Companies these days want people to believe they are hip and happening and understand the latest technologies. As a result, many of them have gone onto twitter or started to blog. I was reminded of that recently when I went to the website of a large firm.
This particular company has a president with a lot of experience and I expect he is very well respected by his clients. He has an impressive staff, judging from the on-line bios. The staff list on a web site is always a great indicator of the company’s pecking order. The junior person is generally listed last. So it surprised me when I went to this same company’s blog and noticed that many of the posts were under the byline of that most junior person.
The blog posts seemed to be designed to help clients cope with problems in a changing world but they all had a very peculiar perspective. For example, near the end of a post on buying things through your cell phone was a line that challenged readers as being “the wrong demographic” if they didn’t accept the premise of impending change. A couple of other posts talked about the 18 to 29 age group with predictions about how that group would be getting its news in the near future.
When I checked the client list for this company, I saw a lot of major firms in mature industries. It occurred to me that the people hiring consultants for those firms would probably not be under the age of 30. And I was also pretty sure that anyone under the age of 30 would not likely stumble across this particular blog.
I thought the firm’s clients were unlikely to find the posts useful and might even find them condescending. It’s possible the firm was hoping to attract younger, high tech or emerging businesses. But I think we have to be careful when appealing to new customers that we don’t alienate our established clientele.
It’s one thing to present your company as being aware of the latest social media tools but it’s a mistake to hand those tools over to a junior who understands the technology but not the subtleties of the messages.