Social Media Purgatory

September 26, 2009

Corporate Blogging

Companies that still have yet to sign on to adopting methods of Web 2.0 or are starting to realize the need to provide an outlet to the public, rest in a state of what I call social media purgatory. A state where a wall exist where moving forward into the future of social media is a barrier in reaching its heavenly potential. The days of one-way communication tactics are coming to an end, as generation X and Ys proceed with change. If Barack Obama voiced about change, then companies with loss of trust from the publics will have to change as well in hopes that the fears and doubts of utilizing these new media tactics will dissipate.

A great step forward that is still under looked is corporate blogging. Blogging has evolved into a medium that has substantial influence in the media world. It has grown to become a sophisticated tool that allows for enhanced communication from all rankings in businesses, mostly providing customer service help. The success of blogs comes as factor of building a voice and presence in the online world. A voice that is not fabricated to sound like an advertisement or press release. Let me repeat that. A voice that is not fabricated to sound like an advertisement or press release.  To implement a conversation friendly atmosphere is the key distinction that holds value and uniqueness to the medium itself. According to Ten Corporate Blogs Worth Reading, examples of successful companies with blogs are a great way to illustrate the outcome of blogging:

* Google’s Blog: Google has a great foundation to setting up and combining user-friendly applications. They are always updated and conveniently have tutorials for everyone and anyone to use and their blogs are a great way to find out what’s updated. They are also ranked #1 on Technorati’s top Corporate Blogs.

* LinkedIn’s Blog: Linkedin.com is a professional interconnecting networking site where you can stay in tuned with professionals. A lot of Fortune 500 companies are linked into it, providing a new form of professional “Facebookers.”  On the other hand, the LinkedIn blog carries a great professional tone about what goes on in social media.

*Whole Foods’ Blog:  Being one of the top retailers in the food industry, the Wholefoods’ blog hits home with its recipes on food, business, and organic philosophy.

There still is this problem:

According to Firms Find New Outlets with Blogs, by the Wall Street Journal, there seems to be the notion that people are still skeptical about blogs because they do not trust companies. This article also highlights how General Motors (GM) uses its blog to provide reports and communication to its publics. Even though the company itself has lost the trust of the public, one can’t help but think that they have utilized an outreach tool well and have lived up to the term transparency which is key in Social Media.

The idea to start a corporate blog must be thought about in small steps. But it’s the small steps that make the small connections, which builds trust, and in turn builds value for a company.

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8 Responses to “Social Media Purgatory”

  1. Kate Sutherland said

    I really like the blogs that have customer service help. It’s nice not having to call a company just to then be put on hold for twenty minutes while they try to answer my question. I do wonder though, what all this social media is doing to the social phone conversations? When I talk to people I find myself, checking my e-mail or getting on Facebook. Do you think that while the social media is supposed to create more relationships in the corporate world, maybe we are losing them in the social world?

    • Angeline Vo said

      That is a great question. And I even started my blog out differently but erased it completely with a hypothetical scenario as a intro mentioning how a lot of companies ban social media websites such as Facebook, youtube and twitter. I know when I worked for Northrop Grumman and Murad UK, they did not allow me to use Facebook. My boss once gave me an assignment that alluded to catering to younger students and i said to him, “Oh a great way to reach out is by Facebook.” He just looked at me puzzled and nodded his head like he knew what I was talking about. He’s behind on creating relationships through social media. But as for social media affecting social phone conversations, I actually think in a sense its very human to multi task with phone conversations. If not a computer, there’s always dishes to put away. But it does loose the true trait of listening.

  2. Lauren Babbage said

    It still amazes me how companies these days are not exploring the world of social media. I often wonder what it will do to older employees in the next few years when students, such as ourselves, are leaving college with this new wealth of knowledge and going out into the real world. I wonder if only then will older companies and people decide to update their “technology skills” only to keep their jobs.

    • Angeline Vo said

      Yes. There are still just so many fears and doubts with taking a step forward. It’s the whole world. I personally believe that our generation will make change happen but it’s only a matter of time. The media world is one of the largest controlling domains of the world! I specifically noted GM to express that they are “changing” and even though they are seen in a negative light, their example of transparency to the world is something companies should look to. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Michelle Goydan said

    I agree that small steps are the best way to utilize a good outcome. Building up the information leads to building up the relationship. Although I don’t think it’s right to say information and relationship have a totally positive correlation. Transparency seems to the major factor when an audience chooses to engage in a relationship with a company. But how transparent do you think a corporate blog should be? Do you think the conversation should be controlled or uncontrolled? It’s good to see that some companies like Google and LinkIn have great resources for their users to use.

    • Angeline Vo said

      I think the companies that have really used corporate blogging to their best efforts especially the ones that have hit rock bottom with their reputation. Companies that choose to control or not control messages do so after putting up a policy with how they’ll go about things. But control can be many things. For example, some might not even allow anonymous comments. A blog should resonate the companies mission by not restating it to brainwash us but we should be able to understand the mission by reading about what goes on and how customers are responding. That’s how transparent I’d expect it to be. It’s kindof like people. How well do you know someone. People are honest, and you become really close with someone. But there are always those small things you won’t ever know because it’s just internally kept quiet. and you probably don’t even want to know. Thanks for your comment Michelle, it was very insightful.

  4. Jenn said

    I think that companies are hesitant because all this social media stuff is still pretty new! Over just the past couple of years blogs, facebook, twitter, all that has exploded in to what it is now. Companies that are decades old have seen technologies come and go and are probably hesitant because of that. These social media tools are babies to what they are probably used to. However, now that millions of people are using these sites, it is time for companies to open up their eyes to the new mediums and I think companies are slowly starting to. I think that you are right Lauren, that older people will update technology skills just to keep their jobs because they will find it is necessary to be up to date.

    • Angeline Vo said

      Do you find it ironic that when Dr. Holman yelled at us for not thinking we were technically savvy? She told us we are the generation that will change things because we use technology so fluently and that we’d never get a job if we admitted that we thought we didn’t know how to use technology. I think companies have to start internal blogging to get a feel for how to expand, especially if we still have laggards that don’t know anything about Facebook. Thanks for your comment Jenn!

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