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Blogging Strategies: Build Trust (TPG .. case organisation)

TPG is the fourth largest Australian ISP. It has grown to more than 500,000 ADSL2+subscribers, 192,000 mobile subscribers, 36,000 Internet telephony subscribers. Recently, Telstra (the largest Australian ISP) introduced the official corporate blog featuring informed commentary and an exchange of views on Telstra the Australian telecommunications industry and broader technology issues. In a blog post, executive director of Telstra digital, Gerd Schenkel, said expanded use of social media was prompted through the understanding that It’s all about “give and take” in this new community.

At the moment, TPG has just classic forum as the only online communication channel between TPG and its customers. In this post, I will talk about one corporate blogging strategy that must be taken into account before conducting any blog or micro-blog implementation.

Blogging can be used to conduct a dialogue between an audience and a company. Conducting a dialogue through blogging is the powerful tool for a company’s brand in the minds of audience as well as transferring information and creating knowledge.

According to Cass (2007), dialogue can be said to be the medium of blogging in the same way that creating a powerful selling point in advertising the ads in the traditional media. However, advertising today lacks credibility with many audiences because people are cynical about the self-promotional nature of advertising.

Although it is possible to conduct a dialogue between a company and their audience, how the dialogue on a blog is developed is critical to the effectiveness of a business blogging effort. That’s why Build Trust strategy is important for TPG to establish credibility within its community, TPG has to be a contributor to the industry dialogue that related to its service, by discussing new ideas and building a connection with customers.

Build Trust and Rhetoric:

Building trust is something that has been happening for thousands of years. There are existing ideas in how to establish credibility. Aristotle (384–322 BC) described three factors that influence the persuasive power of a speaker. They include ethos, pathos, and logos, which can be described as follows:

  • Ethos is how the character and credibility of a speaker influence an audience to consider him to be believable.
  • Pathos is the use of emotional appeals to alter the audience’s judgment.
  • Logos is the use of reasoning to construct an argument, either inductive, which uses examples to draw conclusions, or deductive, which uses accepted propositions or facts to come to specific conclusions.

Implementation Tactics:

These three factors provides tactics to any corporate bloggers to create credibility and build trust with their audience in the following way:

1- Ethos in blogging would be a blogger’s level of openness, transparency, and expertise; these are all factors that help to establish the credibility of the blogger by making a blogger believable. Blogger with ethos provides two benefits: first, a company’s message is heard, and second, the message is seen as much more credible.

2- Pathos is included in many blog posts by bloggers making emotional appeals to their audience. Most content on corporate websites lacks emotional appeal and connection with audiences. Whereas within blogging communities, bloggers will give their personal perspective, even when writing about own products and company, this will help to establish credibility because of the personal connection with the reader.

Studies conducted on the level of influence on a customer’s purchasing behavior by sales people, friends, and family indicate that the closer the person is to the customer, the more influence and more likely a customer is going to listen to them.  (PR Communications Blog, 2003)

3- Logos is used by many bloggers to support reasoned arguments within a blog post. Making references to other blog posts and websites is also part of the culture of blogging. Citing another blogger adds a lot to the credibility of the blogger when linking to other people’s work. Links also extend the value of blogging content because the reader clicks through and reads the original content on the other website. A reasoned argument when accompanied by citation is a big part of blogging culture.

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