social media ropes to skip: C-level blogs FAQ #3

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2008/06/26 · 5 comments 1 views

in c corporate blogging

    Most large companies use social media channels to reach their target audiences in different ways. Naturally, they all have had their successes and failures.

    Sometimes the ROI issue comes up or why a c-suite exeuctive type should blog or refrain from blogging since it might not be worth it.

    Getting a handle on these issues will help everyone supporting clients or, most importantly, convincing one’s boss about the importance of social media.

    Feel free to pass these ideas around or best would be you leave a comment below, we appreciate those very much indeed.

Recently we have posted about blogging in corporations using Southwest Airlines, Delta and JetBlue to serve as examples. We outlined three mistakes that your blogging CEO should definitely avoid, namely:

    Mistake 1 – expecting users to install program to get full enjoyment
    Mistake 2 – expecting to have control over social media:
    Mistake 3 – having no clear focus, thereby getting your target audience confused

we explained this here: social media – ropes to skip – c-level blogs – FAQ #1

We also outlined why some CEO bloggers might not be as successful as one might believe:

    Mistake 4 – being authentic while forgetting the target audience
    Mistake 5 – believing that if the CEO blogs the the company is listening and engaging

we explained this here: Warren Buffet – ropes to skip – c-level blogs – FAQ#2

Today we bring you some more mistakes that should be avoided. In turn, avoiding these mistakes can save your time and much grief. Go ahead and do yourself a favor by reading this post, please.

f) What is the ROI for a C-suite or C-level blogger?

Average CEOs spend their entire day communicating ideas within their organization. Imagine part of the staff gets the CEOs posting via e-mail or RSS feed once a week, so much the better. It will give employees a better idea about the challenges the executive faces when it comes to decision making.

Hence, we were quite intrigued when we came across a post that suggested taking $30 per thousand impressions, 4000 visits a day and about five hours a CEO spends each week in order to calculate what it costs to have a blog and if it is worth it:

The ROI of blogging, and whether the blog of Jonathan Schwartz pays for itself

The above blog post might be funny. Nevertheless, it fails to do this important topic justice. Things cannot be that easy can they?

Mistake 6 – measuring success of a CEO blog is easy. Searching for ROI may get you to focus on things that fail to build your brand. As well, what an executive learns herself whilst writing a blog is surely also of value. Moreover, in contrast to meeting two people, a blog scales nicely.

Finally, the 1,000 Wall Street analysts reading your CEO’s blog may do wonders when it comes to shareholder value. For instance, analysists getting a better understanding of the firm’s strategy and the prospects regarding its revenue growth could both have a tremendous affect upon the price of the corporation’s listed stock.

Therefore, whatever the costs for writing a CEO blog might be, these could pale in comparison to how much good it could do for the firm’s bottom line.

g) Metrics are in the eye of the beholder

Maybe your blog’s audience is shaped like a T. The long cross is reach while a small subset of the audience is the narrow bar with whom one can develop a level of engagement.
Metrics are not simply the application of a formula or accounting rule. They are subject to interpretation. This is what makes them worthy of discussion. Most importantly, the internal customer for metrics is your sponsor; he is the one paying the bill.

Sometimes we focus on such measures as:

Google PageRank, and

Technorati Authority

Nevertheless, quantifying successful blogging as per how many back links you have, or how many Technorati results your blog generates is not really something we need to do, is it?

I do not believe that it is fair to quantify success as a popularity contest online, considering all I have written about on this blog.

If your CEO wants to be successful as a blogger, she or he has to do one thing well and one thing only, blog well as defined in the eyes of the CEO’s target audience.

Mistake 7 – metrics can be meaningless when it comes to the bottom line: So this means it is difficult to assess exactly the costs and benefits of social media activities. Are you sure that your CEO’s speech at a conference or being interviewed by a journalist will generate more sales?

If we can agree that successful marketing raises awareness, trust and reputation, while connecting customers to products and services, then blogging can help raising awareness and reputation while supporting the CEO’s efforts for building brand. How this adds up in dollar or euro and cents is something we should worry less about than keeping our current customers happy.

Bottom Line

Stop for a minute – are you communicating effectively with your investors? Thereafter, check what you have done for your customers lately when it comes to communicating with them. Have you kept them informed about which new products are in your corporation’s product pipeline or what other goodies you have in store for them?

My experience as a CEO of a micro enterprise has been that whatever I do regarding social media it is to keep my current and potential customers informed. Nevertheless, some of my customers are true laggards and most likely do not read my blog(s) regularly. Neither do these individuals visit Facebook, use Twitter or Plaxo to manage their social network. For those of our clients, social media is surely the wrong tool to use to communicate.

Do you know a way on how I can reach such customers without having to spend an arm and a leg? What is your opinion; submit your comments, critique or ideas below.

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