Making your Corporate Blog a Customer Connection Hub


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This is a presentation that Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger at Dell, delivered at BlogWorld NY 2012. Blogs still matter. Why? They are still the most effective and flexible tool for connecting conversations around the web. Lionel discusses how to write blog posts that are connected to conversations and issues that matter to customers.

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Making your Corporate Blog a Customer Connection Hub

  1. 1. Lionel Menchaca, Chief BloggerMaking Your Corporate Blog a Customer Connection HubBlogWorld & New Media Expo New York—June 7, 2012
  2. 2. You have to earn your way in © Hugh McLeod • Guess what? The average customer doesn’t want to read your corporate blog—especially if it’s all about you. • One-way push marketing doesn’t cut it. • Numerous studies show that customers trust their friends and community peers (think reviews) way more than corporations. • It’s more than selling or broadcasting: we have to provide tangible value to customers before we can expect to engage with them.2
  3. 3. A Corporate Blog is NOT 1. A broadcast tool 2. A dumping ground for material that don’t make the cut as a press release 3. Ghostwritten content disguised as thought leadership from executives 4. A place to parrot information that already lives in press releases or elsewhere on your company’s website3
  4. 4. The Opportunity of a Corporate Blog (2006) 1. Allows for real-time information sharing 2. Enables two-way conversations with a global customer base 3. Provides a robust media platform: text, images, audio and hyperlinks 4. Empowers employees to be the voice of the company 5. Provides visibility to issues that matter to your customers 6. Gives your company a chance to join ongoing conversations4
  5. 5. Do Blogs Still Matter? • No shortage of other places for companies to publish online…. • But blogs still offer the best way to aggregate and centralize conversations from around the web… • Blogs tend to be more flexible (lots of hyperlinks, ability to embed multiple videos, other objects like audio, SlideShare decks, etc.) • Official corporate presence in other social networks can help extend the reach of important blog posts, and they also provide more link opportunities.5
  6. 6. How to Blog the Right Way 1. Write to educate and serve 2. Provide context for a range of customers 3. Write about topics that matter to your customers, especially the tough ones 4. Be authentic, be human 5. Let your passion and personality show through 6. Provide an inside look 7. Don’t be afraid to disagree… if you can back it up6
  7. 7. What Goes Through Legal• Any issue that is safety-related (all posts related to the battery recall)• Any post that makes a direct comparison to a competitive product• Any post about a Legal issue or a Government entity (US Product Safety Commission, FTC, etc.) (Ex. A Tale of Two Processors in China)• Any post that explains how we will support many customers based on systemic issue (Ex. the Intel Chipset Issue)• When in doubt, apply some common sense If still in doubt, contact Corporate Communications7
  8. 8. What is Connected Content?Content that is tied to:1. Direct feedback from customers.2. Ongoing conversations on third-party sites focused on a certain topic (blog comments, message boards discussions, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Twitter, etc).3. Pieces of information from Dell’s presence on other social networks unified in a single blog post.8
  9. 9. For Dell, balancing this kind of content works 1. Dell product news, corporate news, events and initiatives – Goal is to provide an inside look at Dell products, deliver insight that you won’t find in press releases or on 2. Systemic issues – Blogging about things like the battery recall, the NVIDIA GPU situation and the Intel Sandy Bridge Chipset issue helped put us on the map. We recently launched a dedicated blog called #DellSolves that is supported by Tech Support teams that run outreach via @DellCares and @DellCaresPRO on Twitter. 3. Posts that react to feedback from customers and tech industry trends– These days, we’ve created processes that combine this type of content with Dell-centric content. The XPS 13 Trackpad Update post is an example.9
  10. 10. How can you find content to connect to?10
  11. 11. Nurture Subject Matter Experts 1. Help them connect with peers and topic influencers before they start blogging 2. Don’t ghostwrite… customers want to hear from the real experts inside the company 3. Arm them with relevant links about their topic of choice 4. Encourage them to start with a framework if they have trouble kicking things off 5. Provide feedback on drafts 6. Help them with writing if they ask 7. Encourage them to keep blogging and engaging around the web on a regular basis11
  12. 12. SMEs should start by adding value to existing conversations Sharing Links Comment Threads Add Perspective12
  13. 13. Connecting Dell Content from other networks Text Images Video13
  14. 14. Connected Content Hybrid: Dell’s XPS 13 Ultrabook Launch• Activated our Command Center in advance of the launch• Used that feedback to shape subsequent posts• Aggregated those 10 posts via a unique XPS 13 tag and included that hyperlink in all XPS 13-related posts14
  15. 15. More than just home users: Blog Forums Wikis15
  16. 16. Connected Content: What topics are next? Perspective More Dell Dell’s from TechCenter Transformation Acquisitions Systemic Issues Product Windows 8 Launches16
  17. 17. Thank You
  18. 18. How to reach me • Feed for Direct2Dell • Feed for Lionel’s Blog Posts • @LionelatDell • • My Dell e-mail address18