Product Blogs and Social Media Presence

Google has a lot of official blogs. Here is the main one, and at the bottom, you can see links to several other blogs, including corporate, product and developer blogs. (The complete directory is available here. So does your company follow this trend and also host several blogs? And what is the value of such blogs and blog posts.

Almost eight years ago, I tracked a blog post on a large software company's product line blog. That line is a specialized category with limited consumer interest. At that time, they got 50k page views and over 10k visitors.[ Note: this is a top level number and does not delve into much detail on accuracy, visitor segmentation etc] And this is a well maintained blog, with articles on product usage, updates from engineers and product managers and information on industry events.

Recently, I looked at the blogs on Adobe website's.  For a post from last week, there are 6 likes and 6 forwards visible on the website. If you scroll down, these numbers are about average for every blog post. If these are an indication of deeper engagement, then the product blog as a medium to engage people seems to be in trouble. And this excludes the number of people who may potentially post comments on the blog posts.

Interestingly, you can compare those numbers with those for a product management blog, such as the one called Mind the Product. I am sure that a blog like this, that comes on top of google search results for "product management blogs" must get at least 5k page views a month. [I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, however, the value of a blog should be analyzed independent of other factors]

Widen your official product presence

For a niche product, it may not be cost-effective to just maintain a product blog. Instead, a social presence on multiple channels, such as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest might be a far better mechanism to engage the audience.  

Any challenges to shutting down your blog and starting a Facebook presence? A few come to mind.
  1. Accessibility: If your audience is business users, they may not be comfortable surfing Facebook from work. And from home, they may use personal accounts, which may hide true audience demographics.
  2. Search: Facebook search is good, but for general search terms, Google search is better
  3. Privacy: You may not want to publish information about your followers, as your competitors could also be lurking there
In the end, your leadership team's vision will decide how you approach social media, and how your product gets the benefits. But if you want to make a case for a Facebook presence, or a broader social media presence for your products or product line, do think about the above factors.