Believe it or not, you don't have to be a blogger to respond to and engage bloggers.  All it takes is a willingness to monitor the blogosphere and respond when appropriate.  Doing so can help you convert skeptics and naysayers into fans. 

Here's an example of what can happen if you take the time to become involved in existing discussions in the blogosphere about your business.  Recently I posted on Daily Fix about a new campaign that Kraft is launching for its new 1/3 less fat version of its popular Philadelphia Cream Cheese product.  The campaign is ongoing this month, and a few weeks ago Kraft launched a blog to help promote the campaign and the product.

Myself and a few other commenters weren't completely agreeing with Kraft's strategy involving the blog, when a Kraft Senior Brand Manager involved in the project, Ericka Gettman, was kind enough to better explain Kraft's thinking behind the campaign, and its approach to blogging.

But then another reader left this comment criticizing the product itself:

"What makes me laugh in all of this, is how out of date big corporations are getting with current nutritional knowledge. Go onto or any of the big natural health sites and the message is: DON'T BUY LOW FAT PRODUCTS, because they fill them with gross toxic fillers. Full fat products are the way to go. Even the research about saturated fat from the 70s is turning out to be false.

They should be promoting their old-style FULL FAT cream cheese. It is better for people's hearts, and a way easier sell because it tastes so much better.

Also check out on this.
Signed: Ann (marketer and nutritionist!)"

But since Ericka had taken the time to scan the blogosphere and had found that post, she could give this factual reply to Ann:

"Hi Ann,

I can't speak for all lower fat products, but our 1/3 Less Fat PHILLY is made with the EXACT same ingredients as our Regular PHILLY. We didn't add a thing to get great taste in a lower fat version. Honest! You can check out the ingredient lines for yourself. We know there's a ton of skepticism out there, which is why our marketing challenge is as tough as it is... it really does taste great. At least I think so : )

Posted by: Ericka"

By responding, Ericka was able to quickly help bloggers get more information about their new product, and even gave the readers a great way to verify what she was saying, by inviting readers to check the ingredients of the 1/3 less fat version versus regular Philly Cream Cheese.

Ericka took a few minutes to engage bloggers, and in return she helped put a 'real' and 'honest' face on Kraft.  With her 'see for yourself!' example, she was able to not only correct a misconception about her company's product, but also gain trust from readers by speaking clearly and honestly. 

There's also a bigger blogging lesson here:  Customers are going to talk about your business online.  You can either join that conversation, or you can let your customers say what they will about your business.  Taking the time to reach out to your customers on blogs is a great way to make sure that your customers have the best and most accurate information, but it also helps you get insights into what your customers are wanting and thinking.

If you are a business owner, have you spent time seeing what your current and potential customers are saying about you online?  If so, what did you find?

February 18, 2008

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post,, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


I can't argue more..^^..aynways thanks a bunch for sharing this great and informative article..^^

The crazy thing is that blogging etc has had so much buzz in recent times, and SEO's love suggesting blogging as a tool, but they forget that it takes time, practice and patience to blog well and get the right voice which will help your brand.

"The crazy thing is that blogging etc has had so much buzz in recent times, and SEO's love suggesting blogging as a tool, but they forget that it takes time, practice and patience to blog well and get the right voice which will help your brand."

Tom you're right, while Google just looooves blogs as opposed to static websites, it still takes time to build up your Google-juice, even with a blog.

But for this post, I was trying to make the point that even if you aren't blogging, you can still use the blogosphere as a tool to better reach and understand your customers, just by monitoring what bloggers are saying.

Interesting and informative what you said about low fat food . I eat a lot of low fat myself because of weight problems so if you are right I am eating plastic and things like that in place of food scary.

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