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Stop Bloggers from Trashing Your Product

April 8th, 2009 by Bob Bly

As I see it, the potential of blogging as a negative force hurting your product sales is actually greater than its potential as a positive force spurring sales.

A case in point: In 2006, Dell determined that 48% of the comments posted about the company online were negative.

To combat this bad blogosphere PR, Dell started a corporate blog, set up a blog monitoring program, and began to do outreach to bloggers.

Two years later, the percentage of blog posts that were negative about Dell had dropped to a little over 20%.

If I were a major consumer brand, I would have someone in the organization monitor what bloggers are saying about the products — and reach out to them to correct any factual errors or misconceptions.

Do you think that would work?

Or would it fail because (a) some bloggers have a chip on their shoulder while others (b) would view it as manipulative and violating netiquette?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at 12:51 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

75 responses about “Stop Bloggers from Trashing Your Product”

  1. Fiona Fell - websitePROFITS said:

    Hi Bob,

    I would certainly not mind if people were saying negative things about my business (or myself) 48% of the time, because as a result of some simple maths 52% of the time POSITIVE things are being said.

    The best thing I see about this ‘real world’ discussion across the blog-sphere, would be the market research potential.

    I have set aside time to look at what was being said about me online, and to make improvements in these areas, even if just in the audience perception, and work to improve the percentage breakdown to lean toward the postive side of things.

    Negative comments will remain, but this is natural in the conversational tone used in blogging, and the user-created content on the internet.

    websitePROFITS: Profit Boosting Tips in 37 words or less!

  2. Bill Perry said:

    I think it would be a good idea. The only caveat that I can think of is that not every customer/blogger has the same thought processes. I am re-reading “The 5 Paths to Persuasion” and it’s making me more mindful that each person needs to be informed in a different way.

    If the company’s blogger could keep that in mind, I think it would be an awesome strategy

  3. Ken - BalanceAdSolutions said:

    I imagine it would help, but probably wouldn’t solve the problem entirely because some bloggers do have a chip on their shoulder.
    And I’m sure there are many who are ‘out to get’ big corporations and will say negative things no matter what happens.

  4. Brett Owens said:

    I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do – get out in front of any negative coverage.

    Fine line you’re walking though – can’t be arrogant when replying to the criticism, need to be open and honest and admit faults, thank the blogger for pointing them out.

    Believe with that approach you’re in good shape. Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis preaches this – setup a Google Alert so you know right away when your name or brand are being trashed. People are less aggressive when they realize it’s a real actual person behind the object they are trashing.

  5. The Bad Blogger said:

    Negative comments are good too, of course at 48% is sometime too high, Dell can either find out what people are complaining and do better or they can just like what they do- create a blog.

    But then come back to a more safer bet, I think is better to listen to what people are complaining, cos sometime those people could just put dell into a new market ideal, that other competitor might not know.

    This in terms give them the chance to create something that people want and not people need.

  6. Gab Goldenberg said:

    Are you familiar with SEOmoz, 37Signals, SEOBook, etc.? Their blogging helps them do HUGE numbers.

  7. Ken Norkin - Freelance Copywriter said:

    I can’t believe that most major consumer brands don’t already have communications people whose job it is to monitor blogs for negative opinions or incorrect information, post corrections directly on those blogs, and write the companies’ own blogs.

    Regardless of the actual number or percentage of prospective customers who actually read the blogs — or postings on social media sites as well — participating in this media is an important, and not very expensive, way to support a brand’s image.

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