Fortune Magazine's 2009 Top 100 Best Companies to Work For Provides a Lesson In Blogging to Real Estate Companies- Part II
In Part I of this blog post series I took Fortune Magazine's Top 100 Best Companies to Work for List and used it as resource to provide a list of companies whose blogging efforts are a textbook study for the real estate industry. The list was broken into four categories: Multiple Blogs/Team Blogging, Corporate Blogs, Social Responsibility Blogs, and Participation from Target Market Blogs. I also called for an action item for real estate companies to take their favorite blogs from the list that hit the bulls eye for brand identity, valuable content, consistency, and that had an unforgettable quality and to subscribe to these blogs.
This list of companies who blog was just the beginning of this series.
Come on board the blogging train as I navigate these categories for you and as promised provide the take aways from this original list of blogging corporations. The ride might leave you feeling a bit breathless but also giddy with anticipation as ideas for you blog begin to formulate.
Multiple Blogs/Team Blogging
Real estate companies can use this concept to make sure their blogging is consistent. By assigning an administrator to the team blog you can make sure it complies with company guidelines, that it is in adherence to COE policies, and that it stays on topic and focus. The administrator can also serve as a blogging coach who guides real estate bloggers into best practices and new blogging tools to help their efforts.
Take a look at the snapshot of the Zappos blog below. There are over 100 bloggers who write on this blog, "Inside Zappos" and they are led by an administrator. What is interesting to note is that while there are two CEO executives and two COO-CFO executives who are bloggers on the Inside Zappos blog they are not the administrators of this blog. The Inside Zappos blog is consistently adding new content- created 21 months ago it boasts 1033 total posts. Everyday there is a post published on the blog and some days there are multiple posts published.
Each of these posts were fun and/or a little weird. When I read these posts I really felt like I was inside Zappos. The posts being published on this blog do not stray from their theme.
Zappos also has multiple blogs-12 to be precise - ranging in topic from fashion trendy to running but then they do something a little zany...they throw in a separate blog for parents. Then again, the Zappos brand extends beyond shoes. Zappos's blog strategy of maintaining multiple blogs helps to bring awareness to the multiple offerings of the Zappos brand and brand identity.
The multiple blogs/team blogging concept is useful for real estate franchises and small brokerages alike. If you are a smaller brokerage you may want to consider bringing in your ancillary vendor partners to form a team blog and/or engage your internal customers. If you are a real estate franchise you could have a blog for each region, or each niche market your company serves. Real estate franchises and small brokerages alike should definitely consider a separate executive blog to open the curtain from behind the brand and lets people know who the PERSON is behind the company.
Corporate BlogsA single corporate blog is a good choice for a small mom and pop real estate brokerage or a small real estate company focused on a niche market. A corporate blog,when well planned and executed, enhances the company's brand. It's content offers a strong value proposition to its customers. A single corporate blog is not hidden, but is built right into the company's website in a prominent location on the homepage.
A good example is the Whole Foods blog, Whole Story. Whole Foods, a company that services a niche consumer market (organic shoppers) wants to talk with its customers on LinkedIn, Flick, Twitter, and its corporate blog. They don't keep this call for two way conversations a dirty little secret. Their call for action is located in the top upper right hand corner of their website(i.e.above the fold).
The Whole Story blog has a consistent brand message. The look and feel of the blog is the same as the Whole Foods Corporate website on which it take up residence and enhances the Whole Food's Internet Real Estate (i.e. http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/). It contains an incredible amount of content on topics ranging from recipes to free trade. The blog invites you to connect with Whole Foods on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter, and contains a video and library podcast. The Whole Story blog has multiple authors that includes the vendor partners of Whole Foods. The Whole Story blog email subscription page also offers subscription to their Recipes bi-monthly newsletter and their bi-monthly store specials and events newsletter.
In one easy to use subscription form Whole Foods seamlessly integrates their other online marketing efforts and their branding opportunities.
Action Item for Real Estate Companies
Study the Zappos network of blogs and the Whole Foods Corporate Blog, Whole Story. Think about these companies brands and unique selling proposition. Discover how they incorporate their culture into their blogs and how they deliver consistent content to their readers that is interesting, unique, and valuable. Subscribe to a few blogs from the Zappos blog network and Whole Story, the corporate blog of Whole Foods.
I will continue this series with an analysis of Social Responsibility blogs and Participation from Target Market blogs in Part II of this four part series. Stay tuned.
Do you need a blog marketing strategy? Whether you are just getting started blogging or have been blogging for awhile consider a blogging tune-up.