Last week I looked at some of the reasons your business needs a blog, and this week I’d like to take a look at one example of a company that is utilizing it’s blogs very well: General Motors. GM’s blogs are accessible from their main corporate site, and while they have multiple blog sites, I’m just going to take a look at one of them. The “Fast Lane” blog is written by GM management, and covers news and information about all their vehicles. GM blogs are powered by WordPress, which is the predominate blogging system available.
Design: the look of the site is slick and represents GM’s brand well. The header rotates through GM’s vehicles on each reload, which is a nice touch.
Navigation: To get around the blog, you can view posts by month and they have recent posts in their 6 categories in the footer. It would great to have an index of authors in the sidebar as well, since it is a multi-author blog. The link to the blog’s feed is way down in the sidebar, and I’m sure they’d get more subscribers by moving it up to the top or even the header and providing a subscribe by email option.
Content: interesting articles from various members of GM management. They have obviously made blogging a priority, and giving readers the opportunity to hear directly from GM management regularly gives a sense of accessibility. Their posting frequency is about 6-7 posts per month.
Discussion: there is a quite a bit of lively discussion on the blog. Readers have to log in to comment and per their posted Blogging Policy, they will not delete comments unless they are spam, off-topic, or defamatory. This is an important point to remember when managing a company blog. People are going to have both positive and negative things to say. I believe it is important to respond to the comments, even if it’s just “thanks for your input”, in order to let those who comment know they are being “heard”.
Social Media: At the end of each article is a link to Digg, and they post the latest tweets from the GM twitter account. There is a Flickr feed at the bottom of the blog as well.
Conclusions: GM makes great use of their blogs and social media to connect with customers and brand enthusiasts. The comments seem a bit like a one-way conversation, as there is little response from the post authors to the commenters. The use of social media applications like company Twitter and Flickr accounts are perfect for giving customers multiple ways to interact with the business. Overall, it’s a good example to follow in building brand interest and customer loyalty through a corporate blog.
What corporate blogs do you read?