Blogging at work place

August 16, 2010

Initiating a Blogging culture is a great way to start venturing into a collaborative space. Technically, it does connect an individual effectively amongst other employees. It also helps an individual to showcase his/her talent by contributing on various organizational efforts. It may refer to organizational skills, productivity, Ideas towards various internal enhancements.

Blogging is a very pro-active engagement tool for employees who have been working in an organization for long. Many a times, employees miss opportunities to share their talent or practices with other colleagues or management due to their  nature of being introverts. Hence, Blogging can be a great tool for such people to be part of various conversations and practices.

Most of the times, we end up speaking about Team efforts, but we always to miss that fact in our various efforts. Collaborative Blogging can be great way to gather every employee to participate and build team orient efforts.

Especially, when an organization manages their Corporate Blog, participation from various employees or teams does add lot of value towards the company’s reputation in the online space. The best reputation can any organizations have is to be united and speak on message across.

For Eg: Blogging at Workplace can have many advantages:

  • Integrates the Marketing & Customer Service related activities with seamless communication
  • Encourages and Involves employees in building the company reputation by indulging into various online conversation on behalf of the organization. Feels good and motivated!
  • Builds more valuable and adequate information for the organization  such as Contribution from various departments such as  Product, Service, Marketing, Management, Research & Development, Purchase, HR. Hence, positioning an organization as a Knowledge Leader in the online space and also showcasing the best place to work

Similar to Advantages, Blogging can also have it own negatives:

Though Blogging could be the best thing to do for internal communications, but it does have its own negative effects too. Blogging can also damage one’s reputation or also get the company’s reputation at stake. Every organization needs to build its own Social Media Engagement policies, which will restrict employees to use this medium for their personal benefits. However, there have been cases in abroad where this medium is been utilized to damage the company’s reputation. Hence, a moderation process also needs to be set internally, where each article, post and conversations are been filtered, reviewed by the moderator regularly. In India, the trend has been subtle and no such cases have been recorded. However, it is imperative to follow such processes before venturing into democratic platforms

Negatives:

  • Damage company’s reputation
  • Posting confidential documents or videos which might effect the company’s policies
  • Complains and grievances shared on a specific product by using fake identities which is a deliberate effort to effect company’s reputation
Advertisements

Traditional media had always promised us millions of Reach but no one bothered to measure or did not have any tools to measure the reach with qualitative analysis. Social Media PR which is so called “New Media” in India comes with Reach and a strong influence…

People ask me why Social Media PR can be dominating in the future. The most important draw-back of traditional  marketing approach is the reach but no influence or less influence. Thought it claimed to have quantitative reach but failed to have qualitative results to the reach. We never felt it important just because we didn’t have any other option. But Social Media has opened the big doors for consumers to voice their opinions against their bad experiences with the Brand. This certainly did not change overnight in India but it took enough time to reach out to people’s realization.

Social Media Marketing - Indian Social Media

Social Media Marketing - Indian Social Media

Most Importantly, Social Media Marketing comes with a strong power to influence consumers decision because of its communication model. Social Media Marketing is more towards permission based marketing approach. This does give them a right to accept what they feel and how they want it to be. It is very difficult for a brand to approach a consumers with its own rules and approach. In such case of personalization there is strong sense of influence too. Since the consumers have to power to weave their perceptions it becomes very easy so establish a strong chain of influence along with the reach. Its the enough room consumers have achieved in this medium bringing  more difficulties and straight-forward approaches for the Brands. This has completely changed the consumer’s experience with the Brand. Hence, marketers have to strongly think and brainstorm about building necessary approach in this medium. There can be silent damage to the brand if the marketers do not feel the necessity of interacting with the consumers directly, which may result in great downfalls for any Brand or service.

This certainly can also be a great help for brands to also identify the loop holes in their Marketing & Communication approach, resulting them to fix issues and problems pertaining to the Product, service and much more…

Most importantly since Social Media PR has a great Reach along with strong Influence, marketing efforts can achieve assured qualitative results and also ensure better penetration of the brand or service amongst the consumers. In such cases a clear ROI is also defined effectively.

Return on Time Spent

June 12, 2009

This logic is slightly philosophical, but I guess this will help a lot in understanding the characteristics of Social Media activities and its services available.

