International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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March 26-28, 2007

Building Trust with Corporate Blogs

Paul Dwyer

The personal relationships that companies once had with customers degenerated into the cold automaticity of datagathering with the widespread adoption of management information systems. By restoring a human face to a company’s self-presentation, blogging has been heralded as a paradigm shift in the way companies interact with customers. This study tests a model relating the content of an author's blog posts to readers' responses. It suggests that companies can use blogging to complement customer relationship management processes to the extent their customers exhibit an organic desire to commune by combining provocative informational content with expressions of benevolent intent. Such consumers respond well to these overtures, showing evidence of increased subject-matter involvement, liking and trust. The study also proposes a way to measure diversity of thought in reader comments to guard against being unduly swayed by a vocal minority.

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