The days of faceless, voiceless companies are long gone. Social media has created a close connection between a company and its customers. Blogging has become an increasingly popular medium for businesses to communicate with customers and employees. Some businesses appreciate the fact that blogs can be easily created and managed with very little cost. Content can be published without having to worry about lead time and other limitations of traditional media. Blogs let a business develop a voice,
which helps people connect to the company on another level.
Although blogs have the potential to be an asset to businesses, it is imperative to implement and maintain a company blog appropriately in order to get the most benefit. A blog full of boring content will not help anybody. Creating a blog that is personable is important, but it also has to match up with the company’s culture. Below are some important considerations from a human resources perspective to build a successful business blog.
Blogs Should Foster Communication
Business blogs represent an opportunity to connect with customers in an informal manner while informing them about products, services, upcoming events, awards and other company-related information. Blogs should be written in an approachable style that suits the intended audience. Knowing the audience will help shape what kind of content will work best.
Just because the blog is from the company’s point of view does not mean it should be boring. Business bloggers should avoid simply disseminating company news or sales messages. Strong content should stimulate interest, conversation and ideally should be focused on providing the reader with useful information. Getting the customer involved means giving them something worth reading. Blog comments could also offer valuable insights into the customer’s mind.
Blogs Should Supplement Your Recruiting Efforts
Company blogs are a wonderful way to support recruiting efforts. Prospective employees can find information about company culture, products and services and communication style. It can also help identify company leaders and key staff members. Potential employees are far more likely to apply for a job with a company that seems engaging and forward-thinking. A blog can offer a real feel for what a company is like more than a website or job posting. Make a blog that makes people want to join the
HR Should Create Blogging Policies and Procedures
The human resources department is responsible for establishing an appropriate strategy and policy for posting content to the company’s blog. However, companies should be aware that many employees maintain personal blogs as well. It’s important to establish policies and guidelines pertaining to both company and personal blog content. Policies should address the type of content allowed and how employees should represent the company on personal blogs. The key is to be proactive in order to avoid
potential issues. Once content is published to the Internet, it has the capacity to live on even if the content is later deleted by the original poster. Many search engines capture and archive older versions of web content and screen capture software makes it easy for people to spread content even if it’s no longer available at its original source. It’s better to be safe than sued.
Business Blogs Should Represent the Company in a Consistent and Positive Manner
On a company blog, it’s not just the words that matter. Every piece of content, including color, images, videos and sound contribute to the overall impression that visitors form of the company. Therefore, all content must be consistent with the company’s overall branding and marketing strategy. In addition, the style and tone of the writing must be in line with the company’s communications strategy and personality. For example, blog content for a company like IBM should look and sound much different than a blog for Apple. Represent the company in a clear and consistent matter.
Blogs Can Be a Powerful Business Communication Tool When Used Properly
Many organizations have recognized the influence that social media has and its ability to reach customers directly. Business blogging can be one of the most powerful social media tools available when used correctly, which is one of the primary reasons why many businesses are turning to blogs as a communication tool. The human resources department plays a key role in ensuring that a business blog represents the company in a positive manner. By developing effective policies, HR can help companies
leverage the power of a business blog to strengthen its relationship with customers and employees. Every company has something to say. Who better to say it than the company itself?
This guest post was provided by Erin Palmer on behalf of the online programs from Villanova University. Villanova offers HR certification courses along with a masters in human resources online program. Erin would love to hear your thoughts on the best and worst company blogs. She can be reached on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.