- four habits of successful WEF Davos bloggers, AND
- three lessons learned.
Being fashionable is transient, but corporate blogs are here to stay. To illustrate, a 2009-2010 study reported that 23 percent of Fortune 500 companies had at least one corporate blog. In 2016, 181 Fortune 500 companies, or 36 percent had corporate blogs for content marketing purposes (see UMass Center for Marketing Research).
Blogs are a more personable way to communicate, and most importantly, foster dialogue with readers.
Interesting read: The no-bullsh*t guide to better blogging
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Every year the road to Davos is littered with companies that once appeared all-powerful, but later stumbled. For instance, Yahoo’s former CEO, Marissa Mayer was an avid blogger until recently, is not attending WEF Davos this year.
1. Michelle Obama and staying on topic
Some have argued, “One of the biggest flaws that we see in CEO blogs is lack of focus.”
A good point, but this statement is too general. Imagine if Michelle Obama had decided to write a blog during her time at the White House. What her topic of choice might have been would not have mattered much. She could have written about human rights, her travels or shared her ideas about gardening, and countless people would have been interested to read this material.
Of course, writing about a topic you care about makes things easier. For most folks, delivering on a narrower topic helps, but different rules apply for famous people.
The more famous you are among your target audience, the less focus matters for your blog content. Writing about a trip to the store, corporate policy meetings, and so forth can be part of the package.
You can be audacious like Mr. Trump… But your compliance folks will have a fit.
2. Guy Kawasaki and building relationships
Building relationships or friendships requires that you invest time and maintain regular contact. For instance, Guy Kawasaki posts once or twice a year, but the The Blog Maverick (Mark Cuban) has managed to post just about every month over many years.
The results speak for themselves: Mark Cuban has a much higher dedicated readership than Guy Kawasaki, even though social media pundits may feel differently. But those are the numbers.
Don’t begin your blog by posting twice a week. Look at it as a ten-year marathon or even longer. Start off slowly, at a pace that you can maintain throughout the race. Continue the journey by posting content every three to five weeks.
3. Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe: Actions speak louder than words
Unless you really focus on reader comments, you should drop your blog. You might as well tell corporate communications to handle your media work for you, because it will not stand out… but you will be in good company, I am sorry to say.
As a CEO that reaches out and blogs, you need to be authentic. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chariman of Nestlé Group and Formula 1) manages this very well. Two things make his CEO blog different:
- He receives reader comments – in contrast to many c-suite blogs that do not, AND
- Peter tries to respond from time to time if the comment requires a thoughtful reply.
However, recently he has failed to post regularly, which is a real shame. Also, you have to carefully monitor the comments that are left on your blog. Some people seem to forget. In turn, they may end up having several spam-type comments published among more thoughtful reader comments. A pity.
Taking the time to reply to thoughtful reader comments makes you authentic. As importantly, it shows that you value your readers’ time. But please, moderate your reader comments to prevent spam getting published.
4. Peter F. Drucker: Metrics can help you improve performance
When I was a student, Peter F. Drucker once told me (I am paraphrasing his words):
Urs, how do you know you did well? You must define success beforehand, then measure your performance.
Of course, not everything should or can be measured.
Trying to assess how much Air Conditioning adds to your bottom line or return on investment (ROI) seems useless. Nevertheless, keeping your offices cool during summer seems sensible.
Hence, a CEO or c-suite executive should define success for their blog and then try to measure it. Comparing one’s performance to other similar blogs makes sense, and puts your work in context.
When benchmarking oneself it helps to focus on best practice and the blog’s trendline. We can see if our level of resonance and the ripple our content gets on the social web is comparable. Necessary changes can help improve performance in the subsequent quarter.
Ranking CEO (top management) bloggers for WEF Davos 2017
We publish our DrKPI BlogRank: Top 100 CEO Bloggers every year (find more on the website).
These numbers can be at your fingertips; just bookmark this entry, Top blogs of Davos 2017 | World Economic Forum, and you are all set.By the way, many luminaries attending this year’s WEF blog too rarely (minimum one entry in the last 90 days) to be included (e.g., Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation).
Make sure that your robots.txt file is set up so search engines can crawl and index your blog. Of course, George Colony: The Counterintuitive CEO may not care, since he is already famous. But if you are not, beware… here is some help for non-geeks on how to set up your robots.txt file correctly.
Have your say – join the conversation
What is your opinion?
– Who is your favorite top management, c-suite or CEO blogger?
– What would you recommend a CEO blogger such as Jean-Pascal Tricoire (CEO of Schneider Electric) do to get more reader comments (1,000 likes, 13,000 views BUT 0 reader comments)?
– Since it takes Elon Musk six days to go from having an idea to its execution, what would you recommend he do to revive his stale blog?
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author declares that he had no conflict of interest with respect to the content, authorship or publication of this blog entry.
Top 100 CEO blogs
Learn more about the table below from the above blog entry. Get the numbers below with this click.