Charlene Li (her blog) of Forrester Research raised a question at Forrester Research’s Consumer Forum 2005: What do blogs, RSS and search engines have in common? Her answer was that they require interactive marketeers to give up some control. She had five rules for marketeers interested in running blogs and other social computing tools. Found this on DMNews.com. It fits perfectly in what I was writing on upstream thinking and the posting Should a marketeer blog? Both in dutch.
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"1. engage in a conversation. For example let developers interact with the brand via posts
2. enjoy the conversation. Customers are often smarter than the marketer.
3. make customers tell marketers what they want.
4. place the ability in the hands of users.
5. marketers should admit mistakes.
How do marketers get started with social computing?
1. They should decide how involved they want to get with it. Listen to the consumer.
2. Start small. Get people used to the mindset.
3. Place earnings calls in podcasts for media and analysts to access after a call.
4. Market these tools and create awareness with the targeted audiences.
5. Deploy the metrics necessary to measure effectiveness to cover the posts generated in a blog or e-mails received."
Of course there are risks but as Charlene says: "If you can’t trust your employees and executives to have open discussions, you have bigger issues on your hands."
And there is a discussion going on on what the influence is of blogging on sales. Charlene said: "It’s not how many people have you sold,but how many people have you influenced?"
Lose full control over corporate tone and messaging.
Gain a believable, accessible human voice; direct customer
feedback to where it counts; credibility in the market place (directly
related to the human voice).
Lose control over the medium, the ability to “push” at will.
Gain customers that truly want your messages
Lose the ability to dominate the conversation.
Gain a more level playing field for smaller players.