>Blogging 101

This entry was posted by Monday, 2 July, 2007
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It’s Christopher here and I have a few announcements about the YES Summit blog:

  • There will be more updates - The 2007 YES Summit is drawing near and Gen Yers still need to be served by credit unions. We know the blog hasn’t been updated in two months and we are sorry.
  • Josh and I are now the main bloggers. And there will be special guests, so stay tuned!

To better serve Generation Y, you have to speak their language. A huge part of that is using (and understanding) emerging technology in your credit union to serve your members. I thought it might be useful then to start a series of posts to both introduce folks to “Web 2.0″ and maybe even deepen somebody’s understanding of it.

Today it’s blogs.

So your CEO says your credit union should have a blog – everyone else has one (89.5 million actually…). What now?

First, sit and think. Who’s going to post? Who’s going to monitor it? What are you going to write about? Don’t think you can just get away with posting your press releases – that’s not a blog and no one will read it. Blogging is a “conversation.” It’s:

“a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a “conversation” than to a library — which is how the Web has often been described in the past. With an increasing number of people reading, writing, and commenting on blogs, the way we use the Web is shifting in a fundamental way. Instead of primarily being passive consumers of information, more and more Internet users are becoming active participants. Weblogs allow everyone to have a voice. ( Read more blogging basics here @ Technorati, the recognized blog authority on the net…)

More blogging basics:

So then what? Here is a great article from ePhilanthropy on “Implementing a Successful Blog,” starting with setting it up. It’s easy. Words of wisdom – “The key to a successful debut is to connect with the target audience and engage them. The quickest way to connect is to hit a hot button or to give a peek behind the corporate curtain.”

What is your angle? Transparency is big now - Have employees post what it’s really like to work at your CU (Verity CU recently launched a good example of this – check it out here). Start capturing stories of helping members. Take videos of them too and post on YouTube to embed in your blog (by the way, just posting your commercials on YouTube isn’t going to win any members either). Here are more ways you can use blogs. Just remember, this isn’t about talking at your readers, it’s engaging them in conversation. As Brian Solis recently wrote in a very informative post at PR 2.0, blogs are:

“not effective when used as a corporate platform for marketing messages. And also, they’re not a channel for featuring ghostwritten posts for company executives. The best corporate blogs are genuine and designed to help people. Make sure to pay attention to the comments as well. Some of the best conversations take place in the comments section as people react to what you wrote as well as the feedback from their peers.”

And comment on other people’s or businesses’ blogs too. Very important. Both to bring people back to your blog and to enhance your net reputation. It’s also good practice.

And don’t forget – blogging (n)etiquette:

That’s it – One rule of thumb is your posts shouldn’t be loooooong. Also, you should update often (Again, we are sorry). If I forgot anything important, you can leave it in the comments section.

4 Responses to “>Blogging 101”

  1. Tony Mannor

    >Chris,

    Good post and glad to here that you guys will be a little more active. I think the core point here is that the credit union blog needs to be a real conversation with the members. It can’t be too sterile (this means leave the lawyers out of it) and it cant be a sales pitch (put down your product manuals and marketing plans).

    It has to be a genuine conversation. People know when you are trying to sell them something and thats when a pleasant conversation goes into an adversarial situation. How many times have you been at a party and talking to someone and they seem so interested in you and what you do – then you find out they sell insurance and out comes their hand with a business card. From there you guard your words and look for an escape route. GenY is in their 20′s. These people are marketing connoisseurs. Dont think that you are fooling them by talking about cars and how much they should have a new one. You might as well pull out your business card.

    Anyway, good job guys. I like the blog – I am a regular subscriber. Keep up the good work.

    p.s. As you may or may not know – I tend to forget the last rule of blogging. Some of my posts are loooooooong!

  2. terrell

    >I would note that you are going to reach a broader demographic than Gen Y with a blog. Unless your content is specifically targeted toward that Generation, you are going to have a lot of older people reading your blog as well.

    I’d also add that you need to be patient…that it will take a while for you to get readers. You need to be diligent about promoting your blog and be prepared to get a ton of comments from social media consultants who are also looking to spread their name around.

    We’ve found that the financial blogging community is a small one and after 3 years, we are still struggle to get our members to read our blog, and not just industry folks.

    All in all, it’s been a great experience.

  3. Christopher Morris

    >Thanks for posting Terrell. I’m a big fan – Verity CU’s blog is one example of a CU blog done right.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.
    It takes time. People think that “if you build it, they will come.” Not so. Remember the dot.com downfall in the late nineties? Everyone thought that if you built a website with items for sale, the cash would pour in. Thus Rest in Peace Pets.com.

    My advice (yet again):
    Gain traction- Get out and blog in the community to link to your blog. Add the link to a statement stuffer. Heck, even have members blog occasionally.

    And do your homework first. I think many people get the idea for a blog because everyone else has one. And everyone does have one – why should they read yours?
    And if you don’t have the resources to keep your blog updated with fresh, good content then don’t waste your time.

    Social Media is the way of the future (or at least near future), and every credit union’s Marketing/PR department is going to have to be well versed in the blogosphere to stay relevant. Not only for Gen Y, but for the next generation as well. It’s better to be part of the conversation than to be talked about behind your back.

  4. Christopher Morris

    >*For more talk about the Field of Dreams myth, check out a recent Trabian post on the subject here.

    Also, don’t be discouraged by the lack of comments – Just because most of your posts have “no comments” doesn’t necessarily mean that no one is reading your blog. Check your web stats and you might be pleasantly surprised.


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