Darwin’s concept of survival of the fittest is all pervading and is applicable to companies as well. In the current information age, wherein we are surrounded by multiple social platforms, companies have to adapt themselves and their mode of attracting and engaging talent. While I am a big fan of transitioning into social, amidst all of this external focus, one often neglected but extremely versatile medium is the company’s own blog.
Lots of people have lots of opinions and one ought to provide a forum for them to voice it. Goodbye Wordpress and Blogspot, it’s time to say ‘Hello’ to the new age company blogs. While this isn’t a new concept, organizations have just started waking up to the immense marketing, recruitment and retention potential that this presents; and I am not referring to a highly content controlled blog, I’m talking about letting your employees lose on your official blog – much like ThoughtWorks did.
The idea is to let your employees do the talking – be it about the technology and projects you work on, the culture or even the latest trends in the marketplace. As long as it is remotely connected to your company or your corporate mission, you let them post it. ThoughtWorks even went ahead and turned it into a competition. They let their people win cool gadgets and more for the maximum number of likes and comments that they could gather. Under normal circumstances alone, it is highly likely that that an employee posting on the company blog will share it on at least one form of social media. Turn that into a contest and you just got yourself at least 5x times the views.
How does this help? Not only is the voice of your employee more credible than that of your PR team, you are also pleasing your engagement specialist by giving the employees a voice on one of your most important platforms. Recruitment already has a big win in reaching out to multiple active and passive job seekers curious about the culture; you now have internal stakeholders in your happy bucket too.
While I love what ThoughtWorks did, IBM went one step ahead and linked blogs of IBMers on their company page. In my opinion, they’ve managed to strike a very good balance of the blogs that talk largely about IBM and those which don’t. Like they mention on the top of the page, ‘“As they'll tell you themselves, the opinions and interests expressed on IBMers' blogs are their own and don't necessarily represent this company's positions, strategies or views. But that doesn't mean we don't want you to read them! Because they do represent lots of business and technology expertise you can't get from anyone else.”
Over the course of evolution, for the first time we are living in an age where marketing is no longer a ‘Push’ but a ‘Pull’ strategy and in this regard what Glassdoor did with their blog is worth mentioning. They opened up their blog to guest bloggers allowing them to capture the interest of a much larger audience. Why not follow their footsteps and get industry experts to write about trending topics on your blog? Most people passionate about their trade, follows trends and leaders in their respective areas which will lead them to your company blog and who knows, eventually your career page too!
The corporate blog still remains a field of unexplored opportunities and while it might not be the first place a candidate might head to, this simple trick from Google might work. Here’s how they redirect traffic to their blog:
Thanks for applying to Google! There are a ton of great companies out there, so we appreciate your interest in joining our team.
While we’re not able to reach out to every applicant, our recruiting team will contact you if your skills and experience are a strong match for the role. In the meantime, join the conversation about job opportunities and life at Google on our Google+ page.
We appreciate your interest in joining us.
While this is just one of the many ways of popularizing your blog, it is important to note that visibility is now a necessary evil no matter how great, popular or loved a company might be. While I have pointed out a few organizations that have embraced this idea in a big way, there are many others out there who are radically redefining the landscape of a corporate blog. While you could wait and watch how it pans out, now is a good time to start thinking about how you would want to socialize your company blog.
After all, this isn’t a wave we can afford to miss out on.
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