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Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Blogs are now mainstream media."

In case you weren't aware "Blogs are now mainstream media."

The quote appears in eMarketer's Blogging Has Come a Long Way, Baby from 4/22/2009 and comes from the CEO of Technorati. I absolutely subscribe to it.

My reasons are practical:
+ markets are conversations
+ conversations will take place
+ blogs facilitate conversation.

We all have a choice. We can ignore the conversations taking place or we can learn from and participate in them. In my mind, participating is a no-brainer - especially if the conversations relate to topics we have an interest in. Otherwise, how do we learn from the discussion let alone shape it?

What I love about blogs is that they are self-publishing platforms. That means they represent an opportunity for individuals and marketers to generate content or information that contributes to conversation. [In case it isn't obvious, you do need to ensure that your content is interesting and relevant in the value it offers, otherwise you won't generate much conversation.]

Enter the article above [based on a for-purchase report titled The Blogosphere: A-Twitter with Activity. I'm sure it's filled with lots more delicious details!] which refers to:

+ the number of US Bloggers [currently numbering 28 million and projected to increase to 37.6 million by 2013]

+ the number of US Blog Readers [currently at 96.6 million, projected to increase to 128.2 million by 2013] - see chart above.

In terms of readers, that's close to 60% [up from 48.5%] of the US Internet users within 4 short years. Far from insignificant, making web logs effective and accepted as a means for influencing and monitoring conversations.

An LA Times article titled "Ignore Twitter? Major brands learn they'd better respond -- and quick" relates to another tool, Twitter [here's my Practical Twitter Primer]. Read through the examples listed from Amazon, Domino's, Skittles, Hasbro, CNN and Coca-Cola and note how each used social media tools to respond [or not] and take part in discussions affecting them.

I'm impressed with Domino's and Coca-Cola. Are you?

[Read this terrific assessment of the Domino response in Domino’s reflects on weeklong scramble to defend its reputation with many insights from Shel Holtz, a well-respected social media expert.]

And are you encouraged yet to explore these various tools so you can determine what works best for you?

That's the message I shared on April 17, 2009, when Linsey Levine invited me to share my Social Media Primer presentation to her ExecuNet group in Parsippany, NJ which took place at the offices of Right Management. Whether you actively use these tools to manage a job search, or your personal or corporate brand, here's an opportunity to become aware of them, experiment with them and understand what they mean for you personally and professionally.

As I did during Linsey's Westchester ExecuNet session, I shared an overview of social media. However, I added marketplace information that Mack Collier included in his MarketingProfs web presentation titled "Not Blogging Yet?" As with the eMarketer data above, it puts all of these social media tools into business perspective.

[Subscribers, click on this authorSTREAM link to view the Social Media Primer presentation.]

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cbwhit

And, yes, there is a learning curve. And you may feel overwhelmed with all of the information available. But, eventually all of the pieces come together and you realize that this new social world is not only relevant and valuable, but it is also intellectually stimulating, and an effective medium for influencing conversations that matter to you.

Do you agree?

Note: Linsey shared Technology Tools for Job Seekers part 1 and part 2 from the Career Goddess. Although geared toward job searching, many of these tools are equally effective for business, brand or research purposes.

Re: Twitter
I just came across this article Twitter Talk by Stephanie Azzarone which specifically discusses how to use Twitter to market to moms. I particularly like the basic lessons that the author recommends. Worth reading and thinking about.

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Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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