I am still surprised at how few businesses have a well functioning blog. Traditionally blogs were seen as nothing more than an online journal for individuals to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas. Now blogs are used by many large companies to disseminate information, conduct product reviews, customer service and much more. The ones doing it well give their staff a voice and engage multiple stakeholders in content creation for a vibrant and rich reader experience. The potential when it is done right is a big win for business; small business and charities need to get in the game.
We are currently developing a number of blogs for clients and it got me to thinking about the top 3 things that I recommend when people are creating, building, or developing their blogs.
If you use wordpress.com it is hosted by them online and you are at the mercy of WordPress should they choose to change their structure, start charging or change the functionality. If you use wordpress.org the site is hosted and backed up on a server (using wordpress.org is free – you just pay the monthly hosting fee). This allows you to use a unique url, maintain and control your information and content and you can change the theme whenever you like!
2. Many Hands: Engage multiple stakeholders in your blogging efforts. This serves two main purposes. It means that the content is not all up to one person and if that person should leave – that the ‘personality’ of the blog goes with them. Also multiple contributors provides a variety of viewpoints and allows your readers to connect with the faces behind your company.
3. Customer Service: At the Corporate Social Media Summit recently, I heard the head of digital for NRMA speak. He did a case study on how NRMA use a Blog to answer customer service enquiries. We thought it was such a great idea that we encourage our clients to do the same. Any question, concern or valuable information that comes through the phone, email, web or social media platforms, keep track of it in one place and use that information as the content driver for your blogs. It will add value to other customers and eventually you will have an online bank of blogs written about your customers needs and show casing the best of your brand.
Got more tips to add? We’d love you to share them below.