People buy from people – more specifically, people buy from people they like (and trust) – this is one of the first lessons of sales.
I was reading the following in Naked Conversations – the Business Blogging book being written online currently by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel –
100 years ago it was very difficult to have relationships with anyone outside of a few people in your neighborhood. Many people lived on farms and only rarely did people travel outside of their local town.
Today I can post something on the Web and within a few hours I can have started conversations with dozens of people.
This illustrates succinctly one way in which blogging can empower businesses – it extends the reach of the company by building relationships and creating dialog with an interested readership. Over time the blog author establishes their credentials with their readership and if they are blogging on behalf of a company (and blogging well), the readership will come to trust the author.
This trust and the relationship which has built up between the blogger and his readers means that the readers are more likely to purchase from that company.
5 thoughts on “Blogging builds relationships”
That makes sense to a degree, however the converse is surely more important, ie. when the author’s comments cause offence the negative impact would be far more damaging.
you make a valid point and because of this it is very important for a business owner to chose wisely when appointing a blogger for the company (if they are not going to blog themselves).
Michele, do you mean an author who accurately reflects the company’s view which is offensive or an author who posts offensive material which may not be in line with or relevant to the view of the company?
Could make all the difference to the discussion! 🙂
It’s a very dangerous area. If a company officer writes something it can be construed as being the opinion of the company, even if it is merely that individual’s opinion.
A recent example is Bob Parsons, CEO of Godaddy, who made some very “interesting” comments about Guantanamo bay on his blog.
My own blog is separate from the company, but I know that most people who read it would do so because they know who is writing it. If I were to post something defamatory it would obviously have a negative effect on the company profile.
I am in agreement with you, just widening the discussion to include some of the shades of grey that surround the issue…
What I was getting at was the difference between damaging but accurate and relevant information about a business and damaging information which is of a nature not related to the business.
With Bob Parsons, the comments in question were hardly relevant to his business, however many people were willing to boycott Godaddy as a result of the comments.
Except Parsons now says, he was misinformed and perhaps spoke out of place. Would he be saying this if he wasn’t worried about the effect on his business? Would his recanting be so careful sounding if he wasn’t equally worried about those that agreed with his Guantanamo comments? We’ll never know.
So should CEO’s (or anyone) stick to talking business when blogging for business?
This is kind of where I was going with my question, because if Parsons had said something controversial, but technically correct, about his business it might have created a storm but it would have added to an accurate picture of Godaddy. Therefore the impact from a business or profit perspective would have been simple market forces.
For example lets say Microsoft had decided to turn their back on web standards and the CEO blogged about it resulting in loads of users turning to Firefox – if the statement reflects where the company is going right now then the CEO is not going to have a hard time explaining to the board/shareholders/whoever why he blogged it.
Explaining why you blogged you tattood a swastika on your forehead might be a trickier one.
Both are issues relevant to blogging for business, but are (in my head at least) seperate but related issues.
I guess I was just trying to open a can of worms… it’s late and my brain is mush, so pardon me if this is all a little garbled!
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