(NOTE: Updated for accuracy following comment by Matt Ceniceros from FedEx. Thanks, Matt!)
Every now and again, I like to conduct a brief review of a corporate blogging initiative to see how companies are advancing their social media strategies. This week, I’m taking a look at the FedEx blog network. Hopefully we can all learn a few lessons from what the company is doing right and where there’s room for improvement.
First post: January 8, 2008
Community & Disaster Relief
Economics & Access
Environment & Efficiency
People & Workplace
The blog is updated several times a week with content provided by FedEx employees around the world. You’ll even find posts from the company’s CEO and its presidents.
Every post is tagged with keywords describing the content, and there is a weighted tag cloud on the sidebar so you can quickly see what topics are written about with the most frequency.
The sidebar also features links to the company’s Twitter profile and a badge showing they are part of the Alltop community, two signs of a larger social media strategy.
Since its inception, the blog has served as a place of conversation on a plethora of topics. There are posts about some of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, personal posts from employees that have helped with important strategic work, and even sad news, like that of the plane crash in Tokyo that claimed the lives of its crew. Overall, the content is extremely well rounded and a superb example of enforcing the global citizenship message.
I’m a bit unsure if all posts are truly authored by the people to whom they’re accredited. Some of the posts strike a more personal tone that fits well with a blog format, while others feel overly formal. For example, the post about the free resume printing day was authored by FedEx Office CEO Brian Phillips, but there’s not one personal sentiment in there to suggest that the post is from him. It just doesn’t feel authentic. In particular, this post has just over 1,000 views and only 4 comments, all of which go unanswered. Since this was such a large, successful promotion in the US, one would expect more attention here, particularly since if the post was truly from the company’s CEO.
Overall, the blog has very few external links, even when there are clear opportunities to do so (i.e. linking to the home pages of the charities they discuss, the news stories they reference or the companies they post about).
The archives are sorted chronologically, but only by year and not by topic, making them difficult to search.
There are many instances of executives just re-posting press releases without adding any substantive commentary. It’s important to remember that a corporate blog is not a clearing house for marketing materials, but a place for honest conversation.
While the audience is supposedly people interested in “the issues related to FedEx”, the blog seems to cater to a largely internal audience judging by its content. That’s fine, but it’s still unclear who the target audience for this initiative is.
This is a really strong effort on the part of FedEx, and I’d recommend corporate bloggers review the blog (especially the well written, clear guidelines, for some best practices. While its not perfect, the areas I found for improvement seem like pretty easy fixes.
What do you think? Have you ever visited the FedEx blog as a customer? Share your feedback below.