The 5 Pillars of Business Blogging Success

social media how toAre you looking for practical tips for blogging success? Are you wondering what to avoid? While my position is generally that there are no “rules” in blogging, there are best practices that will help your business blog succeed.

There are a lot of obvious elements you need to include to make a blog reader-friendly: quality, compelling content, good navigation, a contact page, an about page, focus and clarity about the subject of the blog… and there’s a lot of not-so-obvious or overlooked things that can really help make a blog stand out if they’re implemented.

While I do have my own list of do’s and don’ts included, I decided to get input from other smart, savvy bloggers. I posted a request on LinkedIn Answers and received many great do’s and don’ts. I’ve grouped the tips into five categories: Planning, Content, Design, Marketing and Engagement.

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8 Social Media Trends Impacting Businesses

social media researchAs businesses continue to integrate social media and become more confident and comfortable with social media tools and platforms, we’re starting to see a change in social media usage.  A new study reveals what’s changing with social media.

SmartBrief recently partnered with Summus Limited to survey more than 6,000 of its readers across a variety of industries.

They benchmarked and measured the state of social media usage among businesspeople. The data identified eight prevalent trends that give great insight into the social media behaviors, beliefs and challenges of the majority of businesses today.

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Facebook Marketing in Only An Hour a Day?

social media book reviewsWhen fifth-grader Kane Swift had to do a science project, he decided to help raise funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure campaign.

So he set up a Facebook fan page with the help of his parents. In just one week, he got more than 1,200 fans and raised $400!

“I can understand using Facebook for a fifth-grade science project,” I hear you saying. “But how do I use Facebook to market my business? I keep hearing that I should include social media in my marketing campaigns, but I don’t have a clue how to do that.”

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Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. MyTown: Which Is Better for Business?

social media toolsYou know the location wars are heating up when a simple search for “Foursquare vs. Gowalla” returns millions of results. And then there’s MyTown.  Which of these is right for your helping your local business?

The two hottest location-based social networks—Foursquare and Gowalla—are taking different approaches to the market, and seeing unique uptake patterns as a result.  While these companies have repeatedly said they don’t view each other as competitors, the activities on networks are similar.

What’s more, several other companies are making the case to be included in the discussion about the top location-based network, including Booyah’s MyTown, which has more users than Foursquare and Gowalla combined.

Let’s take a look at how the location wars are unfolding and which of these services might be ideal for your marketing strategy.

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Are You Unknowingly Bribing Your Social Media Fans?

social media researchCould “ethical” bribery be setting your business up for failure?

If your company’s social media interactions revolve around advance announcements of sales, special offers and insider-only promo codes – to the point where receiving these things is the primary motivation for your fans and followers – then you’re essentially bribing customers to stay.

In this case, social media merely provides a pleasant, whitewashed cover for the bribery.

Thus, the very activities you’re hoping will improve your relationship with customers might well be actually hurting your reputation with them, making those customers less likely to pay your full price without balking.

This article will reveal four ways to build customer loyalty without bribery.

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