Blogs and social media for beginners

I was asked the other day how an established company could start using blogs, but I soon found out that they meant any social media. As a start, I’m going to tie together a few threads from my Delicious bookmarks.

Dave Snowden’s pithy advice is a good place to begin, when considering blogs for sharing knowledge across the company:

  1. Install software for blogs (designed for blogs that is, not a general package with blogs tagged on).
  2. Learn from what other people have done using blogs, but under no circumstances copy what someone else has done—no matter how successful. Your context is different.
  3. Now be patient.
  4. Find out what is working and what is not.

As Jon Husband says, when discussing the government’s use of social media, “It’s about finding and using pertinent information more quickly and more easily, and letting people do what they do best when addressing an issue using curiosity, common sense and a desire to do their work well.

I’ve mentioned the benefits of blogging for myself and any business that wants to show leadership in its field should consider the medium, as noted by Business Blog Consulting:

As you continue to build your blog over time, creating great content in a specific niche, Google’s more likely to return your blog as a result when a journalist starts researching a column or article. I’ve never hired a PR firm, and I work out of the top right corner of the US us locals call “Maine”, but I’ve gotten quotes in Inc., BusinessWeek Small Biz, and other periodicals and the local evening news because of our Web marketing blog.

Blogs and wikis can be used to organise knowledge and facilitate communication. They can also be ways of connecting with customers and sharing amongst fellow practitioners. They aren’t a one-way medium to direct your message to your “target market”, so learning by trying is highly recommended, especially if you’re used to one-way print, radio or TV media.

The bottom line is that it’s not about the technology and all about the organisation’s culture. The last question should be, “what blog platform should we use?”.

Related posts:

The business of social media

An ecosystem of knowledge

Blogs at the core of KM and collaboration

What business are you in?

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