BNP Paribas : Positioning a blog
A declared aim may be the wrong measure of success.
BNP Paribas, a France-based banking group, promotes a company blog site heavily but may be detracting from its success.
BNP Paribas runs a carousel of featured content on its home page with a loose corporate responsibility theme. The mix differs somewhat between the French- and English-language versions of the site but both highlight and link through to a separate company blog site in their respective language (pourunmondequichange.com and forachangingworld.com). The site’s highlighted aim is to be “a space for communication, exchange, and interaction between employees and web-surfers”.
The twin blog sites have a structure based around topics such as Culture, Diversity, and Environment under the general heading The Group’s Commitments. However, the mix of postings is different, as are the selections under ‘Most popular’ and Reports. Posting summaries show date of publication, from which it is apparent the various strands are regularly fed and go back as far as May 2008. However, all have a link to ‘Leave a comment’ which is replaced by the number of comments where there have been any. On this indication very few seem to have attracted a response, and of those rarely more than one.
BNP Paribas has invested in its blog sites on a scale rarely if ever matched, especially if their promotion on a prime piece of the web estate is taken into account. Clearly, it sees social media as a way of differentiating itself from other banks in the way it engages with customers and potential customers. Equally clear is its commitment to sustaining the initiative, as evidenced by the variety and regularity of posts over many months – again, a rarity for a corporate blog. This is all the more remarkable because judged on its own terms of reference – sparking a dialogue – it isn’t succeeding.
Volume of comments is not, however, necessarily the killer KPI (key performance indicator) for a blog. The ones that do attract contributors almost invariably speak to a well-defined ‘community of interest’ (motor enthusiasts, for example). But there can also be a role in appropriate areas of a corporate site for a more informal ‘dressdown’ communication channel. A better judgement here would be readership, something only BNP Paribas’ web analytics can quantify. If it isn’t succeeding on this measure then it won’t be for want of effort, commitment and enthusiasm on the part of the corporate comms people who are the core posters.http://www.bnpparisbas.com
First published on 05 March, 2009