Wednesday, January 25, 2006

4 Objections to Business Blogging

4 Objections to
Business Blogging



(1)

"Our web site is fine and gets lots of hits. Our e-commerce site is generating satisfactory sales."

WRONG: Those hype-fluff static sites are doing very little to establish a candid, intimate emotional relationship with your customers. There is no real conversation going on, aside from "Here's what we've got. How much do you want to buy today?"


(2)

"We have conventional feedback systems in place, by which we hear from our customers."

WRONG: Those systems are sluggish, unrealized, undocumented, and being abandoned by customers in favor of more vibrant and full-bodied systems of two-way conversation.

We often forget that some who are new to the posting of web content will be thrilled to see their words and name on your blog, which makes them feel they are a part of your organization to some degree.


(3)

"The blogosphere is the wild wild west, with drive-by anonymous flamers and other whackos. We don't want those freaks who, once they're bored with their webcam porn and online gambling, coming to a blog and dumping their crap comments all over it."

Good observation and a serious concern.

But WRONG: This little obstacle should not stop a great brave strong company like yours to tremble and run away from the blogosphere like a frightened child.

Check into anti-spam preventives and deleting options. Bloggers are turning to Word Verification/Character Recognition captchas (to filter out the comment spambots), Comment Moderation with Delayed Posting, and Email Notification to Blogger of New Comments in Moderation Mode.

Some also use Site Registration, and in some cases this Identity Verification may be necessary. But, for most blogs, the other devices I listed will completely do the job, with no sweat except hiring some high school student geeks to go through the comments and delete obvious spam or abuse comments for you.

This "wild wild west" scenario sounds like saying, "Our salesman don't meet clients in person, there are too many germs out there, and shaking hands is so required at client meetings, right Donald Trump?"


(4)

"We have no idea of what we would use a blog for. It sounds like you're creating an artificial buzz about a communication platform that works mainly for lonely teenagers, stay at home mommies, and political ranters."

WRONG: Bloggers are (and I have posts in my blogs that link to these, if you can't find them in my blogrolls) anthropologists, police chiefs, city planners, fire chiefs, library and space scientists, rock and roll legends (Pete Townsend of The Who), Donald Trump, Bob Lutz (GM), Martha Stewart (more a personal web page, since no comments are enabled, it's like a press release in the guise of a personal letter), and many PR, marketing, and analytics/marketing research professionals.

There are kooky, evil, insane bloggers and blog comment posters. But kooky, evil, insane people walk into your offices and stores every day. So what? You form a policy to deal with them, and you enforce that policy. Look at what other businesses are doing, like Microsoft's Robert Scoble, Sun Microsystems, HP, and IBM blogs.

Since blogs are social tech, the tech and social media crowd were the first to latch onto blogs. But now it's time for all businesses to wake up and implement blog strategy into their public image presentation plans.

Business whine about not connecting with customers, about not knowing what they want, about customers not understanding what the company does and all the products and services available to them. They see dwindling returns on conventional PR, advertising, and marketing.

Get Naked Conversations and try to catch up. Get some charismatic employee to present your best face to your fans, detractors, and curious onlookers.

If you're not experimenting with blogs NOW, and I mean RIGHT NOW, you are in danger of being downsized to NOTHING. You are already too late. It really is almost hopeless, but if you don't want to vanish from the marketplace, you have a lot of catching up to do, if you want to start a smart and stylish blog conversation with your target audience and customers.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

:^)

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