Thanks to the Internet we can all now post our opinions and observations on the world as they happen. Blogging has become a popular endeavour across the globe and it has even entered the business world as a legitimate new form of b2b and b2c communication.
The benefits of communicating in this way are numerous. Blogging offers immediacy and the flexibility to speak to customers and partners in a slightly less formal way. It is also a great way to convey your company philosophy through the topics you tackle and the sensibilities with which you speak on those topics.
Blogging also gives your team members a voice, allowing them to contribute their thoughts to the business blogging narrative. However, a word of warning, there can be a downside to company blogging, just ask Ryanair!
The Irish budget airline was recently caught up in an online argument with an IT blogger. In fact, a Ryanair employee got extremely abusive towards the blogger, calling him an idiot. The airlines official line to bring the matter to a sensible, mature conclusion was to reiterate that the blogger was an ‘idiot’.
Well, actually if you asked Ryanair they would probably claim not to see a downside but most companies with a sense of the importance of customer relations and public perception would.
Giving your team a voice means unleashing multiple personalities onto the blog sphere and individual sensibilities are unlikely to always be in line with the company. So it is important to set parameters to ensure your team is blogging on appropriate subjects and in acceptable ways. This doesn’t mean censorship or editorial control, simply sensibly guidelines to ensure the business is not negatively affected by posts.
It is good to find innovative ways to connect with your customers, just make sure you are making the right connections.