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Want to be a thought-leader? Blog!

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 30th June 2009

A slightly dubious, non-scientific investigation by a US PR firm has revealed that CEOs are not particularly active on social networks.

The thrust of the argument is that they should be more socially connected: “What CEOs need to realize is that millions of their customers are communicating this way, and it’s foolish for them to dismiss this”. That is quite a big jump between not being active and dismissing it, but I get their drift!

Blogging v. Twitter

However, a recent blog from tech-supremo Robert Scoble suggests that ignoring Twitter and the like might not be such a bad idea:

“The other night Jeremiah Owyang told me that thought leaders should avoid spending a lot of time in Twitter or FriendFeed because that time will be mostly wasted. If you want to reach normal people, he argued, they know how to use Google.”

It’s an interesting argument. There has been a lot of talk recently about the role of blogs and how they will adapt and mature as ‘microblogging’ continues to grow in popularity.

Scoble’s point is that blogs are great for search engine optimisation (SEO) and so will help drive (if you do it right) relevant traffic to you from search engines.

Twitter obviously doesn’t do the same job as there are too many titbits of information. But, it can still help you drive traffic. Build up a big enough following and you will get click-throughs if you share valuable content. Of course, you need something for your followers to click-through to in the first place and, chances are, this will be a blog post.

A happy medium?

So, I’m not sure the answer is black or white. I think blogs still have an important role to play, especially in setting out your position or argument as a ‘thought-leader’.

But social networks are vital to increasing your sphere of influence; engaging and communicating with new people on a regular basis.

So I guess what I’m saying is that both have their place, but need to be approached in very different ways (even if they are ultimately complementary).

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