent GM earnings release -- they've got bigger problems than a public blog can solve.

Does this mean that blogs are not important to large corporations? No! Internal (non-public) blogs certainly have an important place in the large corporation. And I believe non-executive employees can blog effectively on their operational slices of the world. But that means a loss of control. How many corporations will feel comfortable about large numbers of their employees blogging publicly is the issue.

When it comes to public-facing blogs -- for marketing purposes -- large corporations are better off being talked about positively in third-party blogs than by having their own blogs. The smart corporations monitor other blogs closely. They learn from and respond to what is being said.

With smaller businesses, it's the other way around. The likelihood of being talked about in other blogs is much lower. Small businesses get greater marketing leverage from starting and promoting their own blogs.
More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.