Social media is a 'Hygiene Factor' for an Organisation

This entire debate that has unleashed on the internet over the last few days that Corporate blogs are not worth investing in, is just an example of  being naive and ignorant. So this storm was kicked up by a report that was released by Forrester that suggested that only 16% of the respondents to survey elected corporate blogs as a trustworthy source of information. My first question is why is it even surprising that the statistic turned up this way. It’s no brainier that people will view third party websites and data as more unbiased than something that’s coming from the horses mouth, i am not sure why one needs to be a rocket scientist to understand this math. Does that mean organizations have to stop having corporate blogs? and that they should now focus their efforts on ‘Ghost bloggers’? On both counts the answer is a big fat ‘NO’. If we were to survey other traditional forms of marketing and compare it with third party unbiased word of mouth publicity the result would pretty much be the same. Word of mouth influence would win hands down but does that mean organizations stop doing their own marketing? I am curious what would the results be if we asked the same respondents what would their impression of an organization who didn’t have a blog or web presence be? I am very sure those organizations would score less as compared those who have a social media strategy. Let’s accept it, social media for any organisation is like a ‘Hygiene Factor’. If present may or may not do much but if absent it would a gaping hole in any organizations marketing and corporate strategy. How these social implementations are executed is another topic of discussion and as any new media evolves, it will need time to prove itself. On the topic of Ghost bloggers i am a staunch supporter of transparency and i feel even venturing into that is setting yourself for failure. So all you dooms day advocates for social media give your keyboards a rest as you are on the wrong side of the debate.