5 Questions to Ask During the Planning Process
Just a few short years ago, blogs were the arena of angst-ridden teens and techno-geeks. Today businesses have transformed them into a tool that engages customers, which, in turn, builds profit. External corporate blogs not only provide consumers with information, they also allow brands to tap into the voice of the customer (VOC). What’s more, these blogs can act as the foundation for building an online reputation. Starting a corporate blog can be daunting and while there are lots of companies who’ve done it successfully, there are also companies who haven’t quite gotten it right. If you’re thinking of entering the corporate blogosphere, asking yourself these questions will help you start down the right path:
- What’s the purpose of the blog? Do you want to share industry news? Provide tips to consumers? It might be helpful to write down a phrase or sentence—sort of a mission statement—that will guide the content. Once the blog is live, you can also take content cues from readers’ comments.
- Who is your reader? CIO contributor Michael Fitzgerald writes that much of the tone and content of a blog will be dictated by the type of reader you want to have. For example, it’s fine to include jargon in a tech industry blog, but avoid it if your reader is a fashionista hungry for the latest handbag trends.
- Who will write the blog? Since blogging requires an investment in time, consider spreading the responsibility among a team of writers. If you’re using the team approach, implement corporate guidelines or a blogger’s code of ethics. WebProNews writer Wayne Hurlbert writes that guidelines are more likely to be followed if the bloggers have a say in their development.
- How often can we post? A corporate blog that sits in cyberspace collecting cyberdust is useless. Plan to post regularly, whether it’s once a day or once a week. Consistent posts provide regular opportunities to build conversations and engage consumers.
- Can we commit to commenting? Blogs aren’t just a newfangled way to broadcast messages—they’re a way to engage consumers. You can’t engage them if you let their comments go unacknowledged. Your in-house or outsourced social media team should invest time in answering comments and creating those fan-building relationships.
The corporate blog can become a critical part of your overall social media strategy. To learn more about planning and implementing a smart social media strategy, contact Social Strategy1.
There is a plethora of ways to increase traffic to your blog. You can invest time and money in search-engine optimization, take the time to comment on others’ sites, increase your offline profile to drive people to your site, write longer and more in-depth posts or publish more frequently. [continue reading]