Share |

Blog ROI: Homemaking

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 10, giving your online conversations a home base

House key (red)

Visiting someone else's place is great. You eat their food, drink their imbibables, and meet their guests.

But eventually to host a gathering at your own place takes hold. You want to choose the hors d'oeuvres, cue up the playlist and invite your own friends -- in your own home.

It's no different with blogging. True, your organization can go quite a ways in engaging the online world by commenting on third-party blogs. But if you want to be serious about joining the conversation, you'll want a place of your own: an online home for the conversations you want to have.

And while you have no more control over where those conversations ultimately lead and what other conversations may start than you do when you're hosting a party, you're the one who sets the agenda. And it's your voice that sets the tone and pace for your audience.

Share |

Blog ROI: Open wide...

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 9, Embracing openness

© istockphoto.com/R9_RoNaLdO

There's a convergence going on: some big social and business trends that have one thing in common - the word open.

Whether it's open-source software, or enormous information repositories that are open to be accessed and sometimes even edited by anyone, or the growing requirements for transparency on the part of organizations and governments, your customers, supporters and audience are expecting you to be open to them.

Share |

Blog ROI: Training

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 8, skills development

Training wheels

Social media should be a no-brainer. After all, it's all about conversation and relationships - and in fact our conversational instincts can serve us well in blogging, podcasting, social networking and other social media channels.

Instinct alone, however, won't suffice. You need skills, knowledge and experience to succeed in social media – from tech chops, to the unique demands of various social media venues, to the social nuances of dealing with conflict between online antagonists.

Share |

Blog ROI: Psst! Pass it on!

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 7, turning readers into messengers

Mouth-to-ear whispering

When you're talking about yourself, your brand or your organization, you may have first-person credibility... but you also have a pretty obvious conflict of interest. Add that to the growing distrust of advertising and public relations - in fact, of institutional communications generally - and you have a challenge.

These days, your audience is putting much more trust in their personal networks: their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. When they hear a personal message from someone they know, it punches through in a way that organizational communications can't.

Share |

Blog ROI: Storytelling

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 6, telling a story over time

Typewriter: It was a dark and stormy night

Not every story fits in a few neat paragraphs - especially stories that are still unfolding. Maybe you're taking on a major advocacy project. Adding a green roof to your office building. Or tracking an intern's apprenticeship in the skills and culture of your industry.

Either way, you have a story that can engage readers over an extended period: weeks, months or even years.

Share |

Blog ROI: Firefighting

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 5, crisis communications

Firefighter battling blaze

You'll never find your communications skills put to the test more strenuously than during a crisis. Even the best of organizations feels the strain when a crisis hits, whether it's a scandal, a service interruption, a product recall or a natural disaster.

Share |

Blog ROI: You can relate

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 4, building relationships

Lots of hands

So far in this 10-part series, we've seen how blogs can help you give your organization a human voice, gain valuable feedback and create a communications alternative to news releases and advertising. Now we're going to look at how it can help you build relationships with your customers, your public and your team.

Share |

Blog ROI: Throw out that news release

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 3, an alternative to news media

Blogging by typewriter

So far in this 10-part series, we've seen how blogs can give your organization a human voice, and provide valuable feedback from your customers. Now we're going to look at how they can open up a new communications channel to the world: one where you can tell stories that might not make front page news, but can still move your audience.

Many organizations have only two ways to talk to the public about the issues that matter to them: advertising, and mass media - often through a news release.

Share |

Blog ROI: Get into the feedback loop

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 2, getting high-value feedback

Think for a moment about how much your organization spends to find out what its audience (a term we'll keep using until something better comes along, but it really isn't adequate in a social media age) is thinking.

Maybe you're doing opinion polling or focus groups. Maybe you have labs where your prospective customers are testing your newest products and services. Maybe you've hired consultants to mine your customer service logs for golden nuggest of insight.

Share |

Blog ROI: Put the I in ROI

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 1, give your organization a human voice

Times are tight, which is the polite way of saying that your communications budget has probably been handed to Freddy Krueger for a light trim. So whether your organization is already blogging, or just thinking about it, you need to make a strong case for your blog's ROI.

Social Signal on...

RSS feedTwitterFacebookGoogle+

Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.