I say this blog entry is Part 2 because this is really a continuation from my previous blog on how not to use the internet to find a job.  Here is the story:  Heather finally found the previous blog entry and the  following then occurred: 

  1. there was an anonymous comment made which was posted at the same time Heather emailed me personally (which lead me to believe that it was actually Heather posting the comment based on tone and timing).
  2. Heather stated her case or fought her battle via email instead of on the blog.
  3. Heather then sent me an additional email asking for me to take her name off the previous blog entry. 

For the sake of argument, let’s replace Heather now with Company A  but still use Heather’s actions to demonstrate how a company should not approach social media.

First, you must know that any content you put up on a blog, a social network, video or more is now public domain.  You as a company are now subject to scrutiny and people can now voice their opinions, positive or negative, about your product or service.  Always think about how you want your customers to perceive your company…are you a solid company that your customers can rely on?  Do you provide entertainment for your customers?  Who is your target audience and what is their voice?  These are a few questions to ask yourself when you think about posting your content along with your company messaging/branding.

Second, let’s say your company has a blog, you posted your content and another blogger criticized you either for your message or your product or service.  Never, never, never work in stealth mode and leave an anonymous comment.  Anyone who has any kind of experience can track down who left a comment via ISP or sheer deduction like I did.  If you as a company leave an anonymous comment, all credibility is lost and you now look like the guilty party who has done something wrong. 

Having said all of this, use the comment section of the blog to state your case.  If a blogger has something negative to say about a service, for example, use the comment section to thank them for their insights and address the problem.  This allows you, in a public forum, to redeem your company.  You want to show everyone interested that you care and will resolve the problem quickly.  By sending an email to the blogger, you are only addressing that one indivdual (vs. all who read their blog) and can only hope that the blogger will say something positive or even mention your company at all.  If you take action in the comments section, you can be proactive and control your messaging.

And finally, asking a blogger to take your company name off of their blog shows your lack of experience in the blogosphere and shows you are doing the old corporate thing by trying to hide in times of trouble.  The internet tracks everything.  Even if a blogger took your company name off of their blog, you could still find a previous entry on other blogs who may have quoted the original entry and of course through RSS feeds.

So, lessons learned on how to blog for any company:

  1. Always be aware that once you put out your message, it is on the internet to stay.
  2. Welcome criticism and learn from it!
  3. Transparency is key for surviving all social media efforts.  Always let everyone know who you are and what company you represent.
  4. If a blogger makes a comment, positive or negative, repsond on their blog…the same goes for Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and all other social media sites.
  5. Never ask for your company name to be taken off a site.  Your company will be destined for more scrutiny and more comments or another negative blog entry!

Happy Blogging!