Is it enough to just add a blog?

Jason Falls tweeted a couple of days ago that Rupp Arena is now on Twitter. The interesting part is that the Twitter account comes after Rupp Arena just launched a blog for the site as well. So it appears that the facility decided to launch the blog AND Twitter account at the same time.

I think this is the beginning of a trend as businesses are now starting to experiment with social media and realizing that it doesn't begin and end with a blog. I hope to hear Mario and Lionel to talk more about this at SXSW, but I'm encouraged to see businesses playing with these tools to see what is out there. At the same time, it worries me to see some businesses that are still almost oblivious to the very tools that their competitors are using to alter their cultures and change the way their very business functions.

Just like a blog, Twitter isn't a necessity for every business, but I do think that every business should use every tool available, social or otherwise, to discover what their customers are saying about them. With that comes a better understanding of the tools themselves, as well as the customers. But being a disinterested bystander is no longer a viable option, if it ever was.

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posted by Mack Collier @ 11:26 AM,

9 Comments:

At 2:32 PM, Blogger whatsnext said...

Interesting post Mack. i agree that social media tools need to be used in context of an overall communications strategy, and that something like twitter can be appropriate only for some companies or situations.

i'm also discouraged that, just about every day, i meet corporate communications professionals who don't know a blog from a bagel. And they all say the same thing about Twitter "isn't that where people talk about what they're eating for lunch."

Yup, just like blogs are personal diaries for teenagers.

Being a disinterested bystander definitely is not an option, and I'm with you - it's never been.

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

"i meet corporate communications professionals who don't know a blog from a bagel."

Which means they definitely haven't heard of Twitter or Facebook etc etc.

I really worry for these people, their companies are falling so far behind.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Connie Reece said...

I'm grappling with what would be "best practices" for businesses on Twitter. Should they use it strictly as microblogging, more of a one-to-many communication? Or can they use Twitter in a more conversational way? Should only one person in a company be the "voice" on Twitter? (Ann Handley for Marketing Profs comes to mind.) Or is it possible for more than one person to handle the business Twitter account? (Bulldog Solutions is experimenting with this.)

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Rick Julian said...

For ourselves (a branding agency) and on behalf of our clients, keeping up with social media trends is a critical activity. We've just waded into blogging and Twittering during the last two weeks. I posted my reaction to my first seven days of Twittering here:

quo-vadis.tv/rickjulian/2008/02/25/from-idiot-to-genius-my-first-7-days-on-twitter/

I'm reluctant to pronounce social media as an appropriate vehicle for all companies. If they can't do it reasonably well and consistently, the net effect could be detrimental to their brand's perception.

 
At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Kristen Forbriger said...

I find that I listen to - and therefore take more seriously - the tweets of individuals over organizations.

On Twitter, having a face behind an opinion means a lot. As Connie Reece referenced, Ann Handley is a good example.

Having said that, there could be value in a business microblogging -using Twitter as an information dissemination tool.

Maybe it's a combination of both. My guess is that it depends on the organization, what its comfortable with, and who it is trying to reach.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger GeekMommy said...

Not that I'm not an avid Twitter advocate and user - but honestly? I think that it's still rather on the early side for most businesses to adopt it.

Why?

Well, I think sometimes those of us who do jump into social media forget just how much it isn't yet the norm. We get our bubble reinforced by others in the same bubble.

There are companies which I think stand to gain a lot from Social Media use - and those that really don't yet.

To whit: there's not a lot of, oh say plumbing and lighting fixtures talk on Twitter at the moment. So should a company whose business really doesn't rely on tech savvy customers invest in all of the social media tools? I don't think so.
Have a blog? Possibly - a web presence of some sort definitely. But I just think that sometimes those who live on the 'Net tend to forget how much business is still done outside of it.

Just something to consider.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

@connie I think that's completely understandable that we aren't sure how businesses can/should use Twitter, hell I am still trying to figure out exactly how *I* should use it!

@geekmommy I'm not saying that every business should blog or use Twitter, but I do think they should monitor the discussions happening here, at least. But in some industries where certain major players are doing a good job of utilizing social media, it can make a big difference compared to those that aren't. Think Dell versus Gateway. But I agree with what I think is your main point, that social media isn't a marketing silver bullet.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Chelle Parmele said...

I'm nodding my head to a lot of the comments being made here. I too am looking at the different social media tools- trying to find products that might be beneficial, but the trouble is finding the ones that will actually work and not just eat up my time.

I am all about finding and using the next shiny thing, I just have to see how it fits into the over all 'strategic social media marketing plan'.

Great article as usual, Mack.

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Scott Clark said...

All businesses (bloggers, twitts, or otherwise) must adopt a transparent, authentic voice in their dealing with the public and keep their brand name out there - even if it's 140 characters at a time. Social systems this are very good for both encouraging and facilitating this culture.

We chose a plumber based on the reviews in Yahoo! Local, we choose a restaurant based on Yelp! etc.

I can think of 50 ways to use Twitter in business. But the offer is what makes it worth participating in. "Why should I?" questions go unanswered by "5% off your 2nd pizza" offers.

My consultancy clients panic when negative comments flow to their blogs sometimes. I ask them to turn inward to see why they're so upset. It usually leads to an improvement in their company for other reasons.

 

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