The current issue of Australia Post’s Priority magazine has a feature section on ‘Blogging… Friend or Foe’, comprising four brief articles offering different perspectives from a lawyer, an academic, a digital strategist, and myself as ‘business advisor/ futurist’.
Here’s my piece:
Recent data shows Australians spend more time engaging with social media than any other nation. And yet few Australian companies have tapped the power of blogging and social media.
Back in 2002, I started my own business blog – Trends in the Living Networks – and, at the time, it was evident to me that these new platforms for communication could change the way that companies engaged with their customers, business partners and investors.
After all, people’s expectations of companies have changed. Communication by press release engenders a sense of alienation and disengagement. In a world in which reputation is shifting from companies to individuals, customers are migrating to organisations that sport a more human face.
On the global scene, General Motors, Southwest Airlines, Dell, Marriott and the BBC are just some of the organisations that are now finding blogging to be a powerful way to build customer relationships, generate business and grow their brand. But Australian examples are few and far between, suggesting conservative executives are lagging far behind their customers.
Corporate blogging isn’t necessarily easy. Companies should establish a governance process for engaging with social media; in essence, thinking through how to go about it. While blogging isn’t a must, engaging with the right form of social media is essential. The alternative is to lose touch with your customers and stakeholders.