I wrote yesterday about how smart corporations should be engaging bloggers in dialogue. Not just idly watching with Google alerts, but actively reaching out and befriending those who are talking about their products and services. They know that bloggers are as powerful, if not more so, than the radio shock jocks of yesteryear. Adding mildy relevant comments only when it suits just isn’t good enough, if you want people to blog about your product you need to have started cultivating relationships well before your latest campaign rolls out. It’s public relations 101 (well, public relations 2.0 perhaps).
No matter how small, or seemingly unpopular you think a blog is, I can guarantee you that more than one person is reading it. If that blogger mentions your product favourably to one person who is actively listening it’s worth more than 100 random poster impressions from people waiting for the bus. In fact, if you’re a disgruntled customer, one little blog post could be enough to make you switch banks.
Case in point: yesterday one of the other partners here at e-CBD read my blog post about NAB’s new electronic statement facility. She was helping her father-in-law with his tax and his bank didn’t provide more than three months worth of statements online. He’d lost a bunch of the paper versions and didn’t keep his receipts, so it was causing her all sorts of grief. She didn’t even know that banks were providing this new service for free and while it was a bit too much hassle to try and make her father in-law switch banks (he’s 80-years-old and he would rather change his left nostril than go through the paperwork of changing banks), if it had been her, she would have seriously considered becoming a NAB customer on the spot. And that’s just one person. If anyone else had been hit with some hefty random account-keeping fee by their bank, or had to wait too long in line at their local branch, or been given the run-around by a ‘customer service’ phone system, or been denied a credit card and then read that blog post, it could well have been enough to tip them over the edge too.
Don’t underestimate the power of one little blog post. Every time a blogger hits publish it creates another piece of the long tail that will more than likely live forever.