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SOCIAL MEDIA: The blogging minefield

Blogging is becoming an ever more familiar word within the B2B marketing sphere. A medium that was once considered little more than a communications tool between teenagers, thanks to the likes of MySpace, is now being seized upon by companies as a credible marketing tool.

Considering the ease with which a weblog can be set up, it's not hard to see why so many are keen to jump on the bandwagon. But marketers should not lose sight of the fact that blogging is a form of social interaction, and therefore comes with its own form of social etiquette. Merely starting a blog does not guarantee success. In fact get it wrong, and it could do more harm than good to your company and your brand image.

To blog or not to blog?
Deciding to use a blog as a way of marketing yourself is a trickier minefield than you might imagine. While the act of setting one up couldn't be simpler, you need to give careful consideration to a blog's content before you consider going live, says Antony Mayfield, head of content and media at online search agency Spannerworks. "A lot of corporate blogs are effectively dead wood and that's because companies ignore the fact that blogging is a form of social media," he says. "The crucial word is 'social.' Forget about the fact that technology is involved and think of blogging as a networking tool."