Originally posted on Search Engine Guide
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a blogger to respond to and engage bloggers. All it takes is a willingness to monitor the blogosphere and respond when appropriate. Doing so can help you convert skeptics and naysayers into fans.
Here’s an example of what can happen if you take the time to become involved in existing discussions in the blogosphere about your business. Recently I posted on Daily Fix about a new campaign that Kraft is launching for its new 1/3 less fat version of its popular Philadelphia Cream Cheese product. The campaign is ongoing this month, and a few weeks ago Kraft launched a blog to help promote the campaign and the product.
Myself and a few other commenters weren’t completely agreeing with Kraft’s strategy involving the blog, when a Kraft Senior Brand Manager involved in the project, Ericka Gettman, was kind enough to better explain Kraft’s thinking behind the campaign, and its approach to blogging.
But then another reader left this comment criticizing the product itself:
“What makes me laugh in all of this, is how out of date big corporations are getting with current nutritional knowledge. Go onto www.mercola.com or any of the big natural health sites and the message is: DON’T BUY LOW FAT PRODUCTS, because they fill them with gross toxic fillers. Full fat products are the way to go. Even the research about saturated fat from the 70s is turning out to be false.
They should be promoting their old-style FULL FAT cream cheese. It is better for people’s hearts, and a way easier sell because it tastes so much better.
Also check out www.westonaprice.org on this.
Signed: Ann (marketer and nutritionist!)”
But since Ericka had taken the time to scan the blogosphere and had found that post, she could give this factual reply to Ann:
I can’t speak for all lower fat products, but our 1/3 Less Fat PHILLY is made with the EXACT same ingredients as our Regular PHILLY. We didn’t add a thing to get great taste in a lower fat version. Honest! You can check out the ingredient lines for yourself. We know there’s a ton of skepticism out there, which is why our marketing challenge is as tough as it is… it really does taste great. At least I think so : )
Posted by: Ericka”
By responding, Ericka was able to quickly help bloggers get more information about their new product, and even gave the readers a great way to verify what she was saying, by inviting readers to check the ingredients of the 1/3 less fat version versus regular Philly Cream Cheese.
Ericka took a few minutes to engage bloggers, and in return she helped put a ‘real’ and ‘honest’ face on Kraft. With her ‘see for yourself!’ example, she was able to not only correct a misconception about her company’s product, but also gain trust from readers by speaking clearly and honestly.
There’s also a bigger blogging lesson here: Customers are going to talk about your business online. You can either join that conversation, or you can let your customers say what they will about your business. Taking the time to reach out to your customers on blogs is a great way to make sure that your customers have the best and most accurate information, but it also helps you get insights into what your customers are wanting and thinking.
If you are a business owner, have you spent time seeing what your current and potential customers are saying about you online? If so, what did you find?