Here are all of the posts tagged ‘corporate blogs’.
Cristina Aced, a freelance journalist and consultant from Barcelona who wanted to know how a social media agency works in London, has spent three weeks with us here at We Are Social. She shares her point of view on the questions brands should ask themselves when embracing social media.
Should a company have a blog? Well, I’d reply: “It depends”. I usually say that it’s not a must to have a corporate blog (or a corporate Facebook profile, i.e.). It makes no sense that a firm has all these 2.0 tools if they are only a tactic. Of course, I think it’s important to monitor social media, in the same way firms follow what happens in mass media, but I defend they don’t have to create a blog just for the sake of it (as we explained in this study published in 2007). Web 2.0 is more than a fad; it should be part of an overall business strategy. The key questions firm should answer are: why do we want a blog?, what are our aims?, how can we integrate it with our strategy?
Yesterday, I was listening to a Spanish radio programme called “L’estiu en un blog” (Summer in a blog, COMRàdio), and they were talking about corporate blogs and how companies use them. They spoke about social media agencies and they quoted We Are Social as an example of best practice. It’s cool to hear the local radio in your hometown speaking about the international agency where you are spending a few weeks (The podcast is available here, but only in Catalan).
Some colleagues ask me if the way of working in social media here in London is different to Spain. I think processes are very similar: the research, the same tools for social media monitoring etc. However, the critical point is strategy. Here, in London, both agency and clients rely on (and believe in) strategy. In Spain, there are professionals able to formulate a social media strategy, but clients still don’t understand the meaning of this. Most of them consider Web 2.0 as just as another tool. That’s the problem. I think I’ll miss the willingness to learn and to understand the new reality that clients have here in the UK. I like the way We Are Social works: brainstorms, working as a team, but most of all, their strategic approach.
I love this 2.0 philosophy, this conversational way of doing things. We Are Social really is a conversation agency, just as they define themselves. It’s my last day here, but the conversation will go on, as the internet breaks boundaries of time and space. Welcome to the age of conversation…
Forrester have just released ‘The Practicalities Of European Social Media Marketing’, a report written by Rebecca Jennings who’s based here in the UK.
She covers a variety of different social media marketing programmes in the report, from Daimler’s corporate blog in Germany to Guy Stephens’ work at Carphone Warehouse in the UK. She also highlights the work we’ve being doing for the last 10 months in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain for Ford on the This is Now campaign.
You can find out more about the report over at The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals. And thanks Rebecca – we really appreciate it!
Thinking Digital has been one of the most varied and stimulating events I’ve been to and it’s no surprise there’s been a lot of talk about social media and engaging your consumers.
Alex Hunter (@cubedweller on Twitter), who was also a panellist at the social media masterclass, had a talk of his own at the conference yesterday. Alex is head of web at Virgin Group, and a true social media evangelist. He talked about how he’s reshaping the Virgin Group website and transforming it into a social platform for Virgin’s customers. Much of his talk drew from the Cluetrain Manifesto but wasn’t just a rehash of that; he shared his own thoughts. He emphasised that people don’t want to talk to brands, they want to talk to people – and so Virgin has put people as part of its strategy, helped by the fact it’s one of the few brands already inextricably associated with a person, namely Richard Branson.
Interesting, of all the corporate blogs, Alex regards Digg‘s as the best – not just because it’s written by the guys at the top like Kevin Rose, but because there is a multiplicity of voices and they respond to their fans. But then, as a social media site, Digg know the audience they’re blogging for, and as a new brand they’re more confident in experimenting. It’s harder for non-tech brands, so I’d use Digg as one example of good corporate blogging, but not the only one.
Alex was evangelistic about embracing social media in the business word, and made it clear it works for brands big and small (citing Qype and Zappos as examples). We also got some insights in the new Virgin philosophy – they have “labs”-style projects at Explore Virgin, which has produced Virgin Eye a beautiful visualisation of mentions of their brands on the web (from over 5,000 sources).
This isn’t just dabbling, however. Virgin plan to relaunch their website as a social platform, opening up to allow people to talk about their brand and products and upload their own content. They’ve been savvy to link up with Digg and Facebook Connect to utilise existing social media properties rather than reinvent the wheel. They have also put an impressive effort into research – a year and a half listening, researching and creating before launching their new social platform to make sure it fits the people who use it. It was an impressive example to others: not just in how to embrace social media, but how important it is to know the community you want to build around.
You may remember that Peter spoke at Disruptive Media in Stockholm in early December. During the conference he was interviewed by the Editor of Sweden’s Internet World magazine, and the resulting article hit the presses a couple of weeks ago (original version in Swedish).
He talked about the need for organisations to be open and honest about the way they act and communicate with the people who care about them – whether they be customers, suppliers, shareholders or the general public. Talking to these people on their own turf, whether that be using blogs or other forms of social media, is a good way to start.
I’ve been bugging Peter to blog about this himself for a while, but he’s obviously too modest about his new found fame in Sweden.
At We Are Social towers, we were rudely awakened on Thursday morning to a brewing Twitterstorm to deal with. Robert Scoble was Twittering to his 53k+ followers live from the Davos summit. Here are the edited highlights:
Scobleizer: @AnthonyHocken I hear Stephen Fry’s Twitter account isn’t done by him but rather is done by his PR firm. Lame if true.
Whatleydude: @Scobleizer I believe a PR firm helped @stephenfry set up his account (@wearesocial) …but us Brits can assure you, it *is* him.
Scobleizer: Getting lots of pushback on Stephen Fry from people who say he’s actually doing his own Tweets.
mbites: @Scobleizer yeah @stephenfry is the real deal
wearesocial: @Scobleizer @stephenfry is doing his own Tweets! We helped get him set-up and gave him initial advice, that’s all. Could you please RT?
Scobleizer: RT: @wearesocial @stephenfry is doing his own Tweets! We helped get him set-up and gave him initial advice, that’s all.
Scobleizer: @wearesocial glad to help clear that up. A PR company exec told me it was done by PR. I love Twitter took minutes to clear up incorrect info
vendorprisey: @scobleizer Surely the next tweet should read, sorry @stephenfry ?
Scobleizer: RT @vendorprisey: @scobleizer Surely the next tweet should read, sorry @stephenfry ? (My answer: yes. I’m sorry).
This may seem like a Twitterstorm in a teacup, but the threat to Stephen’s reputation (and ours) was real. It was essential that we acted fast to establish the truth before it spiralled out of control (in the end we were able to nip it in the bud within an hour). In fact, it was a microcosm of how we pre-empt and deal with situations like this on behalf of any of our clients:
- Make sure you’re already respected members of relevant communities and have built strong friendships in them before any crisis erupts.
- Listen carefully to the conversations relevant to your brand at all times
- When appropriate, respond quickly in an open, honest and human way
Those friends mentioned in point 1 are the ones who are likely to come to your aid when it matters, just as ours did above – remember that their voices may carry more weight than your own, especially in these cynical times.
This is an approach that works for clients large and small, both in everyday conversations about their brands anywhere in social media and when confronted with much bigger crises than the one above. It was battle tested during Skype’s China crisis last year and passed with flying colours.
If you’d like to know more about how we helped Skype handle that situation or our how we help brands with online reputation management, conversation response, corporate blogs or advocacy programmes, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.