Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0

Archive for September 4, 2010

Business and Corporate Blogging

With the rapid development of technology and social media, traditional mainstream media platforms are greatly challenged by the fast-changing environment. Today, blogs have become one of the most popular and cost-effective Web 2.0 tools on the Internet. It is a new method of communication between the individuals with new technologies (see Figure 1.0). According to a survey, more than 50 % of the companies worldwide blog and about 12% of the Fortune 500 companies are a part of the blogging world (shine.com, 2009). In other words, more and more companies are starting to host an up-to-date blog on their company website to allow their company to move from opacity to transparency and to increase brand awareness.

A video clip explains “what blog is”

Figure 1.0 – What blog is

As my previous post “Blog and Weblog“, stated we all know that there are many different types of blogs. They can be classified into four main types. Those blogs are personal blogs, corporate blogs, professional blogs and micro blogs. This week i am to find more about corporate blogs and  the risks and the benefits of corporate blogging.

Corporate Blog

Figure 2.0 – Corporate Blog

The corporate blogs are company blogs used for marketing communication purposes (see Figure 2.0). The advantage of blogs is that posts and comments are easy to reach and follow due to centralized hosting and generally structured conversation threads (Wikipedia, 2010). In the realm of business, those corporate blogs can be used to inform new and current existing customers of company activities. They can be categorized into internal and external. They act as an internal corporate Intranet to form a sense of community and to communicate with the employees instantly. The external corporate blogs are open to the public and can be maintained by companies. As well, these types of blogs can be used as a Public Relations (PR) tool to manage communication between an organization and its public, including staff, customers, suppliers, partners and the media.

Blogging Benefits

There is a list of benefits of implementing social media and using corporate blogs as a two-way interaction tool in the organization.

  • Improvement – To use blogs to improve marketing, branding and Public Relations.
  • Feedback – To use as a feedback tool internally and externally.
  • Relationship – To build the relationship between the company and its employers, customers and investors.
  • Connection – To connect employees and customers across the world to form a community.
  • Reputation Management –  To provide companies with a way to prevent problems before they happen or help improve situations when it is too late for prevention (Snell, 2009).
  • Collaboration – To serve as an ideal simple tool for internal collaboration to keep up-to-date information and version consistency.
  • Interaction – To allow the company to easier communicate and interact with its readers who can share ideas, thoughts and information with others.
  • Engagement – To encourage the customers to comment on posts. So that, the company can easily engage with them.
  • Communication (Internal) – It can be acted as a upon two-way communication channel between the internal employees. So, they have most up-to-date information about the company such as company policies or changes.
  • Communication (External) – It is open to the public and often used to announce company new products and services to the public and anything else that a company would like to share with the world.

Blogging Risks

Although corporate blogs can provide all kinds of benefits and opportunities for companies, there are also a number of  risks that companies can experience.

  • Negative Comments – They can be offset somewhat with a consistent and clear comment and moderation policy (overtonecomm, 2007). The organization can use the blog to address complaints to provide positive feedback to the public.
  • Maintenance – The companies need to spend time on maintaining their blogs.
  • Legal Liabilities – Companies need to be careful with any legal materials and also need to consider aspects like consumer protection laws (Consumer Rights) and intellectual property laws.

For more information on Legal risks of corporate blogging, please read Legal risks of corporate blogging and user-generated content.

Example of Corporate Blogs

Dell – This is one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 96,000 people worldwide (Wikipedia, 2010). In June 2006, the company launched its own corporate blog, called Direct2Dell. Dell uses its blog as a tool to allow people (including customers, employees and investors) to share comments, ideas and insights.

37signals – This is a web application development company which develops simple web-based software application products with individuals and small businesses. The company has a corporate blog called “Signal vs. Noise” which is self-described as featuring “entrepreneurship, design, experience, simplicity, constraints, pop culture, our products, products we like, and more (Wikipedia, 2010).” It’s corporate blog reaches 100,000 readers (RSS subscribers) a day (Newsweek, 2010). The company also uses its product blog to do product promotions.

In conclusion, companies are learning new ways to use social media to improve service and to incorporate new techniques and technologies into existing online communication platforms. Those social media tools fundamentally change the relationship between a company and its staff, customers and investors across the world.

References:

5 advantages of corporate blogging. 2009. Shine.com.

Dell. 2010. Wikipedia.

S. Snell. 2009. Corporate Blog Design: Trends And Examples.

37signals. 2010. Wikipedia.

Corporate Blog. 2010. Wikipedia.

The New Rules of Business From 37signals. 2010. Newsweek.

Top 10 Risks for Corporate Blogs. 2007. OvertoneComm.

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