I recently saw tweet from a new follower that linked to a seemingly interesting blog post, so I clicked through to check it out. The topic was why companies should hire U.S.-based copywriters rather than the cheaper offshore variety.
The post was well written and made a compelling argument, and the facts were peppered with some of the author’s personal experiences teaching English as a second language in Asia. While the blog was associated with a company that provides copywriting services, the post was educational and didn’t read as self-serving promotional material trying to drum up business.
I wanted to complement the author on crafting such a nice piece, so I scrolled down the page only to find the comments section closed. What? Really?
Confused, I went back to the top of the page to check publication date. Perhaps it was an older post from the archives? No, it was published just two weeks prior.
I don’t believe in ever closing comments—this is where some of the best content can be found (assuming the blog has an active and vocal readership base). This is why it was so completely baffling that there was no ability to have a dialogue with the author. And for a company that sells writing services, this sends the completely wrong message.
Disappointed, I left the website scratching my head…and feeling the immediate need to share the experience so you don’t make the same mistake.
There are many reasons to have a blog, and one should be to create dialogue between and within your audience. No one has all the answers, and a healthy discussion—even with points of view that are contrary—is essential for growth and change to happen. Denying yourself and your audience of this opportunity is simply bad business.
Takeaway: Content matters. This applies to content you write as well as the comments your audience shares. Don’t shun comments, even if what others write can potentially make you uncomfortable. Acknowledge their perspectives and agree to disagree.
Feedback: What do you think about blog comments? Do read them? Do you add to the conversation by posting your opinions? Keep the discussion going and share your ideas below!
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After recently reading an enlightening blog post on social media, I checked out the author’s bio and clicked on the link to follow him on Twitter. Much to my surprise, an unattended profile appeared. There was no profile picture, bio or company website. He had tweeted seven times in the nine months, had 16 followers and was following zero. His credibility was shot, and I was completely uninterested.
I went back to the article to close out the window and I noticed there was another location for the author’s Twitter feed. This time, I was directed to the proper profile, complete with photo, bio and website—with 2,000+ tweets and a 600/414 followers/following ratio. This is what I expected.
But what if I hadn’t stumbled upon the correct profile? The damage would have been done. In the world of social media, having an outdated, unattended profile can be more damaging to your reputation than no profile at all.
If you find yourself in this situation, you have two choices:
1. Get Active.
Of course, this is the preferred action, as social media is a powerful communication tool—and one than more and more buyers expect you to have. Don’t say you don’t have time. That’s merely an excuse. If you understand the value of social media and believe in its importance, even the busiest executive can carve out 30 minutes a week to create 3-4 tweets and/or status updates. Use a social media management tool (I use HootSuite) to schedule your tweets/updates in advance (as well as to multiple platforms, if desired), and you won’t have to think about it for another seven days.
2. Delete The Account.
If you have created multiple accounts within a social media site and are only using one of them or if you truly don’t see the value of the particular platform, delete the inactive account and move on. It reduces confusion for your audience while keeping your reputation intact.
Just because a social media site exists doesn’t mean that it is a good fit for you or your business. Evaluate where your customers and prospects are and go there. It’s not possible to be everywhere, so choose the site that appeals to you. Doing something you don’t enjoy is simply a recipe for disaster.
Takeaway: Content matters. This applies to content that is there—and content that isn’t. Inactivity sends a negative message just as damaging as bad content. If you’re not using it, lose it.
Feedback: What are you tips for making time to be active on social networks? Keep the discussion going and share your ideas below!
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Get Your Story Straight
Every day, I work with my clients on telling their stories so that their brand message not only stays intact but the overall story content is journalistically relevant.
So when I saw this post from adverything featuring The Future of Advertising video from Story Worldwide, I had to share because it underscores my beliefs about the role content plays in building corporate and personal brands. Enjoy!
The Future of Advertising
Story Worldwide is a post-advertising agency that believes in connecting brands to customers by telling them engaging and entertaining stories that audiences want to hear and this video explains their philosophy.
This is their script:
THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING
This seems obvious, even though it was controversial until recently: Brand is story.
First, you have to find the core story at the heart of your brand —what we call the Story Platform. Create narratives based on it and publish those narratives across all relevant media in weird and wonderful ways.
As each story is published, it needs to be syndicated and shared with it’s intended audience where they are most likely to encounter those stories. Then use paid media——TV spots,events, paid search and so on——to let people know your content is out there.
The content has to be easy for people to share so everyone can help spread the brand’s stories. To make sure your audience can find your content when searching, make sure everything is tagged and optimized appropriately.
So it goes, round and round, driving results and effectiveness up, up, up while driving media spend down, down, down.
The best part comes next: Sustained by the brand’s storytelling, the brand’s fans add, syndicate and share their own content——comments, links, ratings, and entirely new versions——and all this brand-inspired content——whether new stories or conversation about old ones——creates more marketing momentum for free, forever.
The result of rigorously following this path is a permanent market advantage for the brand——lower total cost of marketing; higher impact.
All you need is to make sure you’ve got your story straight.
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.