26 Tips for Using Images to Engage Fans and Followers

social media how toYou’ve heard this: A picture is worth a thousand words.” But can it actually help you engage with customers and prospects?

In this post, I’ll share ways you can ensure your images provide the best experience they can; ones that will help keep the conversation flowing.

Among the topics covered in this post are tools, tips and strategies that can be used to enhance the visual representation of your business.

As I’ve done in the other posts in the 26 Tips series, this post provides an easily digestible A-Z guide to which you can return time and again.

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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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5 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out From the Crowd

social media how toIt’s no secret that the amount of new bloggers entering the blogosphere has made it both incredibly competitive and difficult to stand out.

Now, this doesn’t mean that blogging isn’t useful and effective, but it does mean that you have to treat your blog a little differently than you did in the past.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make your blog stand out from the crowd. This is important not just from a branding perspective, but also from a traffic and monetization perspective.

As the competition for attention increases, it’s going to become more important than ever to find a way to stand out from the crowd and be unique.

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Why Our Mascot Hasn’t Got a Name…

social media examiner's little dudeWhen you’re a new parent, you have a name all picked out for your little bundle of joy, right?

But we never got around to giving our mascot a name. And his first birthday is just around the corner! And that’s where you come in…

Would you help us name our mascot? We affectionately call him “the little dude” around the Social Media Examiner offices. We want to make this fun, so we’ve got some great prizes we’ll give away to the readers who come up with the best names. See below for details.

The Dude’s Wild Ride

It’s hard to believe that Social Media Examiner is not yet even a year old! With the help of outstanding writers and a brilliant reader base (yep, that’s you!), we’ve achieved a lot.

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How to Keep Readers Coming Back to Your Blog

social media how toBlogs are the most powerful marketing tool you can use to attract leads and new customers, as well as increase visibility in your marketplace.

But what makes one blog successful and another mediocre? The majority of “so-so” blogs lack one or more of four important elements…  In this article I will introduce the CODA system and how it can driven traffic and engagement with your readers.

Some bloggers may be writing well, posting relevant and valuable content on a regular basis, but they aren’t encouraging reader interaction. Or they might have built a blog whose purpose isn’t evident.

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6 Powerful Social Media Persuasion Techniques

Let’s be honest, you don’t just want your voice to be added to the conversation; you want your voice to be heard, repeated, and valued—and your message to be influential.  Ultimately, you’re after influence.

So what better way to understand social media than by looking at the fundamental principles of influence as taught by Dr. Robert Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University? In his seminal book, Influence, Cialdini covers six “weapons of influence”  that are hardwired into our social and cognitive minds.  In other words, we can’t help but behave in accordance with these laws of social interaction.

Does this sound like something useful to keep in mind during your social media engagements?  Well, let’s take a look six powerful persuasion techniques:

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7 Essential Design Elements for Great Business Blogs

When people hear the word design, they sometimes think only of making something look good, using colors and graphics to add interest. But on the web, and especially on a blog, design has a purpose: to grab readers when they arrive, make it easy for them to get what they want, and create trust through a consistent and professional look.

A well-designed business blog:

  1. Uses visual interest to make posts easy to read
  2. Brands your business in a consistent way
  3. Places useful information in places where it is easy to find
  4. Isn’t cluttered with things that aren’t helping you promote your business
  5. Makes it easy for readers to do what you want them to do

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