Fortune Magazine's 2009 Top 100 Best Companies to Work For Provides A Lesson In Blogging to Real Estate Companies- Part III
In Part II of this blog post series I discussed how real estate companies can use Multiple Blogs/Team Blogging to lighten their load and keep their blogs' consistent with fresh content. I also discussed how a Corporate Blog should be an extension of a company's corporate brand and provide its consumers with extensive information.
Now I am asking you to buckle up and continue your ride on the blogging train as we discuss the last two categories addressed in Part I of the series- Social Responsibility Blogs and Participation from Target Markets Blogs. All aboard...here we go.
Social Responsiblity Blogs
Real Estate Companies who have social responsibility programs or regular charity events that they sponsor or contribute to should have a social responsibility blog. Consumers of all walks of life like to know what businesses are doing to give back to their communities and what charities they are sponsoring.
Think about celebrities, if you thumb through any pop culture magazine (i.e. People) you see photos and short stories with stars participating in charitable events. On television the Reality show Extreme Makeover:Home Edition brings many families to tears with its remarkable transformations of families in need.
One more reason to pause for thought. In interviews I have done with real estate professionals in the past not all could name hobbies and interests that existed beyond their profession but almost all could name charities which they chaired, sponsored, contributed, or lent their time.
Why not use these opportunities as content for a blog?
Take a look at Fed Ex's Citizenship blog. It is broken into four individual blogs off the main blog home page: Community and Disaster Relief, Economics and Access, Environment and Efficiency, and People and Workplace.
You will also notice that the brand identity of the Fed Ex Corporate website is carried through to the Fed Ex blog,
Here is the blog's mission statement I took directly from the About Page of the Fed Ex Citizenship Blog. Listen closely:
"Thanks for visiting the FedEx Citizenship Blog. We are excited to be a part of this important and ongoing conversation. To this point, we have been listening, reading, sharing and responding to the blog community on the progress of our corporate responsibility programs. The FedEx Citizenship blog is our opportunity to actively contribute to the dialogue. We look forward to growing our community with your feedback and participation."
Please also take a look at the Quicken Loans Blog, What's the Dif. This is the corporate blog located off Quicken Loans Careers web page. It's theme is "...the things that make the difference in business and in life". Charitable endeavors and technology are two topics of interest on the What's the Dif. blog.
If you choose a similar route to the Quicken Loans blog make sure the technology posts are relative and useful to your target market or the market to whom your blog is trying to attract.
Participation from Target Markets Blogs
Can you imagine allowing your customers to be guests on your blog? What about a blog that receives regular contributions or has bloggers writing content from their target markets? Dream often and carry a soft pillow...it can happen and why shouldn't it? Real estate consumers have a lot to say as evidenced by the popular real estate communities Zillow and Trulia.
When I was a corporate blogger for a real estate advertising company I interviewed a few consumers on their real estate stories and boy were they willing to share. One interview was with a consumer in California about selling her house in a neighborhood of at least three other foreclosure listings. One interview with this California real estate seller produced three posts of useful and unique content.
Since each state has different laws governing real estate and you are bound by your COE I would discuss this concept with an attorney before proceeding beyond interviews. You can start with consumer interview which will allow you to maintain control on your blog.
S.C. Johnson and Son has a blog titled Family Economics in which three mom bloggers are the S.C. Johnson bloggers. Each of these mom bloggers has their own separate blogs: House and Home, Food for Thought, More with Less, Getting Organized.
- What kind of credibility and content do you think this approach lends to the S.C Johnson brand?
- Does this method of blogging provide a unique selling proposition for S.C. Johnson?
- Is S.C. Johnson still able to maintain their brand identity by hiring consumers from outside of their company to be their bloggers?
Action Item For Real Estate CompaniesWe have reviewed all four of the categories explained in Part I of this series so now your action item will be a little different. Subscribe to both the Family Economics Blog and Fed Ex's Citizenship blog. Read the posts of the blogs that you have subscribed to as a result of this blog post series. Create a rough football goal post outline for each of the blogs you are following and Label it Likes/Dislikes. Do this for each of the blogs you visit. Determine each blog's Unique Selling/Value Proposition, who its target market is, and how it is reaching its target market by the content on its blog.
Pay careful attention and make written note of what each of these companies is doing on their blogs in order to have two way conversations with their target markets.
The blogging train has now arrived at the depot. Its last stop will be tomorrow in Part IV which is dedicated to the microbloggers of Fortune's Top 100 Best Companies to Work For List.
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.