Below are a few notes made while listening to Chris Brogan video cast posted on his blog titled “What should corporations do with their blogs”. Chris asked several company – AMD, GM, Pepsico, BestBuy, … – how they are using their blog to talk about important issues with their customers.[This is not a transcript – please listen to the video as it is fully loaded with high value content].
Corporations are blogging to engage the customer, get feedback, build a conversation and establish a link. Promoting the product is not enough to establish and maintain the link. Real content and personal relationship is needed.
Three predicates to corporate blogging
Now in order to engage real conversation with customers, corporate needs to believe in three predicates:
- consider social media as a real tool – not entertainment,
- realize that customer are intelligent and as a group are able to figure out what they want.
- be willing to act transparently and discuss what is of real interest to customers – be it product evolution or crisis situations.
If one is missing, it’s likely the blogging communication will fail. Now assuming, these three beliefs are fully accepted, then real blogging can happen.
Why do corporate blog?
The whole idea behind corporate blogging is to be able to get feedback information from customer at a faster rate.Yes, learn from customers to improve product, services, communication, identify new market niches: in the end it’s all about competitiveness and being faster than competition and prepare for your future.
In addition to identifying future product evolutions, blogging can also be used to handle crisis situation.
How to blog?
It’s just human interaction, you are here to help customers. It’s a person to person relationship. Like in the real life, you build connections on your personality.
How important is the man behind the brand?
Most of the speakers gathered by Chris are Big brands, so the question was intended to clarify if blogging was doable for small companies with small or no budget.
The question was rephrased as follow “How important is the group behind the man blogging for the brand?“. Blogging or social media activity might be a one man work but this man needs to have the ability to get support from the rest of the company or needs to be able to bend the company strategy when getting important feedback.
Do not be afraid as a company to try, to test social media. Do not be afraid to talk with people hating your brand. This might be your one opportunity to discuss with them, to clarify something maybe to turn them into your brand champion.
What advices do you give to a social evangelist?
- do not be afraid at taking a risk while blogging, it’s easier to make a mistake as a human than it is to do one as a corporation. Mistakes and excuses from a human help building a link,
- if looking for a job in this space, take the job because you see a future in social media,
- keep your social media activity honest, have integrity, have transparency – the whole system is based on trust.
- while blogging, inject personality – it’s all about people -the brand is not enough.
- does not matter the size of the company. You need to learn about fast fails: try and learn from it.
- you’ll find internal resistance against blogging and social media – keep up the work, this is the future, resistance will disappear.