4 Terrible Objectives For Your Corporate Blog

Tom Johansmeyer is the Senior Content Director at enter:marketing. He also blogs for Cigar Reader, of which he is co-founder, Gadling, and Luxist.

Is your company blogging for all the wrong reasons? As social media marketing is more traction, the pressure for businesses to enter the space is becoming immense. The thought of yielding digital turf to the competition is hard enough to accept, and the promise of marketing returns on investment, bolstered by several years of hype, is so enticing as to make social media marketing seem like an obligation.

You’ll realize none of the upside and seize little social media ground, however, if you set the wrong objectives. When launching a corporate blog, it isn’t unusual for the marketing department to rush to adopt traditional blog metrics, such as unique visitors, pageviews and bounce rate. Unfortunately, these numbers speak to the success of your blog itself – not to the success of your blog as a marketing tool.

Instead of measuring your blog, it makes more sense to tie it to traditional marketing success metrics, such as new business opportunities and ROI. While blog metrics can help you determine whether you are poised to advance your company, they are a step removed from what you need to measure.

So, when you get started with corporate blogging and social media marketing, avoid the trap of over-emphasizing the four growth objectives below:

1. Traffic growth: Are you setting out to make your corporate blog the next SocialTimes? That’s probably a mistake. In addition to working under a totally different dynamic, your goals aren’t the same. Don’t try to accumulate traffic for its own sake. It’s fun to celebrate big numbers – make revenue, not readership, the reason you pop the cork on a champagne bottle.

2. Going viral: Let’s be realistic: it’s extremely unlikely to happen. Since your corporate blog’s purpose is to advance your company’s message in the marketplace and generate new business opportunities, you’ll be choosing your words carefully (well, you should be). The stuff that goes viral isn’t usually content that would benefit a company. Instead of dreaming about hundreds of retweets and Facebook shares, focus on getting your content into the hands of people who matter …you know, potential clients.

3. Comments upon comments: It’s a lot of fun to see a blog post get loaded with interesting, informed comments that lead to dialogue among your readers. On a corporate blog, I wouldn’t expect that to happen. There are several reasons for this. First, anything interesting could be akin to taking a public position on an issue, and your clients may not want to do that. Also, the conversation that you’d like to see emerge could involve competitors, which is awkward at best and thus unlikely to take place. And, from a marketing perspective, there’s an even more important issue: you want your readers to talk to you directly, not the rest of the world. Instead of comments, measure inquiries that lead to sales opportunities.

4. Share love: A high retweet count can be downright intoxicating, and a Facebook Like badge with a big number must mean that people are committed not just to reading your content but to promoting it. Well, that’s not exactly true. Retweeting, Liking and other forms of social media sharing are designed to be easy. While your content’s exposure increases, engagement doesn’t necessarily follow. Use share-related statistics as one way to measure success, but don’t put to much emphasis on it. Sharing doesn’t always mean caring.