Blog marketing

M.I.T. is paying student bloggers about $40 a week to share their on-campus experiences in a way high schoolers are readily responsive to. cites several schools that are using blogs as marketing tools to attract prospective students, and also addresses the concerns non-adopting schools have about entering a blogging space. Their admissions office concerns mirror those raised by institutions like hospitals for which polished reputations are life lines.

1. Poor writing from bloggers may hurt the organization
This one’s easy. I can tell you from experience that an in-hand printout and an extra set of eyes have a way of revealing phantom typos.

2. Poor writing from commentors may hurt the organization
Editing comments is a social media no-no. But as administrator, you choose what you want to go live and what you want to send to that overflowing junkyard all deleted items head to. Keep in mind though, that if you keep discarding those flawed comments, it might come back to haunt you. It’s a fact that many who post comments online use aliases and those fake names just may be from one of your brand loyalists or prospective followers.

3. Negative postings from commentors may hurt the organization
Post it. Refute it, if warranted, but do some P.I. work to determine the facts because you don’t want one person’s issue to become a recurring theme among future commentors. Use every substantiated negative comment as an opportunity to provide above and beyond-type customer service that you (and perhaps the commenter) can blog about later.

Of course by now you see that the chief concerns are about brand image. Bottom line? If your business, whatever form it takes, isn’t involved in social media or at least monitoring what’s going on, your image is already in jeopardy. The millions of blogs, tweets, and Facebook and YouTube updates that are uploaded daily are from people like your customers, clients, patients, and students (and prospective ones). Be aware of the risks, but be prepared for the rewards. With the right strategies (and professional guidance, if needed), you’ll end up wondering what took you so long in the first place.

– Natasha Dorsainvil

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