Blogs are not the hottest social media trend of the moment, but they remain a powerful platform for self-expression—and for brand and product recommendations. eMarketer estimates that 51% of US internet users will read blogs at least monthly this year, and according to October 2010 research from blog portal Technorati many will find them influential.
Nearly half of internet users surveyed worldwide said they trusted blogs as an information source, and slightly more said they were likely to recommend a brand, product or service they heard about on a blog. But are bloggers ready to make recommendations themselves?
Among all bloggers, 55% said they review products or brands rarely or never, up slightly from the 53% who said the same in Technorati’s “State of the Blogosphere 2009” report. Among “hobbyist” bloggers—the most common kind—the drop was similar.
In addition, 42% of all bloggers and 40% of hobbyists said they sometimes blogged about brands they loved or hated, down from 46% and 44%, respectively, last year.
Following a brand on social media may keep it closer to the top of blogger’s mind, encouraging more frequent posting on the subject.
But bloggers are dissatisfied with how brands are treating them. Nearly two-thirds of all blogger respondents said they felt bloggers were treated less professionally by brand representatives than were members of the traditional media, and hobbyist bloggers were most likely to hold that view.
Brand representatives must remember that even bloggers who write only for fun expect to be treated with respect. Earlier research from IZEA noted the high value bloggers and other social media personalities place on their endorsements, and if bloggers are credible and have the reach a marketer is looking for they deserve to be treated like the media outlets they are.