Tag Archives: corporate blogging guidelines

eBay’s Richard Brewer-Hay on social media and corporate blogging

ebay_rbhLooking over past blog posts, I’ve noticed that I do have a penchant for hyperbole. However, if you have a little over six minutes of your time to spare and want tips on running social media programs for a large brand, then don your headphones and listen to this short video from Richard recorded at TWTRCON.

Main points:

  • eBay has a full time corporate blogger! How many other brands can claim the same? Richard views his role as that of an internal reporter and spends a lot of time finding out what the eBay community wants to know and then running interviews at the corporate level.
  • Consistency is important when it comes to maintaining a blog. Richard tries to get out at least four posts a week.
  • Many in the industry talk of being transparent and honest. Most people are referring to external communications, but this applies just as much internally. Brand, legal and corporate communications departments all have to understand what you are putting out there.
  • eBay have been among the first to start a social media corporate disclosure program: eg. earnings releases are published on Twitter
  • They are undertaking a social media audit to isolate all social media properties. Twitter questions: Do you use Twitter for business? What’s your handle? Blog questions: Do you blog for the business? What are your goals, messaging, objectives? How do you measure these?
  • eBay are aware there are ‘disparate places where conversations are happening’. They are looking to setup a central platform to pull all this communication together.

Check out this excellent short video on eBay’s social media strategy

Does social media need to be personal? | Corporate blogging news digest

One of the so-called rules of social media is that you should adopt a personal voice. After all the medium is all about helping companies look less monolithic and to engage on a one-to-one basis, right? Well, not necessarily, according to Ann All’s article in IT Business Edge. Content is content, and as long as you are producing unique, interesting subject matter, you may still find an engaged audience lapping it up. Ann points out that the IT Business Edge profile on Twitter and Facebook fan page are little more than warmed-up RSS feeds. This is fine for their audience: it’s more about putting links to useful articles on the networks where their audience congregates.

I’d say I largely subscribe to this view, and some of our own corporate Twitter accounts are not conversational: they just point followers to useful content, eg. BRMS Updates. With practically no promotional effort, we’re getting at least 1 new follower per day. And the followers know what to expect. If we do need to engage with our audience on a more personal level, we’ll probably open up a fresh profile to handle this.

After all, is social media really that different from the traditional media that went before it? After all, our media is as diverse as we are. Some of it is informal, some of it entertaining, whereas some is a mix. All of it can enjoy a share of the limelight.

So rather than concentrate on ensuring a ‘personal voice’, think about who your audience are and what value you can pass on. By all means, think about using a vivacious personal tone rather than turgid lackluster corporate-speak, but there are times when you just need to get the information out there and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use a direct, formal approach if this will work for your audience.

News highlights

Blog takeup still low among Fortune 500
Findings from the Society for New Communications Research shows that blog take-up still low at the corporate level. Many companies are still trying to work out what are the relative merits to launching and maintaining a corporate blog.

Roundtable with social media luminaries (Marketing Nirvana)
Mario Sundar offers a video of a recent roundtable featuring some top names in social media. Some good points here if you are new to social media (aren’t we all?).

Inside social media at HP: a closer look at HP’s Community Core Team
HP has a central group that pulls together web marketing professionals from across the company to discuss initiatives and share best practices. Could this be a model for other large businesses?

What Twitter Looks Like For Twitter Employees (screenshots of the backend)
How do you monitor the most hyped microblogging platform on the planet? This is what Twitter does.

Beware: corporate blogging is no guaranteed goldmine (Unspun)
Just because you start a corporate blog doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed traffic (and the potential value that comes with all those people). There’s some nuggets of advice nestled in the gloom of this post.

A Brilliant Social Media Presentation (Kyle Lacy)
It’s amazing just how powerful can be the juxtaposition of contradictory symbols. Check out the wonderfully crafted old school design in this Slideshare presentation. You may well snag those doubters and luddites.

Corporate Blogging Pitfalls (Buildify)
Struggling drawing up corporate blogging guidelines? Think of potential pitfalls and build the list out from there.

HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics (Mashable)
Mashable picks up on how you might track social media. This often gets tricky as much of your social media efforts maybe concentrated on 3rd party networks (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and so to some degree you are at their mercy.

6 Guides for Better Business Blogging (WATBlog.com) – Web, Advertising and Technology Blog in India
Maneesh Madambath offers his pick of articles and papers on how to improve your blogging strategy.

Technorati: State of the Blogosphere 2008 (The Culture Mind)
Every year Technorati releases its State of the Blogosphere report. The Culture Mind do a great job of dissecting this and pulling out some choice findings. Such as just how savvy bloggers are and how they measure success

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