KeySplash Creative President & CEO Susan Gunelius is leading a seminar in Altamonte Springs, Florida (just minutes from Orlando) on February 21st called Impactful Blogging that will teach you how to leverage blogging to effectively build your brand and your business.
Even if you’re not planning to be in Central Florida on February 21st, it’s the perfect time and place for a quick trip. It’s warm here!
Susan the author of Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress, Google Blogger for Dummies, and numerous other popular books about marketing, branding, and social media (you can find them all on Amazon or in any bookstore). Susan is also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for women in business.
In this 2-hour session, you’ll get strategic insights from a blogging and marketing expert, and leave with a clear action plan to turn your blog into a sales tool. For just $50 for your ticket, which can be purchased through Eventbrite, you’ll learn:
- Why blogging is a strategic imperative for all businesses (including yours)
- How to write a blog people want to read
- How to leverage your blog for effective content marketing and social media marketing purposes
- How to drive traffic to your blog
- How to grow your audience
- How to leverage your blog to raise brand awareness and build a band of brand advocates that lead to business growth
- And much more
Tickets will not be sold at the door. You must show your ticket at the door to enter, so don’t forget to bring it! Visit the event Facebook Page for more details and conversations.
It’s hard to build your brand and your business if you don’t understand how consumers think. The first step to successfully marketing your business and creating compelling messages that motivate people to purchase your products or services is to understand the first tenet of copywriting (and marketing):
Your product or service is far less important than its ability to fulfill your customers’ needs.
Taking the first tenet of copywriting and marketing further, never forget this:
No one cares about you. They care about how your product or service can help them or make their lives easier or better.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how wonderful your product is if it doesn’t benefit consumers in some way. It’s the copywriter’s job to craft messages that amplify real consumer needs or create perceived needs in consumers’ minds.
It doesn’t matter how proud you are of your membership in the local Chamber of Commerce. Consumers only care about that membership if you can translate it into a message that directly benefits them in some way.
Think of it this way—copywriting is not as much about what you say as how you say it. A talented and experienced copywriter knows the difference and can turn your business’ membership in the local Chamber of Commerce into a compelling benefit that consumers perceive as being imperative in the brand or company that they choose to buy from.
Great Copywriting Is More Than Words
The writing process is actually just a small fraction of the steps necessary to produce effective copy. Great copy is the outcome of a clear understanding of the benefits your product or service delivers to consumers, its differentiators from your competition, the emotional triggers of your customers, and more. In fact, it’s the research, organization, and thought process that happen before pen touches paper that truly dictates copywriting success.
In short, not every writer is a copywriter. It’s a unique form of writing that requires a deep understanding of marketing theory, combined with real-world experience. Your first step to ensuring your marketing messages are as effective as possible is to understand the first tenet of copywriting, and remember that what you think is important about your product and service might not be what is important to consumers.
The recipe for marketing success starts with identifying the right messages, so you can deliver those messages to the right people and at the right time to motivate them to take action. Think about your end goals and prioritize determining why you’re pursuing specific marketing strategies, tactics, and messages first. Your results will be better for it.
Are you following the 7 Ps of Social Media to build your brand and business?
If you stick to the 7 Ps in all of your social media activities, you’ll be well-positioned to drive results. That’s because the 7 Ps of Social Media are tied directly to brand building.
A powerful brand can survive any micro- or macro-environmental obstacle, so developing your social power is a natural extension of long-term, organic, and sustainable brand growth.
The 7 Ps of Social Media are:
Keep in mind, achieving social media success means different things to different people. Don’t measure success by number of followers or influence scores. Instead, identify your brand and business goals, and then create a social media strategy that is rooted in the three primary steps of branding and the 7 Ps of Social Media introduced in the infographic. Your progress in meeting those goals is your most important performance metric.
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My guest on The Social Marketing Hour with Susan Gunelius this week is business planning and marketing expert Tim Berry. I’ve known Tim for several years (we first met at a conference hosted by Entrepreneur.com where we were both speaking), and he is one of the smartest business people I know.
