As the chief perpetuator of Yesterday.sg – Singapore’s first heritage and museum blog – I have been invited numerous times to share what we did. How do we keep going at it despite the odds? After all, history and new media isn’t exactly easy bedfellows.
Well, here are some of the lessons which we have learnt about running an interest-based blog, which you can consider when starting your own corporate blog. In the spirit of marketers worldwide, I have distilled them into 5 Cs.
As the saying goes, content is king. If you don’t have a compelling story to tell, don’t even consider embracing social media platforms. What’s important though is that the tales that you tell must resonate with your audiences – and not just your CEO. Make the experience as rich as possible with videos, podcasts, photos and all, but don’t neglect quality over quantity.
Blogs, Facebook, Forums, Flickr, Twitter, Plurk, and blog aggregators like Ping.sg all do one thing well. And that is in connecting people. Having a fascinating yarn isn’t good enough if you don’t a group of believers or advocates for your cause. Invest in time and effort to make it happen. Better yet, work with existing social media communities and see how you can play a part.
Starting a blog is more akin to a marathon rather than a 100 metre sprint. Pace yourself in terms of the frequency of posts such that you can keep going in good times and bad. Unlike personal blogs, corporate blogs are official platforms for your organisation. You can’t blog according to moodswings if you are doing so in your official capacity (although being cheery certainly helps).
This is probably the hardest “virtue” to emulate but it may be the one that makes the most difference. Some degree of openness and transparency helps you to endear your organisation in the online space to the digital denizens. If you screwed up, do say so and be sincere about wanting to change for the better.
Be a part of the action and see how you can be a part of existing networks. Join their activities and be an active contributor (subject to time and energy) in discussions, projects and other social media initiatives. Socialise and learn the principle of reciprocity (or I scratch your back and you scratch mine) in blogging.
This is what I call the authority index. In other words, how appropriate your organisation is to start a blog or social media channel in a specific subject matter. Where possible, find the right niches to fill and focus on them. Don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole unless you can find a bridge to connect them to each other.