One can reap excellent benefits out of Social Media if he / she does enough research on Social Media, its characteristics, the way it works, they way it reacts to us. Many of us have a myth about Social Media is just to know about tools which will help us to communicate our key messages. But, the actual feel of how social media would react to our communications will totally depend on how much time do we devote online by getting engaged in Social Media activities such as :

  • Commenting on interesting topics
  • Participating in the Discussions
  • Participating in the Brainstorming activities on Brainstorming sites
  • Blogging and commenting on Blogs, its not about just saying “good post”,  “I just dropped on  this site and the content is good”, “good one”. All these are not comments or value additions. It is just a formality to increase their own visibility by establishing more number of backlinks. The real commenting is when you add some value additions to the existing article, which will give you more insights to the post or an article on a Blog. This will be appreciated even by the Author of the Blog and certainly develop good relationships with the Author
  • Tweeting – Tweeting is an important activity. It goes in a teaser perspective, due to its 140 character limitation. Moreover, tweeting is a very influential activity to spread the message across, it acts well to distribute the information across
  • Interacting with the unknown people who equally share like minded thoughts or totally different thoughts, managing conversations with the online people
  • Trying to make assumptions of their likes and dislikes
  • Getting anxious to their responses
  • Drafting responses to the unexpected and weird comments

    All this won’t be possible if an individual is not involved in these activities actively. The consequences of not being active and yet implementing the strategies would always end up in negative responses, negative reputation and unexpected reviews or feedback from the users.

    Yes.. It is a time consuming activity and lot of research is needed before one tries to indulge in these activities.  Moreover, to implement a smooth and flawless Social Media activity, one has to listen to what people are saying and also understand what do they expect. One has to be even Social in nature, this will help a lot in weaving new thoughts of triggering conversations or conversational topics.

    Good openings for people who talk a lot, think a lot, and likes to keep on conversing on Philosophical thoughts. 🙂 , But there can be saturation if you over do it also 😉

    India is still very aggressive in supporting Causes and CSR activities through Social Media. As it still works out with a common objective i.e “Support”, “Raise Voice Against”, “Save” and many more.

    There has been a major confusion amongst people about Tools and Communication strategy in India. Marketers are skeptical about engaging users with indirect communications as they are very much used to direct communications. This trend might take some time to entirely get changed into engaging users with their choice of content.

    PR Professionals, Advertising Professionals will have to spend lot of time through indulging into social media activities as being part of it and act like the end users to understand the clear kn0w-how of Social Media and other forms of Digital Communications.

    Hence, its time to take an immediate call and act like an end user and achieve excellent returns on the time spent. I dont have evidences to it, but it would be clearly evident if an individual is totally involved in Social Communities.

    Cost of Inactivity

    June 5, 2009

    I would like to thank to one of my online friend – ISABELLE who has been actively discussing with me on this matter, The Best part of our discussion was coming up with a  new perspective to look at “Cost of Inactivity” rather than analyzing it through ROI, Cost per click etc etc.

    Inactivity has been an important concern in the Social Media World especially in the Indian Markets. Social Media has been very successful in other countries. India has still yet to taste the response of Social Media. Yes there are many companies who have started using Social Media as one the mediums to engage people. But they are not completely in it. The current perception of the Indian market is still restricted to contests, Campaigns to engage users and not discussions, brainstorming and other Crowd sourcing activities. Indian brands are still skeptical to act transparent to the actual people and still looking at different ways to control these mediums in either restricting themselves on tools or content.

    But Social Media is more than just sharing a company’s information, their operations, their expansion plans, service etc. Social Media is also, giving an opportunity to the people to participate in one’s brand conversations, such as brand enhancements and many more. It need not have to be specific to the brand but a relative activity of the brand. Ultimately what people look for is an opportunity to converse with people on different possible discussions, express their views, frustrations, ideas etc. where they would like make some value additions. The Best example of is the Idea Campaign, it does have an emotional connect as well as involve people in the brand’s Initiatives.

    There is one more reason why Brands in India are not very keen in involving real people in their activities, as the fear of conversations going against them. But, its worth taking a risk.

