Big business is notorious for failing to either understand the Internet or to use it effectively. Indeed, the vast majority of large corporations have web sites which have cost them tens of thousands but which have no impact on their income. In other words, for most businesses, the Internet actually costs them money, rather than makes them money.
Even those large businesses who earn money from their web sites are not earning as much as they should or could. They appear happy with 2% conversion rates – a rate at which they would shut down their High Street operations without thinking twice.
Now, we discover they have got together in a group called “The Blog Council” to discuss blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against big business forming a community to help them discuss things. But it’s the thinking behind it that is telling. According to The Blog Council – which has Coca Cola, Dell and Microsoft amongst its members – “corporate blogging is different”. Er, no it isn’t.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your organisation is, blogging is the same. It is holding a conversation with your audience. Simple. Apparently, says The Blog Council, big businesses “have to speak for a corporation, but never sound corporate”. Well you shouldn’t “sound” corporate in anything you do. That’s why so many big business fail to engage with their customers – they seem to think that being big means speaking in some dreadful language invented by MBA students to make them sound important.
Then The Blog Council says that big firms “have to reconcile the often contrasting rules of corporate communications and blog etiquette”. Well if you need “rules” for communication, you’re probably in deep doo-doo anyway. One of the reasons for huge turnovers in corporate staffing is that big businesses simply won’t allow people to be themselves.
In other words, these views about corporate blogging indicate deep seated problems in the whole nature of big business. They clearly haven’t even seen that the world is changing around them. The Internet is the biggest threat to corporations there has ever been – indeed, we don’t need them at all any more. It’s perfectly possible to set up multibillion pound enterprises with a loosely organised community of people all working independently, all being themselves, rather than some corporate robot.
The Blog Council’s concepts indicates that the desire for big business to have some kind of group of clones working for them is still rife. Younger generations are rejecting that notion in huge numbers. Combine that with the lack of big business to engage with the Internet and they are sealing their own death warrants.
And it’s not just me who think The Blog Council have got this wrong. Take a look at The Marketing Pilgrim’s views.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+