Are you afraid of bloggers? Sleep with the light on? You’ll find reasons to sleep above the covers after you read the next installment of Social Media: What Is It and What Is It Good For? from Search Engine Strategies New York. (Read part One).
Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founder & President of Strategic Alliances at BlogHer, teaches companies how to get bloggers to talk about their brands. Her refreshing angle was to talk about some of the boogeyman fears companies have about social media.
“what if they say something negative about my product?”
“what if all hell breaks loose – it’s brandicide!!! and
“what if the zombies eat my face???”
Oh sorry I wandered over to Facebook for a minute…
Ok seriously, while some companies heartily embrace and love the blogger, others fear them. They think, like the wierd smell in the back of the fridge, if they ignore it, it will go away.
Avoidance is not a strategy
Yes, there’s a chance that a blogger will say something negative about your product. But you might as well involve the bloggers with your company and products because they’re going to talk about you anyway.
So, this post is about the reasons why you should engage bloggers (in case you didn’t know already).
Blogs Show Up First!
Since blogs are updated more frequently, search engines like them better, and they show up earlier in SERPs. On a related note…
Blogs can trump brands!
Jory’s friend Alicia runs a site called “Simply Recipes.” On it she has a turkey recipe. It ranks high in the SERPs, even above Butterball!
Blog Results Last!
A few years ago Jory & co. ran a campaign for Kenneth Cole in which they asked bloggers, “What do you think of when you hear Kenneth Cole kids?” Some of those blog posts still show up in top 5 in search engine results.
Blog results last, even when you don’t want them to…
Jory used to write about products that were upsettting her on her blog. She was once the victm of identify theft and Chase Visa was pretty much asinine about it to her. So she blogged about her experienced entitled, “Chase Visa: quit harassing me!” She got the blogger’s best revenge. If someone searches for “chase visa” that blog post shows up #25 – even after two and a half years!
You get credit for trying to connect
You might worry that bloggers might be snotty about you and your company but the fact is, most bloggers won’t rip apart products put in front of them. Even if you do misstep, you get credit for trying.
Story: GM came to her and said, “we want to WOW women. We want better female perception of our brand. Here’s what we want to do: we’ll bring a car expert to the BlogHer conference and we’ll train women bloggers how to write about cars.”
(the big raspberry noise here)
a) you do NOT tell bloggers what to write
b) you don’t tell women to write about cars
The compromise: bring the cars, and give women the keys.
Result: They brought roadsters and a hybrid. Bloggers had a blast! They took pictures of themselves in the cars, made videos of themselves (and uploaded everything)! They wrote testimonials (one woman on FIZZ wrote “why I might buy a Saturn.”)
Soon GM had skyrocketed in the search engines – all positive! Just for showing up with vehicles!
When in doubt, engage
A client ran a campaign on BlogHer, and someone posted a comment saying, “I’m still wondering if XX is safe.” Now a frightened client might have thought that one slightly negative comment was going to lead to brandicide, but that was actually the best thing that could have happened. Why? Because the customer has opened a dialogue, and YOU CAN RESPOND!
And that’s just what the client did. He responded on the blog with facts, not defensiveness.
I’m still scared, now what?
If you still can’t stomach the blogosphere, then just play defense, and read what’s out there about your company.