These aren’t the tidiest notes, and I even failed on jotting down exactly who was speaking but there are a few useful points in there… Thanks to Lionel for the insight on how Dell dealt with feedback in the early days.
The Future of Corporate Blogs
Lionel Menchaca @ Dell
Monitor the blogosphere and listen. In 2006, 48% of feedback was negative comments on the web
Social media plan with the blog was to address this issue in public, ie. when the batteries exploded
Sundar @ LinkedIn
Comments policy should be open, Google don’t have an open comments policy
It should be a 2-way conversation
– Where are the communities? What do THEY need from my company. Find the sweet spot where what they want and what we want meets
– What would success be?
– Look at competition as benchmark
– Measure engagement
– Analytics, subscriptions
– Comments to post ratio
Find what the community wants
Listen, analyse then act on the feedback
Find out about problems via listening post means insight on the problem 2-3 weeks before they become call drivers at Dell
IdeaStorm is a digg-style system for ideas that could improve the experience of the users.
IdeaStorm resulted in a Linux version of the laptop being released on short turnaround (3months?) instead of usual 9-12 months cycles
You should be aiming to solve problems faster for your customers
Both responding early on and sorting out: Need to change the company culture of having a fully formed answer before responding. It’s fine to say thanks for flagging that up, we’re looking into it, then responding more fully later. It shows a sense of care and urgency. Incremental release of information is a way of managing crisis.
Make everyone respond, not just the blogger/pr/marketing, if it takes a developer, then so be it. It’s your job as community link to push that. Humanise a company by being willing to say sorry.
Create an internal feedback wiki to help everyone get the fuller picture when problems reoccur, internal support method. Help change the company culture to be customer-focused.
How can we serve our users faster? Better?
Question from the public: How can you maintain your own brand while working for a corporate blog?
Bring the team together, don’t become the only person writing, bring others on board and facilitate the communication. That way the company will have multiple faces, not just yours.
(Not sure I’m satisfied with this answer, but I guess it’s part of the answer…)
Question from the public: What about SEO?
Don’t focus your blog around SEO, it’s a by-product but the blog should be about thought leadership, customer focus.