Melvin, Preetam, Ian and I shared our views yesterday afternoon on a panel speaking session on business blogging recently by the Institute of Public Relations Singapore (IPRS). After some time away from social media gatherings, it was quite refreshing to share my thoughts and experiences in corporate blogging once again. The lunch talk was held at Geek Terminal, which seem to be the de facto venue for all things 2.0-ish.
The session got off pretty well and I enjoyed the animated exchanges between the panellists and the floor. Some of the key lessons which I shared were as follows:
1) Build a Community of Believers
If you want your corporate blog to get off to a flying start, you need to first identity who your key stakeholders or influencers are. Get to know them – personally if possible – and be frank and honest with what you hope to do with them. Even better is to involve them right from the genesis of your blog and get their opinions, views and feedback on what ticks and what doesn’t. These agents of change can help to spread the word around not only on your own corporate blog but through their personal channels – blogs, forums, IMs, emails, Facebooks, Myspaces etc.
2) Don’t be Enamoured by Technology
Sure, your competitor has started a Facebook group, and even your 10-year old son has started to “Joosting“. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should incorporate all the latest bells and whistles into your blog from the word “Go!”. Instead, pay attention to your content (which is King by the way) and what you would like to say first and foremost. Thereafter, think about where your audiences prefer to hang out – virtually – and which way would work best.
3) Read the Cluetrain Manifesto
Now this book has already been around for quite a few years, but it still remains as the “Bible” of the entire social media business. Go buy, borrow or download for free here. I promise you that it will change your entire thinking about how markets work.
4) Face to Face > Facebook
Finally, you need to spend time meeting all the great folks whom you work offline. Don’t just be a virtual friend but a real one. Organise a gathering or many meet ups if you can. Arrange to catch up over coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks. It doesn’t have to be fancy. More importantly, show a genuine interest in what they do and the likelihood is that they will reciprocate the favour.