Getting Smart About Corporate Bloggging
Whether you are already a corporate blogger, or thinking about getting started, this information could drastically effect the way you run your blog and how the public perceives it.
The first point that Matt covered was about leaving yourself enough wiggle room when it comes to product launches, updates or other big events. Whenever you set a date that is hard and fast, you are opening yourself up to a lot of potential problems. Let’s look at a common scenario and how this type of issue could have a negative effect on your business.
Let’s say that you use your blog to announce that on Date X you will be releasing Product Y. You start the buzz, everyone gets excited and your readers can’t wait. The countdown to Date X begins and as the big day gets closer, you realize that you’re not going to be able to make that deadline.
So, you post that Date X is now Date Z and explain that there is a good reason for the delay. Your audience is disappointed, and they may start to wonder about how professional your company is. While everyone understands that product launches are a delicate matter, setting a hard and fast date does raise expectations. If you can’t meet them, your audience may start to wonder what’s going wrong.
Date Z rolls by and you’re still not ready. You have another post about the new Date A, and once again, your audience is disappointed. By now, things look pretty bad, and you’ve already delayed the launch of Product Y twice. More problems occur, and before you know it your actual launch date is now Date D.
By this point, the majority of people that were really interested in Product Y will have moved on. You’ve failed to deliver, you’ve shown that you can’t keep a project on schedule and your launch will fizzle out. While some delays can be strategic and may increase demand, waiting too long and having too many delays will spell disaster for any product launch.
What can you learn from this scenario? First and foremost, while you do need to give your audience a date for a launch, it does not need to be hard and fast. Give yourself more than enough wiggle room so that if something does go wrong, your company is not going to be cast in a bad light.
This same principle can also apply to other promises you make on your blog. Bottom line, if you are not 150% sure you can keep a promise – don’t make it. It’s just that simple. If you don’t put yourself in a corner, you won’t have to worry about getting out of one. By leaving yourself that wiggle room, you’ll be able to present a strong front to the public and keep them interested in your launch or event.
Most corporate bloggers are savvy enough to understand that trash talk has no place in a blog. Even if you are riding high on success and you have the world at your feet, there is no need to even mention your competitors. Trash talking them will actually end up hurting you more than them and once you leave a bad taste in your audience’s mouth, getting rid of it is nearly impossible. Let’s illustrate this point with a scenario.
Let’s say that Business Owner A has a corporate blog that gets a good deal of traffic and covers company news, as well as a few other topics. On Monday, Business Owner B decides to start an ad campaign that will directly effect the revenue of Business Owner A. The first reaction for many is to lash out and belittle the efforts of Business Owner B.
So, that’s exactly what Business Owner A does. They devote several posts of their blog to trashing B, and their product or service. Instead of getting the attention away from B’s ad campaign, all that A has managed to accomplish is giving them more traffic from readers that want to see what all of the fuss is about.
The second effect is that Business Owner A now seems a bit whiny and definitely unprofessional. Competing ad campaigns are common and their readers are savvy enough to figure out that the posts are being fueled largely by sour grapes. The overall image of Business Owner A has now been tarnished, and readers leave the blog as a result.
Now, instead of circumventing the ad campaign launched by Business Owner B, all that A has managed to do was to hand them new visitors on a platter. They managed to hurt their own business and will forever be remembered as poor sports. All of this could have been avoided by simply never mentioning Business Owner B in the first place.
No matter if a competitor is trashing you, dragging your company through the mud, or competing aggressively against you – never trash them in the public eye. The only one that will end up wearing egg on their faces is you. Remember to take the High Road, no matter what – and you’ll end up reaping the benefits. Readers are not stupid, and they do understand more about your business than you think they do.
Don’t give your readers the chance to see you in a bad light. Remember that professionalism is key if you want to establish yourself as an authority. Whining, complaining and trash talk have no place on your corporate blog.
Business owners and corporate bloggers are human, and as such, we are subject to emotions. It is easy to get angry and fire off a few heated blog posts. What is not easy is to undo the damage that has been done. While you may be able to delete a bad post off of your blog, you’ll never be able to delete it from your reader’s minds. Posting angry is something that many of us have been guilty of in the past, but few stop to think about how this can affect them in the future.
The urge to vent to your audience and receive a few pats on the back can be very strong, especially when you’ve had a bad day. Whether you feel you have been treated unfairly, or a competitor is giving you a hard time, it is all too easy to lash out on your blog. This rarely works out the way that you plan however, and unless you want your blog to be associated with your rants, there are a few things that you need to do first.
1. Think before hitting the publish button
As Matt suggests, never fire off a post and hit publish right away. You need to walk away from the situation for a few minutes to get a better perspective. In fact, after you cool down, you may wonder why you got so upset in the first place. If you haven’t hit post, no one will be the wiser to your problem or your outburst.
2. Think about how your readers will react to your post now – and how future readers will react to it
You’d be surprised at what gets indexed by search engines. Let’s say that you fire off an angry post, and then forget about it. Six months from now, someone searching for information about your company stumbles across this post in a search. The first thing they see about your company is an ugly rant – what impression do you think that will give? You’ve got to look at the big picture, which isn’t easy when you are upset. That’s where the first point comes in.
3. Will the post tarnish your image, or the image of your company
It’s one thing if readers think you are a blowhard, but how will that trickle down to your company? You are representing the face of your company through your corporate blog. Do you really want the public to see that face when it’s angry? Think about the consequences before you post, and remember that you are responsible for how others view you in many cases.