Business-to-business (B2B) blogging is be a great way to forge relationships, talk with customers and prospects, demonstrate thought leadership, and dramatically increase visibility in natural search results for targeted search terms. Done right, it ultimately drives substantial traffic when others in the media and blogosphere link to compelling or noteworthy content. Yet the Fortune 500, many of which are B2B companies, has been slow to embrace blogging.
Last year, Forrester Research reported that only 29 of the Fortune 500 companies were blogging. While the number of large companies blogging is still relatively small, that number more than doubled in 2008.
If you’re looking for insight into big business blogging, both for B2B and B2C companies, check out the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki, a directory of Fortune 500 companies with business blogs. The wiki, started as collaborative project between Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson and Socialtext’s Ross Mayfield, is a compilation following active public blogs by company employees blogging about their companies and/or products. Easton Ellsworth of We Know Media and John Cass of PR Communications joined the effort to expand the project.
As of November 15, 2008, the site indicates 12.8% of Fortune 500 companies (64 of them) are blogging. That’s up from 54 companies in May 2008. Initial findings at the start of 2006 found just under 4%, or 18 Fortune 500 companies, had corporate blogs.
Included on the site are lists and links of blogging Fortune 500 companies, example blogs for each (many have multiple blogs), examples of other social media in use (such as Twitter), and reviews. You can also write and submit your own reviews of Fortune 500 corporate blogs there.
CEOs and other C-level executives, employees, and ex-employees have blogs. A number of companies have multiple blogs, and many blogs have multiple contributors.
What you might find surprising is how many on the Fortune 500 blogging list are B2B companies. The IBM site alone lists more than 70 IBM-related blogs and their contributors. While the B2B world is still grappling with blogging and social media in general, there are now many examples to review as you critically assess various approaches of big business in this social media space.
Another interesting item on the site is an analysis of corporate blog traits by Mitch Turck. He’s plotted a bias graph, grouping 30 randomly selected corporate blogs into writing styles-logical and formal vs. colloquial and casual, and content styles-information vs. commentary. There is a great deal of diversity in terms of approach, which, in my opinion, is further evidence of corporate marketers’ search for success with this new media.
There’s more at the site. If you’re interested or even just curious about corporate blogging and social media, it’s well worth a visit.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.