So for the past could of weeks I have been finding successful corporate blogs and explaining how each of them have been maintained and used. All of the blogs have been helpful for each company, especially building relationship and trust with their customers. I thought I would switch it up and find a company that has not used their blog correctly. Walmart is known by everyone, which is not necessarily a good thing, there is a bitter sweet feeling towards Walmart. A Blogger’s Manifesto and BusinessWeek goes in to the story of Walmarts attempt to bring back some reputation by starting a blog. However, it was not Walmart working on a blog, it was their PR company Edelman who created a sponsored trip called “Working Families for Walmart” which consisted of a “normal American couple” who drove to all different Walmarts across the country. They interviewed employees at these Walmarts, and would blog about the impressions they got, which were all positive. “Walmarting Across America” would be considered a “flog” a fake blog. Jim and Laura, the two travelers, were paid to do this by Walmart. The point of the story is, even though it might have been real people blogging interestingly enough about all postive feedback from Walmart employees, it was a sneaky untrustworthy way of trying to blog. This is a big NO NO in the blogosphere, the only way a blog can work is to be open and honest and have no alternative motives behind it. Walmart just worsened their reputation by not using a blog correctly. A blog should be used to help its customers, which in turn helps your company, but still the customer was put first.
Walmart started a new blog in 2007 (the “flog” was back in 2006) called Check Out: Where The Lanes Are All Open. Most blogs include an “About” page to let their readers know what they can expect from their blog, and encourage feedback. Looking at Walmart’s “About” page they might want to spruce it up and include more information. Though I must say this blog does seem to be on the right path, it has many categories to read about and a specialized employee to write about each category. I browsed through some of the comments and there was some dialogue between Walmart and the commenter’s.
- Don’t use a company blog to just promote your company remember customers come first
- As a company make sure to not to ignore the negative. If there is something negative being said about your company, you want to chime in and give your side of the story or talk about it on a blog to let your customers know what is happening. Don’t ignore it, deal with it and work with it to fix it.
- Never lie or pay non-employees to write for your blog