While many businesses are still getting used to the idea of having any kind of Web presence, forward-thinking companies are looking at blogs as simple, self-sustaining Web sites and Intranets.

If you're not thinking about how to use blogs in your business, you're missing a big opportunity.

Blogging can be a remarkably effective marketing tool. It's also an excellent way to stay in touch with customers and hear concerns that can be an early warning system of potential problems. Many marketing campaigns cry out for blogs, but companies are missing great opportunities.

A Sticky Situation?

For example, WD40 (the smelly but remarkably useful spray) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a Web site that would be perfect for a blog.

On the site, a Fan Club Board of Directors—made up of customers who are WD40 fanatics—point out WD40's thousands of uses, from keeping pigeons off the terrace (they hate the smell) to keeping toilet bowls clean. Visitors can suggest their favorite uses at the site.

Although the site is a font of information, a blog would be even better. Via a blog, the Fan Club would be interactive and the thousands of WD40 uses would be searchable. You'd be able look up a WD40 cure when you're in need. On a blog, customers could add their profile information and recommended uses of the product into a searchable database.

The WD40 Fan Club Board members include Thomas Livermore, a WD-40 history nut; Jonathan Knopp, a retired teacher from Milwaukee; and Kevin Meany, a Volunteer Fire Chief, who likes to “spray WD-40 on the hinges of my cooler so I can sneak a beer in the middle of the night.” The site even has a downloadable WD40 Spray Game that you just have to try.

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B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.