Debbie Weil (if you don’t know who she is, I haven’t got enough time to tell you but go here and here to find out more!) posted the following question which has really resonated with me:
Is Corporate Blogging the Hub of Social Media Marketing?
Debbie’s question is a really pertinent one as we see more and more casual, almost meaningless social gestures creeping into our online world. Friending, poking, liking, rating, status updates and even Twitter with its 140 characters are all quick and simple ways for us to communicate but do any of them add any real value to interactions with customers?
Whilst many firms set out with the very best of intentions of engaging customers with their social media strategy, where is the real “meat” in the conversation.
As I often do, ask yourself, how would you interact with someone if they only spoke in 140 characters or sentences with limited meaning, or who simply gave you a thumbs up or down in response to a question you may ask?
Out of principle, we in “the profession” are obliged (and 99% of the time are correct) to say that no social media strategy should proceed without beforehand, monitoring the landscape. That seems to be the “proper” and sometimes obvious way to get things moving. We then move to discuss the idea that no channel has the right to be used without evidence that there is a need for the brand to communicate in that way to customers.
The reality is though (and this is through a lot of experience!) that at the heart of any good social media strategy DOES lie a blog – whether with a corporate hat on or a marketing-led branding/engagement one.
The blog, for me, is the way to get to the heart of what social media is all about – people. It is the only way of giving the brand a voice, a means to communicate in a way that the stuffy website or social channels will not let them and a way to to show consumers that the brand really does give a sh1t.
Many have postulated that blogging is dead with the growth of the status update and twitter, but I’m utterly unconvinced.
What are your thoughts? Can you think of other ways that brands can engage in meaningful conversations with customers yet still make it a quick and easy thing to do?