Earlier this week I saw this post from Techcrunch that’s really kind of a bummer: Is anybody out there? Tech companies #fail at social media, says study by Steve O’Hear. The post mentions a “self-serving” report by a PR company that had some findings pointing to poor social media habits of UK tech companies. Among these was this whopper: 43% of brands had never replied to a single tweet (of the 50 studied).
Wow, that is bad news. Replying to tweets is about … customer interaction (eegads! hide the young IT specialists! there are customers afoot!). So if you’re using social media and not connecting to customers, there’s really no point in doing it.
Luckily I stumbled upon a great HubSpot post 10 Technology-Company Blogs to Model Your Blog After. There’s a list and links in the HubSpot post. Now of course blogging and Twitter aren’t the same, but a good company blog is a great way to boost customer interaction. I reviewed the list and few things jumped out at me about these blogs – some common traits that other tech companies can learn from.
Lessons from successful IT/tech blogs
1.) Be as “tech-y” as you want to be: In other words, don’t worry about being a Mr. Happy-and-sunshine corporate blogger. Be as specific and detailed on IT topics as you can be. Look at The Official Rackspace Blog for an example of how specific the topics are. They don’t shy away from the jargon of their indusry either. Look at the Juniper Networks’ community blogs too.
2.) Do not worry about length: If you are going to be talking to your IT and tech customers, glossing over details isn’t going to cut it. Many of these blogs are long by conventional blog standards. Why? Because the tech bloggers are demonstrating their knowledge, which is the same as building trust. Don’t be skimpy. Look at the length of this excellent blog post by Hu Yoshida at Hitachi.
3.) Let your people blog — as many as possible: Another trait of good tech blogs is that they let employees have a platform — and often many of them. Juniper Networks has 4 different blogs but inside each blog are posts by many employees. In fact, the number of individual posts by different bloggers is staggering. To see real staggering number of bloggers, just look at IBMers’ Blog where you can scroll through the entire alphabet to find bloggers. That’s an extreme example, but the lesson here is key: to demonstrate deep knowledge you need to let many minds blog.
One huge exception to the above rules is this blog: Blogs.sun.com – an old Oracle blog space now owned by Sun Microsystems. According to HubSpot’s Blog Grader too, this blog ranked #1. This is an example of content curated site. Someone is assembling all the best blog posts and articles found on the web into one page. I mentioned content curation as the “high ground” of tech marketing in this post recently. I still think it’s a great strategy, and if you want to find out more about content curation, go to the Curata website.