Corporate Blogging

At LOVEFiLM we’re planning to launch a corporate blog soon so I found The Future of Corporate Blogs invaluable. The panel consisted of:

How to monitor the blogosphere?
Look in Technorati or Google Blog Search.

How do you measure success?

  • Tonality of feedback – positive of negative?
  • Engagement
  • Analytics
  • Subscriptions to blog
  • Ratio of negative comments to total
  • Sales
  • Conversation
  • Audience surveys
  • Online focus groups

The panel believe logs are now a corporate necessity.

Dell
18 months ago 48% of the comments about Dell in the Blogosphere were negative. This led to a broader social media plan. They wanted identify the key issues, have a two way dialogue, with open conversations. The core strategy was simple:

  1. Listening
  2. Analysing
  3. Taking Action

With the full support of Michael Dell they launched the blog Direct2Dell. They use Idea Storm, a combination of a message board and Digg.com, where the community votes issues up and down; so far they’ve had 600,000 comments. There’s real power in it, a single individual can influence a multi-billion dollar corporation. It’s now been running 18 months and negative comments have gone down to 20%.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn decided to start a blog with the aim of maximising use of the service. Up until then they’d been using LinkedIn Answers and Yahoo Groups. Their goals for the blog were:

  1. Educating users – they created product demos and linked to them from blog posts.
  2. Improving customer support – their customer service team had risen from 50
  3. Leading a conversation rather than let community gossip drive it.

It’s now been running for almost a year and working well.

My PR Pro
Their goals were:

  1. Decelerating the time between problem and solution
  2. Engaging with their community

They were working with a well known Marine Park. The park decided to ban juice cartons with straws as they were worried about the straws hurting dolphins. Diabetes sufferers complained as they needed to have a quick sugar rush juice was best. A dialogue was facilitated through a blog, flip-top juice cartons were offered at the entrance to the park the next day.

Using blogs for SEO
If you only use blogs for self serving purposes you will fail. Focus on customers. SEO is good by-product but the wrong reason for starting a blog.

Summary
Social media accelerates the time it takes to respond to customer issues. There’s no buffer between you and the customer. When relationships are established, it really improves customer retention. By comparison phone and email are more expensive and less effective for communicating to large customer groups with the same issues. Make sure you plan your corporate blog or it will be a disaster. The message is clear “Get off email now!”

For further information see del.icio.us/kamichat/sxsw2008/ and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Blogs in Kami Huyse’s blog and her own account of the session.

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3 comments so far

  1. Kami Huyse on

    Excellent outline version. I will link it,

  2. […] Corporate Blogging by Ben […]

  3. Carl on

    HI Ben, we just launched blogging for our experts/writers. I’m just going to read your links for passing on tips to our writers!!

    http://www.carlknibbs.net/blog/2008/7/24/foolcouk-launches-blogging.html


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