Blogging

Why blog? It’s your strongest tool

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With the continuing rise in popularity of Facebook and other social networks, many business owners mistakenly assume that setting up a Facebook fan page or starting to tweet about their business is going to attract new customers. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Of course, there’s a place for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In fact, a presence on many other social networks may be appropriate for business owners. (Wikepedia has an updated list of 316 Social networks.)

Successful social media campaigns, however, are built on multiple platforms. What to do first, if you’re looking to build a network and attract prospects? Blog.

Why blog? Marketing experts explain that blogging is a sure-fire way to increase your visibility and search-engine rankings. Allowing comments from your readers also provides personal interaction. Frequent updating helps build your position as an expert. And blogging in general promotes trust.

As the chart above shows, blogging attracts more traffic to your Website. So if you want to begin increasing your visibility, come up with quality content that helps readers, and post it to your blog. How often?

See our next post on blogging:  The more blog posts, the more leads.


Marketing strategies for 2011

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Social media strategiesKnow the marketing trends that are going to be hot, and you can better shape your own 2011 marketing strategies.

A new article by Susan Gunelius in Entrepreneur points out the directions in which marketing is likely to go, this year.

The bottom line: One strategy doesn’t do it! All of us need a diversified, targeted, and committed approach to reaching and engaging customers.

Here–referring to social networking–is one of the more compelling arguments that Gunelius makes:

“Increase in branded online experiences to meet diverse consumer needs. Simply having a Twitter account or Facebook page isn’t enough this year. Small businesses must surround consumers with branded online destinations such as a blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, Flickr profile and so on. Consumers can then pick and choose how they want to interact with your brand. Of course, quality trumps quantity, so extending a brand across the social Web must be done strategically to maximize opportunities without compromising content and communications.”

There’s plenty more good advice where that came from. To see it, click here.

Social media marketing for business

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Good social media tools and advice make it easier for any business to launch and sustain a well-rounded marketing campaign.

In her June 3, 2009 blog post, Rachel Globus, Editor and Education Director of  Event Solutions, wrote about  three key social marketing tips. Her advice, summarized below, is just as valid today:

  1. Don’t sell yourself. Of course, we’re all selling ourselves when we enter social media space. But remember that social media, like networking events, are spaces for starting and nurturing relationships, not blatantly self-promoting. So whether you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a blog, be polite and to the point. Most important, be a good listener.
  2. Add something to the conversation. Social media is all about having real conversations with real people. Before you post anything, ask yourself: Is it new, or useful, or interesting? If  not, you won’t gain anything by adding it.
  3. Make social media one element of a diversified marketing mix. Should you throw away your beautiful brochures or your print ads and concentrate solely on your Facebook page and Twitter account? Absolutely not. Social media help you strengthen your message and build relationships with current and prospective clients. They shouldn’t be the only tools in your belt, but they should be part of your overall marketing mix.

Image source: vedlo

Social media: What tactics big companies are using

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It’s always fun to see what others are doing, and how successful they’ve been!

One of our favorite marketing sites, Marketing Sherpa, sent out a chart today showing the results of a social media survey it conducted at the end of 2009.

The interesting results show how social media time and money are being spent by more than 2,000 corporations.

Does that mean this is how  your resources should be spent? Not necessarily.

An article by Sarah E. Needleman, in the March 16, 2010 Wall St. Journal, reported that social media isn’t necessarily the road to profits, especially where small businesses are concerned:

“…a separate survey of 500 U.S. small-business owners… found that just 22% made a profit last year from promoting their firms on social media, while 53% said they broke even. What’s more, 19% said they actually lost money due to their social-media initiatives.”

In the same article, (which is no longer archived on the Wall Street Journal site, unfortunately),  Needleman wrote:  “Fifty percent of  respondents say it requires more effort than expected.

Our guess is that once companies start implementing social marketing plans, far more than 50% find that it’s lots more work than they had thought! We plan to cover small business and social media in greater depth, in the near future.

In the meantime, to see the Marketing Sherpa chart in a larger version that’s easier to read, click here: