A few years ago, two great minds wrote a book about blogging. Not about the basics, but more from a business end. This is obviously not the first review of this book, but having just read it, I thought I would offer my own insights into the great information that can be found in Naked Conversations written by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.
Imagine taking a tech and social media legend and combining that with someone who is widely considered to be an innovator and great strategist. That’s what you get from Scoble and Israel. In collaborating for this book, these two opened it up to the social masses and basically spearheaded the conversation on a blog about their book. The public offered their opinions on a wide range of topics and that subsequently became what you read in the book.
What did I get from this? The need for businesses to begin communicating in a wider range of media and at the same time being authentic. In this day of technology, it is easy for companies to forget that their consumers and even their employees can vent their frustration or entertain rumours in more ways than simply picking up the telephone. Rumors, financial turmoil, and sometimes even good news can be spread virally faster than simply releasing a press release. It is with the business’ communication department to often times address these issues. Moreover, if employees are allowed to blog, shouldn’t they be informed ahead of time what the policies are regarding this practice? That’s all addressed in Naked Conversations.
My recommendation is to get this book. Even if you’re not in charge of the online programs, if you are in marketing or sales, then this is a “must-read” book. I would strongly encourage you to share this with your executives to make sure they are informed on the technology revolution and not to ignore blogs. Blogs these days can be easily created and can rapidly be used to damage your reputation. Responding to these postings in a timely and sincere manner will help show your willingness to listen to your customers. In fact, isn’t it all about listening? That’s all customers want: to have businesses pay attention to them more instead of giving lip-service and merely saying “yes, we hear you”. If not, then at least there is an avenue for customers to vent their frustration.
Don’t let it get carried away. Focus your marketing efforts to making sure that blogs are written positively about your product and company. Don’t forget that authenticity is key in communicating online. If you don’t, don’t worry. Sooner or later, the blogosphere will catch you in the act. Then you’ll have something else to worry about.