This marks my 67th blog post for the PRagmatist, and I realize I am only a neophyte in the world of social media. I started this blog because I recognized that to preach the power of social media, you have to practice it. And I have had some success over the last six months. I have just launched a new social media campaign for a client after talking to them for over a year about using Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets to promote their research.
We know social media works, but as with so many things, we often don’t pursue those things we know are good for us because they take work. The number of blogs abandoned along the information highway is growing at an astronomical rate, mostly because the bloggers lack the fortitude, insight, and drive to maintain them. And the problem is compounded in a corporate setting because now you are dealing with group processes. You need to get different departments and stakeholders involved, and make them accountable as part of their MBOs or other responsibilities. But people get busy, priorities change, coming up with new topics is hard, and another blog bites the dust.
Which is why I was gratified to see a practical and pragmatic approach to blogging offered by Page One Public Relations out of Silicon Valley. While I question whether their ghostblogging strategy is in the true spirit of social media, their basic methodology has merit. Maintaining a corporate blog as part of your social media strategy is not rocket science, but it requires procedures and protocols to keep the content fresh every week, and Page One has identified the big three to start:
- Be a reporter, or perhaps more accurately, an observer. I maintain an electronic clipboard (thank you Microsoft for thinking of OneNote), and as I run across interesting tidbits in e-mail or on the web, I clip them for my blog. As a web commentator, you run into interesting items every day. Record them, revisit them, and blog about them.
- Be an editor, and offer a vision for your blog. As with all such projects, someone needs to be in charge. You need an editor to impose editorial rule and make sure content is clean and consistent, and deadlines are being met. In a corporate blog, you will have multiple voices, but someone needs to conduct to make sure they all sing from the same corporate script.
- Promote, promote, promote. Once you get your blog up and running, promote it. Seek feedback. Call for comments. And get the word out there. Post everywhere you can think of – Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Twitter, you name it. Consider using multimedia to spice things up and leverage YouTube (videos do well in search rankings). Cultivate an audience and keep them engaged. Talk to your followers.
The real challenge for corporate bloggers isn’t so much keeping it fresh, bit keeping it interesting. Don’t sell, converse. Talk about issues, not products. Engage with customers and prospects about topics that are important and universal, and don’t get mired in your own market speak.
And if you run into difficulties, we professionals are here to help you get it sorted.