Archive for May, 2010

30
May
10

Thank you

If you’ve happened to come across this site or are a reader of these blogs, please know this site has been transferred to http://barnraisersllc.com

I sincerely appreciate your spending time here and thank you.  I hope the blogs have been helpful and of value to you.  That’s why they’re written; it’s my goal to exceed those expectations at the new site.

Please stay in touch.

Rob

17
May
10

The “Be’s” behind your social media brand

7 Steps to More Effective Facebook Fan Pages. 5 Tips to Develop a Twitter Following. 11 Sure-Fire Ways LinkedIn Generates Business Leads.  8 Rules for Building Brands with Blogs.  Do these type of headlines sound familiar?  Do they get your attention?  I confess to sometimes writing them myself.

Unfortunately, we often pay more attention to tactics than our voice.  Too bad because your voice in social media is your brand equity. 

Social media marketing is different from advertising, sales promotion or direct marketing.  It’s a conversation, not a monologue.  It won’t work if your constituents don’t believe you always have their best interests at heart.  Just try to tell someone to “Buy This Now” and see what happens.

So it’s not what you need to make someone do.  It’s how you have to be.  Here are 16 Be’s for finding a social voice that works for your brand.

  1. Be helpful
  2. Be willing to ask for help
  3. Be informative
  4. Be of value in teaching someone something new
  5. Be willing to share
  6. Be able to ask others to share in return
  7. Be positive
  8. Be forthcoming
  9. Be inspirational
  10. Be a good listener
  11. Be able to carry on a good conversation
  12. Be honest with your audience
  13. Be able to express a point of view convincingly 
  14. Be able to respect those who do and don’t accept what you have to say 
  15. Be willing to give before you have to get
  16. Be yourself 

The list is as long or as short as the authentic qualities you have when you relate to others.

So the next time you see someone or some business brag, boast, bring nothing to the party other than an endless stream of press releases and company news either in a blog, tweet, comment or through a bit.ly link, feel free to remind them of this advice.

Do you have any “Be’s” of your own?  Send them my way.  I’d like to hear so we can keep a running list together.

04
May
10

5 reasons blogs pay off

A frequent comment from businesses and people new to blogging is:  I have a website, so why do I need a blog?

Here are 5 reasons blogs pay off.

  1. IMPROVED BRAND IMAGE: Positive perceptions of  a business or company increase +36% if there is a blog either on or linked to the website. That’s because consumers view you as accessible, transparent and willing to help (source: Nielsen) .
  2. BETTER SEARCH RESULTS: A blog is a major asset for better search results, especially since you can link your blog to others (and visa-versa), a primary characteristic search engines use for determining relevance. For example, my name, Rob Petersen, is pretty common. In searching the name, this site, BarnRaisers, comes up 4th, ahead of a famous magazine publisher and a former running back for the Philadelphia Eagles (sorry, I’m not them).
  3. STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS: 95% of people never read more than 5 pages or spend more than 5 minutes on a website (source: comScore). If your company or brand website has more than 5 pages, consumers are likely to get to know you better through your blog than the chance your website can beat these odds.
  4. RETURN ON INVESTMENT: “Open source” blogging platforms are very good now and keep getting better.  To reveal a little about myself, seven months ago, I built this site with a little sweat equity and $7.50.  Given the platform capabilities, I also made it the company website and put 5 tabs on top to tell the story of our business (with great respect to comScore). Although it also took knocking on dozens of doors (well, dozens of dozens) to secure initial assignments and there was  time, travel and other business expenses, blogs played a critical role delivering the necessary ROI to  start and build a business.
  5. SHARED OBJECTIVES:  Blogs and brand websites share (at least they should) the same business objectives; that is, to drive leads, provide useful information, be helpful, convert consumers, complete desired transactions (e.g. create inquiries, sign up subscriptions, make a purchase) and keep your audience coming back to build your brand. Can any business have too much of that?

I go to blogs, before websites, for inspiration, ideas and help.  Bloggers I admire keep me in the know and have graciously helped me, either directly and indirectly, be a better communicator, business person and blogger.  I also feel like I have a relationship with someone which is always preferable.  Just a  dozen of the many I turn to are:

  1. http://www.chrisbrogan.com
  2. http://sethgodin.typepad.com
  3. http://mashable.com
  4. http://www.marketingprofs.com
  5. http://www.bloombergmarketing.blogs.com
  6. http://www.tomhcanderson.com
  7. http://www.marketersstudio.com
  8. http://mackcollier.com
  9. http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com
  10. http://www.n2growth.com/blog
  11. http://conversationagent.com
  12. http://altitudebranding.com

A blog I also admire for its business acumen is http://www.singleservecoffee.com

The blog’s creator has smartly identified a topic that is also be a niche business in a big, crowded, competitive category.  The brand name/URL establishes category authority and comes up #1 on search engines for “single serve coffee” and “single serve coffee makers.”  The blog reviews products, has relevant ads (that generate revenue) and sells single serve coffee makers and accessories direct to consumers.  On the site, there is also social community on the subject.  The ROI must be extraordinary.

Does this help you see the value of blogs?




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