Why InTrade-TradeSports and BetFair-TradeFair need to set up a corporate blog

No GravatarRobert Scobble&#8217-s book co-author interviewing the Dell Computer blogger:

[QUESTION] 5. Can you give me some statistics on the blog? How many uniques? How many comments? Growth?

[ANSWER:] We’ve been tracking at about 1 million page views per week. Unique visitors have reached as high as 300,000 per month.

One of the most important metrics is the change in the tonality of the conversations. In 2006, at the low point, almost 50% of the conversations about Dell were negative. Today, we are at about 23%. I don’t attribute all that success to our digital media initiatives, but it’s clear that they have accounted for part of it.

[QUESTION] 6. As you know, many enterprise decision makers are fearful of being shouted at [*], lack of adequate measurement tools, loss of message control, leaking secrets and of course&#8211-no clear ROI. How would you address each of these?

[ANSWER:] I think all of those issues are reasons why corporations stay away from joining conversations. I would argue though that the benefits of being part of the conversation outweigh all the risks. In my view, it’s really about facing the reality of the changes that are happening in front of us. Companies need to admit that control is shifting toward customers. More and more customers are talking about companies they either like or dislike. Those conversations happen with or without companies being actively involved. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that those conversations have more influence over perception than much of the marketing material and PR messages that companies produce.

We wrestle with measurement tools and ROI all the time for a couple of reasons:
– This is a new, but maturing field, and that means it will take time to develop tools and metrics that mean something on a broad scale
– Proving ROI in social media almost always involves looking at a topic over an extended period of time

In my view though, the real value in social media is that it has the potential to change customer perception in ways that just weren’t possible before. Just because that’s hard to measure doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Time will tell, but it seems to me that not being part of the conversation is a far riskier proposition.


Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Michael Gerber – The E-Myth Revisited
  • Changes to TradeFair prediction markets
  • Eric Zitzewitz, laughing all the way to the bank
  • Michael Bloomberg: I’m not running… but, beware, I am a King maker.
  • Meet the 3 Iowa Electronic Markets co-founders: George Neumann, Forrest Nelson and Robert Forsythe.
  • When Markets Beat The Polls – Scientific American Magazine

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