April 7, 2014

How to use a blog to personalize your brand

blog

Or, how to make a large entity more relatable for the public

Target audience: Marketing professionals, business bloggers, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Erin Steiner

Erin-SteinerIn the past decade, blogs have gone from personal diary sites to must-have social media tools for people of every professional stripe. They’re how big companies, celebrities and even political figures help make themselves relatable, share information and connect with their audiences and markets. Today, as you surf through the blogosphere, it often looks more like a billboard highway than authentic communication.

As a blogger myself (and one who started just before the “blog boom” of mid-2004), this makes me sad. I love blogging. I love the connections it can forge when it’s done right. I love the communities social marketing can build. Continue reading

March 31, 2014

Data integration! Key for a successful marketing campaign

data-integration
Data integration is the key to a successful marketing campaign.

Are your organization’s departments all on the same page?

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaData integration is a concept that every smart business is familiar with, and for marketing professionals, identifying and unifying separate data entities is especially important. Follow this guide to understanding data integration for marketing professionals.

Marketing data can be spread across many departments in a given company. Huge data warehouses that aren’t linked create a situation where data is scattered across multiple channels. Data integration is needed to provide a common pathway between customer databases, customer relationship management systems, call centers, social marketing campaigns and point-of-sale systems. Continue reading

March 26, 2014

Why promoting a brand takes perseverance

persistence

Target audience: Marketing professionals, PR pros, brand managers, SEO specialists, businesses.

Chris AbrahamIf you want to be heard above the din of the Internet, you need to speak clearly and with persistence. It’s not uncommon for someone at a loud bar not to hear you the first time, or even twice. If you assume someone isn’t interested in getting to know you better just because they don’t hear you the first or second time, then you’re doomed. The Internet is the busiest, loudest, most distracting place ever created. It’s global and impersonal and often anonymous. Plus, there’s no accountability.

At least in a bar, you can sit right next to the someone you want to meet and then just bide your time until there’s a lull in the noise or you can catch an eye. The Internet’s just not like that. Social media is loud and tends to be an insider’s club. We resonate with people we already know, be it in our in-boxes, our rivers of news, or our walls, we tend to tune out unknowns. And, in social media marketing, most of us are unknowns, most brands are unknown, and most services, too. Continue reading

March 24, 2014

Do your Twitter followers matter to your brand?

Hard at work

Think about the kind of Twitter users you follow back

Post by Tristan Anwyn

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

When you were at school, there was a good chance that if you got caught hanging with the troublemakers, you were considered guilty by association.

Nowadays, the company you keep online can affect your brand’s reputation for good or ill. Just ask Republican politician Newt Gingrich, who ran into a mini-scandal during his 2012 presidential campaign when it came to light that 92% of his Twitter followers were fake accounts.

So how does the company you keep affect your brand? Continue reading

March 19, 2014

Stop begging on social, it looks pathetic

WARNING: Stop begging. You look pathetic.

Harassing people to share your content is not a social media strategy

Target audience: PR professionals, marketers, content creators, communicators.

David SparkIn a previous whitepaper, How to Trend on Twitter, I recommended that people blatantly ask for retweets because your followers want to help you out and would support you in your endeavors … up to a point.

But all of these pleas eventually start to have the reverse effect. If you constantly barrage your friends with RT and “please share” requests, they’re going to get irritated.

It’s like having a friend whom you’ve helped move once before but who asks you to do it again. Dude, hire some friggin’ movers!

The sentiment is the same when you continuously beg for RTs. Dude, hire a friggin’ publicist! Continue reading

March 17, 2014

10 tips on using Pinterest for your small business

Pinterest-images
Image by Nito courtesy of BigStockPhoto

Target audience: Small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, analytics managers, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers.

Guest post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaPinterest is for more than recipes, home decorating, and DIY crafts. This unique social media network now has more than 70 million registered users, with 70 percent of them in the United States. Bottom line: Pinterest is a great platform for promoting your small business.

If you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is an image-based site where posts are called “pins” and consist of images with short captions. At its heart, the site is a huge, interconnected online corkboard where users can share the things they enjoy.

Here are 10 tips for marketing your small business on Pinterest.

Plan out your brand

1Before you create your Pinterest business page, you should have a strategy in place for how you’ll use it to build your brand. Will you post photos of your products or your people? Create images or infographics based on quotes and statistics?

Take a look around Pinterest and see what similar companies are doing. You may find a set of themes or formats that will work for your business. With a pre-planned strategy, you’ll be less likely to run out of enthusiasm and drop your Pinterest marketing efforts. Continue reading