During the show, Tim discussed:
- 5 things your business plan must include
- Identifying the social media sites you should prioritize in your marketing
- 3 important steps to start building your business’ online reputation
- How to strategically develop your social media marketing plan
- Free and affordable tools that you can use to create business plans and efficiently participate in social media marketing
About Tim Berry
Tim Berry is a successful entrepreneur. He has founded and co-founded numerous businesses, including Palo Alto Software, bplans.com, Borland International, Eugene Social, and FreeTheNumbers.com. He has also written multiple books about business planning and startups, including: The Plan-as-You-Go Business Plan, Business Plan Pro, 3 Weeks to Startup, Sales and Market Forecasting for Entrepreneurs, and Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning. Tim writes about business on his Planning, Startups, Stories blog as well as on the Up and Running blog, Amex OPEN, the Huffington Post, Small Business Trends, and more.
Just click the play button below to listen and learn from Tim Berry!
I’m very happy to announce that my new online radio show on The Social Network Station is now playing. It’s a weekly show where I’ll interview marketing experts, entrepreneurs, authors, and thought leaders about everything and anything related to marketing.
The show is called The Social Marketing Hour with Susan Gunelius because all forms of marketing play a role in driving word-of-mouth marketing. In other words, all marketing is social in some way.
The first show was filled with amazing insights from personal branding expert, best-selling author, and founder of Millenial Branding, Dan Schawbel. During the show, Dan shared useful tips and advice about social resumes, personal branding, developing your social proof, and building your business brand.
It’s a fast-paced conversation, and you can listen to it via the player below or by visiting The Social Network Station. Dan’s segments on the show start at the 17:55 mark after my segment with Jim Nico, CEO of The Social Network Station, who discusses the brand strategy for his new online radio station and The Social Network Association.
Social media influence moderation company Traackr created a ranking of the top women and leadership influencers, and KeySplash Creative, Inc. President and CEO Susan Gunelius ranks in first place.
Using its Influencer Network Analysis feature, Traackr identified the people who are leading the online conversation about women and leadership.
The Traackr report includes the top 49 most influential people online who are publishing content, talking about, and engaging with others on topics related to women and leadership.
You can see Susan (and the blog she founded, Women on Business) in the interactive Women and Leadership Influencer Map, which is available on the Traackr website. You can also visit the Traackr blog to learn more about the creation of the map.
Kudos to Paul Mardsen and the team at Social Commerce Today who put together an infographic filled with examples of Twitter fails by brands for a course on social media reputation management for brands that they were conducting.
The infographic not only collects some of the best examples for marketers to learn from, but Paul’s team is encouraging marketers to share it, repurpose it, and use it as they wish. They even created a clean version (devoid of expletives), an editable version, and a high-resolution version. All versions are available for download. Just follow the preceding links to find them or get more details here.
Each of the examples in the original infographic shows just how damaging social media marketing in the wrong hands can be to a brand. Don’t let this happen to you. Hire the right people to handle your social media marketing and content marketing activities, because reputation clean up is a lot more difficult and more expensive then it is to pay the right people to handle your brand’s social media marketing and reputation management from the start.
Click on the image to view the full-size infographic.
Source: Social Commerce Today
Image: West McGowan
Don’t put all of your efforts and budget into marketing on sites like Facebook which you don’t and can’t control.
That’s a piece of advice that I’ve been communicating in my books, lectures, and content for years, and it’s a topic that’s gotten a lot of buzz since Facebook updated its EdgeRank Algorithm. It turns out that marketer’s page posts are only getting a 10-15% view rate. The EdgeRank update also led to a 40% decrease in organic post reach according to research from We Are Social and Socialbakers.
Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is proprietary, and for good reason. What good is Facebook’s effort to preserve its user experience by delivering the most relevant posts if marketers can game the system? We’ve experienced the same thing with the Google search algorithm. When Google released its Panda and Farmer algorithm changes that penalized low quality content, the marketers that had focused on publishing quality content rather than prioritizing questionable search engine optimization and link-building tactics prevailed.
The problem with investing the majority of your marketing efforts and budget into Facebook (or Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.) is that you don’t control those sites. An algorithm change, a merger, a legal entanglement, or any other external factor that is completely out of your control could shake one of those sites up at any moment. Where will your time, money, and marketing investments be if that happens?
