Yearly Archives: 2011

How ready is your business for social media?

57% enterprises are making some investment into social media in 2011 (based on data from Forresters)

Social media is a disruptive technology as it changes how a company operates. No organisation can adopt social media unless the underlying business processes, workflow and resources are aligned with the social media strategy and tools to manage this.
Altimer Group recently released a report based on research they have done into the social readiness of businesses. (more…)

Community Management – gardeners or managers?

I’ve recently been having a discussion with some friends at the RSA Digital Engagement team about how to moderate a community. The main thrust of the discussions have been around cultivating or managing.

Cultivating a community
Cultivating a community should be about building knowledge and experience within the community, so it builds as a knowledge community. The word ‘manager’ creates the sense that as an organisation you  are building the community on your terms, not the advocated and enthusiasts. It should formulaic, rigid, and flexible. (more…)

Understanding How Customer Research & Buy Online

Over the past few few years how people research and buy online has changed significantly. It’s about permission based marketing not push marketing and proving your credibility and worth.With statistics such as 90% purchases are researched online, and people who use social media are more likely to purchase online companies need to understand the landscape of the sales funnel has changed. (more…)

Book Review Social Media ProBook

For the pro users of social media this is a great resource for ideas, updates and thought leadership. This free ebook was published a few weeks ago by Eloqua and JESS3. The beauty of the ebook is that the information is current, rather than paperback books which are generally out of date as soon as they go to print.

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Too Many People jumping on the Band Wagon?

I haven’t blogged for weeks now.  I’ve been getting tongue tied.  Let me explain why.

The market place seems to be getting so busy with companies and individuals claiming to be a social media expert. From IT, design, creative, PR, branding, communications, copy writing, advertising, digital and marketing (sure I’ve missed some).

Each sector has a different take social marketing and what it means.  To some it’s about running training courses on how to use LinkedIn. To PR people it’s about creating the buzz and getting coverage online. (more…)

Book Review of Enterprise Social Technology

Social Media has take the business world by storm.  There are those companies who have embraced the technologies and succeeded. There are those who have attempted to embrace the technologies but have not delivered the ROI they were expecting.

Enterprise Social Technology was recommended to me by a client.  The CEO of the organisation had read the book and had driven social media to one of the key objectives this year as part of their overall marketing strategy.

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Is Social Media Failing Companies?

There was an interesting discussion in the IoD LinkedIn Group this week titled ‘Is Social Media failing’, which as certainly sparked a debate.

Recent figures released by the IAB (prepared by PWC) demonstrate that social media is showing a rapid growth.  Budgets for social media increased  by 200% in 2010 vs 2009.

A recent article by AdAge shows that some big brands have not seen ROI on the social media campaigns: (more…)

10 Top Tips for Business Blogging

Blogging for business has certainly grown popularity in the past 18 months.  More companies are using blogs to establish their credibility, boost visitor numbers and boost their PR.

There are some incredible statistics to back this up:

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs according to Universal McCann
  • 72% say they blog in order to share their expertise.
  • 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry.
  • 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog

With that in mind, running a business blog is becoming part of the online marketing mix. I am often asked about information on what makes a good business blog.

Here are my top 10 thoughts on running a business blog

1. Tone of voice  – Think of how you would deal with a new business call.  You wouldn’t use slang, be abrupt or not help out the potential customer.  Same point goes for how you write the blog posts, as this is an opportunity to engage with potential customers to establish your credibility.

2.  Be a thought leader – don’t just write about the news in your business or about your products or services.  Write commentary on news in your industry, or a specific trend you have noticed or information that will help a potential customer.  When growing your credibility it is important for potential customers to feel that you are an expert in your field.  This is your opportunity to shine!

3.  Set guidelines for digital engagement – engaging online certainly can do a lot of your business, but you also need to be aware of the risks.  Ensuring the team involved in running your blog are aware of the risks associated – such as damaging the company’s credibility, publishing misleading information, moderating comments.

4. Choose the right platform – there are many blogging software platforms available, such s blogger or typed.  WordPress has definitely got the edge as it has more plugins available to extend the functionality.

5. Custom domain name – you can set up a domain name to reflect your main website URL.  You can either set the blog up as part of your main website (www.youdomain.co.uk/blog) or set it up on a sub domain (blog.yourdomain.co.uk) or a separate domain entirely.  Point being don’t leave it as the domain that’s set up as a default URL, such as your blog.wordpress.com.

6. Look and Feel – invest some time and resource into customising the look and feel of the blog to it reflects your website look and feel.  From a credibility view, the brand look and feel needs to be consistent  across your different profiles online.  Are potential customers going to take the content seriously if the rest of the blog has been left as the default settings? Spending time to be ‘dressed for the occasion’ shows that you are investing in your online credibility

7. Stick you your niche – your blog should grow around the niche topics around your products and services. Widening the breadth of the blog will mean that you’re appealing to a broad audience.  Sticking to the subject matter around your industry will grow your niche audience who are interested in that subject matter

8. Optimise your blog posts – search engines look for regular addition of content on websites as one of their key criteria for search engine listings.  Using a blog is a quick and easy way to add content to a website. If the blog posts are around key phrases that people are searching, then the this will boost the ranking of the page. Commenting on other companies and people’s blog is a great way to get inbound links.  Inbound links are another criteria Google looks at for ranking a website.

9 – Market your blog. Once you have got some content posted on the blog you need to start driving visitors into your blog.  Think about how you can sign post the blog within:

  • your main website
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Twitter
  • Online Directories
  • Other online profiles
  • Email signatures
  • Offline marketing

10. Engage with your audience / target market - when there are unplanned events such as the ash cloud in 2010 or the bad snow in November 2010 – your blog is a great way of keeping your customers up to date with news which impacts them.  It’s a great way of growing your credibility as you are providing them real time pertinent information which will help them.

Like wise if you are looking at improving your products or services – ask for their feedback or what enhancements would be beneficial!

Happy Blogging – what are your top tips on business blogging?

On The Web

Your online credibility is an increasingly important way of showcasing your specialised knowledge and expertise which will build your online credibility. As more people engage with the social web differentiating yourself become imperative

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