    It needs a long term strategy to develop good relationships with the real people. An ideal social media strategy should span across between 3 to 6 months. Social Media strategies are little time consuming, but in this case we are building a communication support to backup our promotional activities. It just like somebody approaching you with a product which has no history and future. Everyone needs some supporting, not just appearing it on Hoardings, Electronic media, but also adding some personalized touch to it.

    Brands still look at one big Idea, than looking at simple strategies to support it. And this kind of practice is dangerous for a brand image. Moreover, just being listed on all popular social media services, will not be considered as being active on it. One has to talk to people, ask their reviews, involve them in the brand’s survey processes and also involve them in possible brainstorming processes. This will certainly place any brand to a customer’s expectation and also building brand loyalty. People wants their concern to be considered. So far we have been hiding and running away from their concerns, and naturally that leads a Brand Disaster in the coming future. Moreover, being active is so important as there is immense competition around the brands itself. Lets understand one thing, being inactive is far more expensive than being active. Here are some important aspects to look at it:

    1. Misunderstanding towards a Brand
    2. Loosing valuable customers without knowing
    3. Negative Influence
    4. Misinterpretation of the customers  expectation and hence ending up in a loose out
    5. Advantage for the competitors
    6. Negative conversations going out of control damaging the Brand Reputation
    7. Very difficult to convince and provide possible justification on a claim or an incident
    8. Loosing out good opportunities to connect with consumers directly and also understanding their expectations
    9. Spending lot of money on the research companies, with assumptive survey reports
    10. Unwanted Redirection of Valuable Conversations

    Looking at so many possible disadvantages, Is Being Inactive Worth a try ?

    Gifts & Prizes are no more special to anyone.  In India, Marketers have started misusing Social Media for their own benefits. I keep coming across many new blogger contests, where they have started giving prizes for tweeting and writing about their brand in their blogs. Well I would like to refer the recent one which I just came across organized by Indiblogger.in and Peppysophia.com. The way they have communicated about the blogger contest is truly commercial and intentional. Hmmmmm…. Why are marketers trying to spoil and control this medium.

    Why can’t marketers leave it to a blogger to write whatever he or she feels about. Why are marketers making it more obligatory to write positive about them.

    Prizes, Money and expensive gifts do spoil people’s mind and their skills. But one has to understand and make their own decision, whether to support these acts or discourage these acts. Believe me, being in a controlled messaging world, I feel social media is a place where one can express his or her views openly without any hassles.

    I recently came across few blogger communities who are equally supporting these acts. Please guys.. why can’t we keep these communities clean and not handover ourselves to these selfish motives.

    Certainly, there are other marketers who understand the value of Blogs and other Social Media Platforms, who see that they don’t loose out the essence of this platform. I would term Social Media as People’s Media.

    So let people decide what is wrong and what is right and not try to influence them with Gifts & Prizes. Of course, there can be gratifications, but there should not be any motive behind it.

    Needless to say, this shows that how valuable our comments and our suggestions are.  They do get considered, which certainly acts as Word of Mouth (WOM) publicity. There can be few aspects to look at it :

    1. Wants to share information about their brand
    2. Wants to distribute information across multiple channels
    3. Wants to conduct a survey through Bloggers
    4. Wants people to review their product
    5. Wants to build direct relationship with the consumers
    6. Wants to observe or keep a close eye on how a product is performing
    7. Wants to be more transparent about their functionality and their operations
    8. Considering the fact that online users are far more powerful than the people behind using traditional news items such as Publications and electronic media, so caring about online users is justified

    Only these are possibilities due to why one wants to invite Bloggers or run a social Media campaign or there can be some detailed reasons from the above.

    All others could end up tampering an individual’s opinion and views.  So friends, lets not get influenced with these worthless Gifts and Prizes which influences us to tweak our thoughts and opinions.

    Hi, One of my friend Mr Rohan Moorthy who is a PR Professional working with HANMER MS&L, handling clients such as Oberoi Mall, Jotun Paints Shares his viewpoints on how digital media can be useful for his clients and what does he plan to suggest his client about it. He has shared his detail view points on how Digital Media can prove effective to the existing marketing communications.

    I am sharing a podcast on a detailed conversation with him on this topic.