Strung Out on Shiny Objects

Social communications news, links, quotes and thoughts from Kevin Hunt, the Social Media Manager for Global Communications at General Mills.
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Nothing like a mistake from a big brand to get the social media gurus - and consumers with a hair trigger on their Twitter accounts - worked up.

While US Airways recovers, and as those of us on the front lines for companies and brands all take a deep breath, it’s good to see some reason prevail.

Frank Eliason has a smart analysis, here. Likewise, Scott Gulbransen shares his thoughts, here.

What I like about both of those posts is that they’re from people who have actually represented brands online.

Scott has a particularly good line in his post: It’s easy to be a Monday Morning Quarterback and take shots from the outside when you’ve never been in the pressure cooker.

It’s the world we operate in, for better or worse.

The mistake was unfortunate, of course.

Explainable and preventable? Yes.

Let’s learn and move on.

What we don’t need are blog posts that name the US Airways social media manager as if he’s some kind of criminal, and include screen shots of his LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Yes, that’s out there. Unreal.

Slow news week?

Instead of asking, “Is this going to get shared?” marketers need to ask, “Will this content help an individual customer in their individual moment of need?”
We tend to take a fairly hands-off approach to the issue of moderation because it is frankly a bit of a bottomless pit, and the emotions are so strong it is hard to steer the conversation in a more reasoned direction.
David Sternberg, head of media at Manchester United

From the moment I first heard the term “corporate blog” a few years back, it was clear to me what that meant.

Companies were blogging, about themselves for the most part, to tell their own story on the web.

So why is there still confusion, among many social media sites and PR publications, about what corporate blogs focus on?

I guess I pose the question out of frustration, as someone who has managed two corporate blogs in six years, seeing yet another blogger publish a “5 best corporate blogs” post, highlighting blogs that don’t come close to meeting the definition.

Or, bloggers who cite stats in a negative slant that say things like “89% of corporate blogs talk about themselves.”

The content strategy of a corporate blog is primarily based on telling stories about a company’s people, its products/services, projects and news. 

Can it also answer customer questions as part of its editorial calendar? Sure.

Can it also feature stories about a company’s customers? Sure. It can, and should.

Can it also feature guest bloggers outside of the company, offering insight into industry news and trends? Yes, great idea.

But if a corporation doesn’t talk about itself on its blog, there’s nothing corporate about the blog.

Then it’s just a blog from a company, with a different purpose for its content.

Still confused?

You wouldn’t call a blog from a cheese company that’s focused on recipes and cheese information a corporate blog.

But if its blog focused on its employees, production process, sustainability efforts and brands, then we’re in “corporate” blog territory.

It’s a simple distinction. Let’s hope some of the bloggers making “Best corporate blog lists” can figure it out someday.

Sadly, most brands see social media analytics tools as an engine to better understand how they are performing in social media. Instead, the true opportunity is in understanding just how powerful and profound these tools are in giving you a true temperature check on the overall health of your business and the brand.
…there’s an additional and very essential element of content strategy that’s much less discussed, albeit no less important than well crafted and well reasoned goals. The very best, most successful, and essentially most sustainable content strategies all center around a big idea.