You feel proud in saying that you company is several years old in the market or it is one of the market leaders. You like boasting about the market share that you have achieved. Your company is always open to customers’ feedback. However, amidst all this you might be missing something important. There might be a section of the market that could have used your products if you listened to them. Good that you are active on the internet. This shows your willingness to listen to such customers. You also need to know the correct medium where you should be active to reach them.
If you think customer forum is an answer, you are mistaken. Forum is a closed community. It has a limited number of members who can post their comments. Similarly a community in Twitter or Facebook would have limited members. There can be several others with amazing ideas which might not be interested in joining the community. So, how do you get the comments of several other non-members?
There is another demerit in using Twitter or Facebook. These are third party sites. Hence the terms and conditions can be changed without your prior knowledge. You do not have the control over these sites. You need something like your own website on which you have the complete control.
The answer to this kind of situation is a corporate blog. A corporate blog helps an organisation reach its goals. It allows interaction and feedback from individuals, other blogs and websites. A blog has been a fertile bed for great product ideas or improvement of existing products. Companies that have made China the manufacturing hub of the world have been successfully doing this since several years. Numerous companies across the world have consummated in using blogs for marketing and other benefits while several others are learning to use blogs for improving communication with the clients, vendors as well as prospective customers.
Corporate blogs do the work of customer forum, Facebook or Twitter in a controlled environment. As happens in the case of a website, your company has a control on the editorial content posted on your blog. However, unlike website, this is a relatively open forum. The popular conversational style of writing that is used in the blogs is a welcome for readers of all categories. It is your own blog so no one other than you can change the terms and conditions.
If you think blogging is just for marketers, you are too stride to reach at that conclusion. Try using it for head hunting, staff recruitment or customer service. Internal blogs can also be used for free communication among employees at various levels in the organisational hierarchy. Though there has been a controversy on whether they should or should not, there is an increasing number of CEOs who have their own blogs. Try going through the sites like http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/, http://www.cnewmark.com/, http://blogmaverick.com/ or http://ross.typepad.com/. THese are the blogs belonging to CEOs of Sun Microsystems, Craig’s List, owner of Dallas Mavericks and CEO of Socialtext respectively. A blog, hence, has become a mirror of an organisation’s personality.