It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Since then a lot has changed. I completed my first full-time year of my MBA, added a puppy to my life and joined Twitter. The first two changes are profoundly important, but Twitter has changed the way I operate unlike the other two. I actually joined Twitter about 9 months ago; when I first joined I didn’t understand the craze. Now I do. I have three Twitter accounts; one personal (@eshooman), one for the company I work part-time for, and one experimental account (@munchmylunch). I plan to promote my blog and partake in entrepreneurial chatter with my personal account once I have a better understanding of Twitter’s best uses, I utilize social marketing making announcements of new offerings and promoting other social media such as the company blog for the corporate Twitter account I administrate, and I use my experimental account for exactly that, experimenting. My experimental account is where I’m really learning about Twitter. I use best-practices and strategies I’ve learned from other tweeter’s blogs and the book Twitter Power by Joel Comm (@joelcomm). This account focuses on food, so I follow other foodies, food press, chefs and restaurateurs. Following others provides me with up-to-the-second information about Boston restaurants’ daily specials, menu additions, openings and closings. I am currently working on building relationships by participating in conversations and initiating comments to others’ tweets. My social network is expanding almost exponentially without getting up from my computer… with people I’ve never met before, but have always wanted to meet!!! I am now holding direct conversations with celebrity chefs and TV personalities; providing helpful input they may never have honored if met randomly on the street. Twitter is amazing for building relationships. What else is Twitter useful for? I like to break the usefulness of Twitter down into the personal, professional, and marketing contexts. I have my own opinions, but would love feedback to understand how others are using Twitter.
The Boston Entrepreneur is proud to be included in Open Business’s list of Top 150 Blogs for Entrepreneurs. Being named in a list acknowledging TBE’s contribution to entrepreneurship is an honor.
Last week I cam across a great blog post titled “7 Reasons Why Corporate Blogs Are Absolutely Useless.” Eventhough I disagree with the author, Ben Jones, I find the post thought provoking. Please find the 7 reasons from Ben’s blog (http://ben-means-business.com) and my response following the excerpt:
“Reason#1: Fear of Transparency
People who read blogs expect to “know” the author, and participate in discussions with the author and other readers. They enjoy an atmosphere that is genuine and has a “living room” feel. In other words, they expect you to acknowledge problems, fixes, and incidents instead of using your blog to further validate cover-ups. Remember, PR ploys are for people who read the newspaper. Blog readers are a different breed and they respect and embrace what’s “real”.
Reason#2: Infrequent Posting
Even if you’ve created great content on your blog, people will stop visiting after they drop by a few times and there’s nothing new. A blog requires time to maintain and is important enough to assign somebody to the task exclusively.
Reason#3: Too Much Advertising
Advertisements, product introductions, and the like are great material for blogs. However, don’t overdue it. Remember, you have a website to market your great products. You have a blog to market your great company. Don’t confuse the two.
Reason#4: Blog is Just Plain Boring
Doesn’t have to be stocked full of information…Give them a peek “inside” the company. Tip: Post pictures from company gatherings, employee awards, run contests, polls, etc… Just make it interesting.
Reason#5: Blog Doesn’t Allow Feedback
Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought that blogs were meant to create discussion. If not, what makes them different from a website? Needless to say, I was absolutely floored to find that most corporate blogs don’t allow comments. Interesting…to say the least.
Reason#6: Lack of Participation
People want the chance to hear you respond to their thoughts, concerns, feelings, etc… It’s makes your customers feel like they matter. Don’t just ask their opinion and leave them hanging. Respond, and do so with grace, confidence, and a nice disposition.
Reason#7: Blog Lacks Substance
Your company already has arms, legs, and feet(yours and your employees), but none of those things are more important and/or powerful than having a voice. A blog gives your company a voice. So value that voice and use it with purpose.” (http://ben-means-business.com/7-reasons-why-corporate-blogs-are-absolutely-useless, June 16, 2008.)
I responded as follows:
First-rate blogging organizations benefit both the organizations and their customers. Well done corporate blogs are dynamic; they provide value to the public (hopefully future customers), but the blog has no value unless the public utilizes it, thus the organization must convince the public to choose to read it (while not seeming self-serving). The best strategy to direct people to a corporate blog without seeming self-serving is to create one which is NOT self-serving; create value for the public, embrace and promote participation, interact with the readers (reply to comments), and DO NOT promote. The best corporate blogs artfully present problems, which they have the ability to solve, and provide a piece to the solution. For many, the piece is good enough to independently solve the problem, but others will research further into the corporate blogger and become quality leads. The small sample of corporate blogs I’ve read impress me, and I’ve learned some great knowledge from them. One blog continuously comes to mind while typing this post: HubSpot out of Cambridge, MA… http://blog.hubspot.com/.
I am interested in knowing others thoughts and feelings about corporate blogging. Please utilize the comments section for your opinions.