Monday, January 23, 2012
Although company blogs are the most read of blogs in general, people rarely trust their message. Corporate talk has its agenda, and by 2012, most web users are savvy enough to know they are being influenced upon.
Mutually fertile dialogue is rarely conceived via one-sided endeavors at disguising press releases as something else.
When contemplating the effective use of social media in company PR, the hardest thing to accept is the loosening of control. All the discussion cannot, and should not, be attempted to monitor with an iron fist. Negative reputation is hard to shed and get rid of within the online communities.
One snappy example of a small company making it work to their benefit is the Finnish online travel agency, rantapallo.fi . Besides hosting a discussion forum for their active audience, they have also provided a venue for blogs. Everyone can establish their own blog inside the site, and share their thoughts and experiences related to traveling. This is a clever way to crowdsource and engage their visitors, and at the same, provide more value for all. As it happens, in these glory days of WOM ("word-of-mouth marketing"), people are more prone to listen to the recommendations and advice from their fellow audience members. In this regard, "Rantapallo" has figured out the playing field.
At a recent travel fair, I had a chance to chat a little with the lovely editor-in-chief, Riikka Krenn. According to her, the young company (2007-) has been doing remarkably well. At the moment, they receive 100 000 visitors per week, and growing.
According to her, the hip countries to visit right now are Jordania and Croatia. (At this time of the year, sun and warmth in any place would sound just about right.)
Which one do you think I should take on my list of places to visit next?