Social networking is a form of marketing that is used by large and small companies, individuals and businesses and is often highly profitable, depending on what circles it’s in. Although you will hear many companies and bloggers tout the varied benefits of social networking, there are heavy responsibilities that come with social networking. Blogger accountability and company responsibility are only a couple of factors that contribute to the image that the blog has on media relations and networks. Online accountability, customer interaction and marketing follow-up are other factors that help determine what resonate with bloggers and what audiences want to read on the blog.
A few weeks back, the case of a Twitter account that was masked or hijacked caused quite a stir in the media and had folks talking about corporate responsibility and negative impact. It involved the case of the Exxon Mobile company and a blogger who had assumed an identity as one of their corporate bloggers. There were some things that were shared on Twitter that were misleading and damaging, but also reflected negatively on the ability of Exxon to manage their systems. They (Exxon) were held responsible for the actions of this blogger as people wondered just how this blogger was able to get away with as much as she did in a limited amount of time.
Corporate blogs are written and maintained generally by corporate employees. Organizations choose individuals who have strong writing skills and a personality that connects with the audience, giving them the ability to transfer their message adeptly to the blog readers. Because corporate bloggers have these special skills, they also know the importance and power of developing a solid social networking circle in the best interest of traffic to their blogs. They know those who frequent the blog, those who are controversial, those who are their peers and those who are their enemies. Therefore, it would stand to reason that if a corporate blogger has a relationship with its readers, there are likely to be less instances where the blogger or the company aren’t aware of what’s going on with their blogs. So, how in the world can an Exxon blogger hijacker take over a Twitter blog without people really knowing what’s going on?
In order to minimize situations like what happened to Exxon, have your corporate blog identity rooted in exceptional communication and customer service. As for the blogger that maintains the blog, make sure that they establish themselves as an anchor for the company, spouts the company’s message loudly and that his or her voice in inexplicably tied to the mission and objective of your corporation. Also, ensure that the blogger knows the message well and aligns with it. Too often, blogger blog simply to blog. Ensure that your corporate blogger has passion, continuity, believability and connection. Your message is too valuable to get lost in transmission.
What has your corporation done to ensure the integrity of your blog? What are some things you can do as a blogger to avoid the Exxon situation from happening to you?
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