October 31st, 2014
The world of social media is new, but not so new that there aren’t a host of “professionals” shouting their version of best practices from their bloggy towers. While some of these seem to be pushing pure snake oil, there are plenty of useful statistics available from reputable sources that collect and analyze raw social media data.
Dan Zarrella of HubSpot is a great example. His metrics are easy to read, make sense, and don’t promise some sort of magic bullet. This information acts as more of a topographical map than a road map in that it makes no promises to get you to your desired destination, but it does provide a lay of the land so you have a good idea whether you’ll be walking, swimming, or flying there.
Twitter is full of accounts that promise to get you “500 Facebook likes for $4.99,” or “1,000 new Twitter followers for the price of a day old baguette!” For businesses, and anyone really looking to make an impact with their social media, this is worthless. In social media, quality precedes quantity to the degree that if you aren’t posting quality content, having a large quantity of followers is actually a detriment to your goals. So what things really make an engaged social media user decide to go “click?
October 28th, 2014
Lately, I've done quite a bit of writing about blogging–and it's something that we've written about in the past, too.
Blogging is an absolutely essential part of an effective social media strategy, and since we're all authors now, it's important to regularly publish high-quality content.
Unfortunately, though, just cranking out blogs every single day isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.
Though many of the same basics of writing in general carry over to writing blogs, blogging presents its own unique set of challenges because it's such a short, high-frequency writing format. The most difficult thing about blogging is simply coming up with content every day.
The good news is that there are ways to get better at brainstorming blog topics. Here are 4 steps that we've found help us brainstorm better blogs:
October 21st, 2014
I haven't been reading enough news lately.
Of course, I have more than a handful of sources from which to get news every day. My Twitter feed is full of stories from The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Marketplace, and everything in between. I get push notifications from NPR on my phone. I listen to KIOS FM, Omaha's public radio station, on my way to and from work every day. And yet, despite all of this information at my fingertips–or perhaps, because of it–I still didn't feel like I had enough motivation to read as much news as I'd like each day.
Skimming an article someone had sent me from The New York Times–one of my favorite sources of information these days–I saw an ad on the top of the page that I couldn't resist clicking. (Yes, I clicked a banner ad.) It told me that I could get 50% off of home delivery for 12 weeks. What better motivation for reading enough news than getting the newspaper delivered to my home?
Seem archaic? Maybe. I thought it was a good idea. But what's followed over the last few weeks has given me even more ammunition against what SMC has long said is a dying newspaper industry.