Corporate blog definition: 4 essentials

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2010/10/05 · 25 comments 12,962 views

in actionable metrics,best in class,checklists

While co-moderating the Xing Social Media Measurement group, I discovered that our members’ definitions of social media and social media marketing differ quite a bit. After some extensive discussions in the forum, I tried to summarize the findings.

Still to come in this series:

In this post we focus on issues such as whether weblogs are corporate tools that can help with client relationship management or just confused personal ramblings.

    What is a blog or weblog?

In short, a blog is a website where a person or a team of employees write and share content that is relevant to their target audience (e.g., friends, customers, suppliers, shareholders).

More specifically, some time ago people defined a weblog as a personal journal. This could take many forms, including but not limited to an online scrapbook for pictures, ideas, musings and stories.

=> How the urban dictionary defined a blog in 2003 – what a difference!

Image - Blogs as an information source study shows - Studies have shown that marketers perceive blogs to have the highest value of any social media in driving site traffic, brand awareness, lead generation and sales - as well as improving customer service - there is evidence that smaller US firms are embracing blogging at greater rates than larger firmsToday, a weblog can be much more – or less. Put differently, blogging software such as WordPress is simply a content management system (CMS), meaning a company could use it to manage its webpage or a different CMS that also allows for blogging (e.g., Drupal).

A blog also allows an individual with limited technical skills to post content on the blog/webpage with hyperlinks, allowing readers to download white papers or view videos.

Weblogs have become accepted sources for information, however, an effective corporate blog requires that management address these four issues:

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    Bottom line – usability is fine but usefulness is critical

Based on our definition of social media marketing it is obvious that a weblog does not really sell a product or services. Instead, it helps build the blogger’s and/or company’s credibility and reputation, while gaining the trust of your audience.

To illustrate, if your company is organized according to business lines such as green energy (e.g., renewable resources), the blog might focus on a topic such as solar energy.
However, as a solar cell manufacturer, you may want to reach out to two vastly different groups, namely:

    – direct clients (e.g., solar panel manufacturers or electric utilities owning wind ‘farms’) and
    – indirect clients (e.g., architects, home-owners and regulators)

In fact, it could be that the weblog serves its purpose best by providing targeted content for indirect clients or ultimate users such as home-owners and investors (e.g., government programs supporting the use of solar energy, energy savings, pay-back periods, etc.).

Another alternative is to have a separate blog for each group. This will make it easier to provide each with useful content.

Take away: An effective Internet presence is the ability to communicate and demonstrate expertise. It is what causes people to talk about you and your brand online. A weblog is an effective tool to help this process along if useful content is provided to targeted readers.

Previously we also published a series of posts about the ropes to skip when launching a blog, to help you avoid making the mistakes that most hamper your efforts.

What is your take, what worked for you? Please share your thoughts with a comment below!

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