If you’ve ever attended one of my speaking engagements, read one of my books, or read my content published across the web, then you know that I always recommend creating a core branded online destination that you control as the central hub of all of your integrated marketing communications. I recommend a blog because blogs are so search engine friendly, social, and shareable.
Whatever you do to market your business online and offline, all roads should lead back to your blog where you can deepen the conversation and relationships with your audience. From here, brand awareness, brand trial, brand loyalty, and brand advocacy can flourish. If you rely on a destination controlled by another person, company, or entity as your core branded online destination or as the focal point of your marketing efforts, then you run the risk of flourishing today and dying tomorrow.
Don’t get me wrong. Facebook is a vital part of most social media marketing plans. However, it’s not the only piece, and it’s not necessarily the best piece. An integrated marketing plan is always the strongest marketing plan. That means you should leverage Facebook for its reach but don’t put all of your eggs in the Facebook marketing basket.
If your business doesn’t have a Facebook Page or LinkedIn Company Page yet, then you’re missing opportunities to broaden the reach of your marketing messages, build your audience of brand advocates, and grow your business.
Recently, I wrote two articles for Forbes that break down the process of creating a Facebook Page and a LinkedIn Company Page in 10 steps each (links are below). Once your page is up and running, you can connect with people, add great content, launch some short-term promotions, and more. But you can’t do any of those things without a company page.
If you’re still not convinced that you need to (at the very least) go and create your LinkedIn Company Page and Facebook Page in order to stake your claim on both social networking sites, consider this: Every day that you’re not on these sites is a missed opportunity that your competitors are happy to steal from you. Don’t let them do it!
Follow the links below to learn how to create your own business pages on Facebook and LinkedIn:
- 10 Steps to Create a Great Facebook Page that Gets “Likes”
- 10 Steps to Create a LinkedIn Company Page
Keep in mind, it’s quite possible that you’re a small business owner or solopreneur who doesn’t have time to maintain fresh content and conversations on every social media site in existence. That’s perfectly fine, and that’s why I wrote 30-Minute Social Media Marketing (to show you how to effectively leverage social media marketing as a small business owner with no staff and no budget).
Choose the destinations where your audience spends time and focus your efforts to maximize your ROI. However, you should work toward expanding your online presence over time as your business grows. The first step is to claim your space (and your name) on the various social media sites that are available to you.
Image: Sheila Scarborough
While tools like Klout and Kred struggle to find ways to accurately measure online influence in a manner that companies can effectively use to build their brands and boost sales, a new infographic from Social Selling University (shown below) reveals just how widespread the problem of buying fake Twitter followers is.
Couple that infographic with the Fake Follower Check tool from Status People that identifies the percentage of fake Twitter followers for any Twitter profile, and you’ve got some data that quantifies the ongoing illusion of influence that mars social media marketing.
The problem of buying fake Twitter followers is rampant across the board — including businesses, politicians, celebrities, and more. Here are a few enlightening statistics from the infographic:
- 39% of @facebook followers are fake.
- 37% of @twitter followers are fake.
- 34% of @ladygaga followers are fake.
- 32% of @espn followers are fake.
- 30% of @cnn followers are fake.
- 27% of @youtube followers are fake.
The business of buying Twitter followers is cheap making it very popular. Here are a few more stats:
- The average price of buying 1,000 followers is just $18.
- Followers can be purchased easily, even via eBay and Google Shopping.
- 53% of people who have bought Twitter followers have 4,000 to 26,000 followers.
- At least 11,283 Twitter users have purchased more than 72,000 fake followers.
- Dealers who control 20,000 fake Twitter accounts can make as much as $800 per day for 7 weeks of selling followings.
You can see the infographic below. Click on the image to view it at full size.
Social Selling Software – InsideView.com
I always advise building quality followers to achieve long-term, sustainable, organic brand and business growth. Buying Twitter followers is a short-term tactic that won’t pay off in the long-run. Think strategically, not tactically. Social media marketing and influence aren’t like high school popularity contests, so don’t get caught up in the hype and illusion of influence. Real influence typically can’t be purchased in life or in social media. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but for most of us, quality trumps quantity and long-term growth trumps short-term and short-lived gain.