In my last post, I discussed that companies usually engage in social media with their stakeholders in a two ways. The first is through blogger relations and the second is through corporate blogging, which is another area that still has many of our clients asking questions. Hopefully this post will shed some light on what you need to do as you consider a corporate blogging program.
When a company wants to begin a corporate blogging program there are usually some fundamental questions that need to be asked. Why are you starting this program and what are the objectives. In most cases, we find that the corporate blogging program is a great way to engage customers and prospects through the corporate blog. We also recommend that the corporate blog be focused on thought leadership. Once a good thought leadership approach is taken and maintained, other members of the organization will want to participate and be a part of the corporate blogging program. Many members of a company will wait to see if the executives have “bought into” a blogging program as a sign of acceptance and importance of a program.
Right from the start you need to make sure that your brand and the executives who are blogging within your company do the following:
- Give their firm commitment. Once you start blogging you need to keep up with whatever timely blogs post you establish.
- Enlist the experts. Get those folks in your company who have important information that needs to be shared and that which can benefit people who read and want to comment/share on the blog.
- Establish your tone. It’s better to keep the blog conversational, so it doesn’t appear to be a prepared document or a speech that’s used for a news event.
- Provide meaningful information that’s engaging. Don’t just rehash your marketing materials so that the blog looks like a white paper or a byline article that’s reworked.
Once you start the corporate blogging program, make sure you keep it going. In the beginning it may be difficult to get people to become engaged. Often, they are reluctant to engage in open dialog or discussions because they need more awareness and education or they lack a strong enough reason to collaborate (what’s in it for them). You may even notice that many members of your community visit the blog and don’t take the time to comment.
Here are a few others difficulties that you may need to consider prior to beginning your corporate blogging program:
- Content appears tired and reads like a news release.
- There are challenges to posting regularly due to busy executives (who often may want to outsource their content to the PR team).
- Blogs can often appear too self-promotional.
- Legal can often be a barrier.
Overall, corporate blogging can lead to dynamic discussion. You can be a conversation starter. Above all, if you make your content entertaining, meaningful and easy to digest you will become more than just a brand, but rather a valuable resource to the members of your blog community.