Let’s face it, the idea of a corporate blog is scary to a lot of managers, and rightfully so. The idea of having information flowing from the bowels of your organization straight to the public eye is disconcerting to say the least. Sure, legal will have a field day trying to figure all this out – but I can save everyone that trouble right now: quite simply, a blog is a more Web 2.0 way of saying website. What’s more, a blog is generally expected to have a more casual tone to it than your main page which means there will be a lot more leniency towards what you say. You do still need to be cautious though, there are numerous examples of social media faux-pas. In the end common sense trumps all and really what you want to achieve is transparency with your customers. Now, without further ado and in no particular order, here are the top 10!
The Adobe blog is used as a platform for product launches, company news and general background information on goings-on in the company. As with other companies, Adobe keeps things a little casual and you’ll find some funny posts here and there. Adobe pulls blogs in from various people and divisions working there, all having their own blog published onto the main one allowing for more frequent updates.
As you would expect, Amazon focuses more on the consumer space with their posts and adopt a much more casual tone than most. There is a pretty clear focus on technology news which should appeal to their market. The posts are brief, interesting and you may even walk (or browse) away with gift ideas for an upcoming holiday.
The AMD blog is a little different from others: it is updated less frequently and is geared more towards an engineering and developer community. You’ll also notice that you’ll find references to things in pop culture, like popular TV shows. Unlike on their main page, a lot of the posts contain even contain smileys
Cisco Systems¬ http://blogs.cisco.com/news
Cisco makes use of its blog mainly to promote their thought leadership regarding various topics surrounding their industry. They update each of their channels almost daily and are also on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr doing their best to leverage their online presence.
Dell uses their blog to showcase new products, services and initiatives, but posts are a little less formal than your standard press release. The blog has been up since July 2006 and updates have flowed in just about every day since then. Dell’s online presence extends to social networking sites as well: they recently announced that they have reached 2 million dollars in sales from their Twitter channel.
VMWare’s parent company EMC takes a different approach to corporate blogging by simply creating a page which links to blogs of the upper-level management team. It is of course less¬†centralized than other corporate blogs, but they still get to demonstrate how smart the people that work for them are without having to stand completely behind the content.
Google is a big company – really big. Not only that, but they are innovative industry leaders and have quite a bit to say, so what better way of doing it than through a corporate blog with over 480 thousand followers at the time of writing? If you don’t read their blog then you probably should because Google makes it really worthwhile to follow them.
IBM has taken the same tack as EMC by creating a directory of employee blogs. All the same rules hold true here where IBM gets to show off a little thought leadership without all the trouble of having to strictly stand by and control it as their own. Again, as a result of the format, a lot of content ends up being about the personal lives of IBM employees with a little less focus on the company itself.
Microsoft Windows Team http://windowsteamblog.com/
While most people don’t think of Microsoft as truly understanding the web, they actually do a great job with their blogs. The Windows blog is used to allow Microsoft developers to enlighten the world on the design process of Windows as it comes along and provides a glimpse of some of the behind the scenes work that goes into the OS which really showcases the innovation that most people normally wouldn’t¬†get to see.
If a Seagate engineer was interested in a storage-related story then it’s sure to make its way onto the corporate blog. There is an interesting mix here of storage-related industry news and stories intertwined with information about their products, how they work and some of the new releases.
Why Do It?
So to recap, what makes all of these corporate blogs good for both the readers and the companies that maintain them?
- It demonstrates thought leadership of your employees
- It can promote a feeling of transparency
- News feels like it’s coming from real people
- All the content can drive traffic in from search engines
- The more casual feeling is refreshing for readers coming from big companies
- It can make your company look modern and well-connected
- It can help generate interest in your market
The one thing to keep in mind is that the internet is a pretty though industry to excel in and you need to persevere if you want to reap any substantial benefits from it. You can’t update a blog daily¬†for a month then stop – unlike most marketing campaigns you need to persevere with no ending date in sight. What’s more, you really need frequent and consistent updates to stay current. As such, the time investment needs to be there; iif you aren’t willing to take time out of your day or have someone else do so to write some thoughts down then don’t start a blog. Having a deserted blog is always worse than having no blog at all!