4 Reasons Blogging is Better for Business than Twitter

4 Reasons Blogging is Better for Business than Twitter

Blogging compaired to TwitterWhat am I, crazy?

Am I suggesting that you stop with the 140-character thing and get back to writing articles? Don’t world communications revolve around Twitter?

To answer the first question, there was a Waylon Jennings song some years back titled, “I’ve always been crazy, it keeps me from going insane.” Enough said on that one.

Now the other two: It’s true that the general public in entranced by Twitter and its usefulness in smack talk about famous people and bringing down nasty political regimes.  But it’s not the strongest platform if you’re serious about establishing authority and relevancy – two factors Google includes in the search engine results page (SERP) equation.

Your blog is the real foundation for your content and social media strategy. Here are 4 reasons why:

1)      Twitter is popular because it is easy and immediate. As for its relevance – well, a 3rd grader could do it. Blogging takes time, thought, research, and planning, and if done correctly, requires that you continue over long periods of time, with consistent frequency.

2)      Old articles are valuable and often read years later because they rank well in the SERPs for the keywords on which they are built, and add to your authority. Old Tweets… well, forget it, because everyone else will.

3)      Most blogging platforms give you some form of analytics – you’ll see just how many people are reading your posts, which posts garner the most interest, and a host of other factors that can help you build stronger relationships and more business.

4)      As Adam Singer of Future Buzz says, “Everyone on Twitter is looking for the next big thing to link to. Wouldn’t you rather be that big thing instead of merely another person pointing at it?

Think about blogs and tweets in terms of food:  A tweet is a snack. But your customers want a full-course meal. They want to be engaged, they want something interesting enough to satisfy their hunger. You simply cannot give them that in 140 characters.

 The Take Away:

Blog first, then tweet. Write your very best content – content that proves you know your stuff, content that compels the reader to engage, to think, to act – then tweet the link, and include it in your next e-newsletter (you do have one, don’t you?). Do it consistently and over time you will see results.

Yeah – Crazy like a fox.

Lucid Business Strategies

 

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you grow your online relevance, authorship and revenue.
email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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Video or Podcast: Which is Right for your Business?

Video or Podcast: Which is Right for Your Business?

Video or Podcast: If you are a business owner it is no longer a question of whether you should invest in internet broadcast such as YouTube or a Podcast. The only question is: which is right for your business?

 Don’t Assume Others Like What you Like

Videos-icon39-Podcast-iconWhat works well for you might not work for your best friend. I’m a visual learner, for example. Video attracts me. I rarely listen to podcasts. I often “tune out” the radio as I drive around town. My friend Maureen is the opposite. She’s a podcast junkie, rarely watching a video and paying close attention to every word on the talk radio station she loves.

Don’t assume others like what you like. Consider your audience carefully, and search out research that allows you to see trends in the behaviors of the people you wish to attract.

 Weigh your Content

Video requires two senses – vision and hearing – and full attention. Podcasts require only hearing, which means some people will multi-task, giving only partial attention to the broadcast. The more your viewer/listener needs to think, the more senses you should include.

Is your topic light or heavy? Does it require people to “think through” something, or is it intended more for entertainment? Run your content through the Fleisch Scale for a better understanding. If your content is rated “difficult,” you’ll need to rewrite your script.

Short is Sweet

At a recent video shoot for a client, our President and Lead Consultant, Jeff McElyea, chatted with the videographer recommended to us by Comcast. He told Jeff that Comcast recommends business videos be only about 2 minutes in length, and podcasts only 30 seconds – like a commercial spot. Both are meant to promo your company with “fast fact” info. Anything much beyond those guidelines and you begin to see dramatic fall-off from viewers/listeners. This suggestion is backed by HubSpot research, which shows that 33% of viewers move on after watching just 30 seconds of a video. 44% leave at the 1-minute mark, and 60% bail on your video after 2 minutes.

 On the Lighter Side

A while ago our Marketing Specialists, Erin Vezzetti, came upon a YouTube video that has become the “poster child” for the type of work we like to create. The commercial, which based on Erin’s research cost about $5,000, has been viewed 10,821,818 times as of today. They have 110,000 followers on Facebook. What made this 1.5 minute video a smashing success? The attitude, the approach – poking fun at themselves and their business while presenting a great deal. But would it do well in a podcast? I don’t think so. Take a look and see what you think!

Lucid Business Strategies

 

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you build profitable companies and great social media marketing strategies.
email for info or

call 586-254-0095

 

 

 

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What Your Social Media Photo Says About You

What Your Social Media Photo Says about You

Social Media Profile Photo

What does your Social Media Photo Say About You?

Maybe you think that photo of you and the grinning kids at the beach shows your “fun side.” Maybe you think a sardonic smile and half-wink makes you look sophisticated.

The truth about Social media profile pictures is that it doesn’t matter what you think. What matters is how you are perceived as a result of that photo – and the impact it can have on your business or job prospects.

In a recent blog post, DuctTape Marketing’s John Jantsch says “Don’t settle for that phone ‘selfy’ bounce shot off the mirror or the ‘look how arty I can be’ shot… get a series of professional shots done.”

The First Impression Factor

Ron J. Williams, CEO of Knodes & SnapGoods, and one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business, says business networking is a lot like dating, and the online dating industry has tons of data on the impact of a first impression.

The Dating Site OKCupid did a study in 2010 that looked at the number of contacts made based on three factors of the photos:

  • Attitude. Are you smiling? Looking into the camera or away from it? Are you flirting?
  • Context. Where are you? Is there alcohol, a pet, or other people in the photo? Are you inside, or outdoors?
  • Skin. How much skin is showing? How much face?

They found that a small change in “facial attitude” increased contacts as much as 30%. The really fascinating part is what worked best based on gender:

  • Women smiling directly into the camera received more contacts than those that looked away from the camera.
  • Photos of men facing away from the camera and not smiling drew more response than those that smiled into the camera.

The study also shows that traditional headshots get better results than the one in your waders with the big fish you just caught, or the cuddled-up-with-your-pooch shots. No matter how you look at it, first impressions count, whether the viewer is looking for a date, vetting you for a job offer, or considering doing business with you.

Take a fresh look at your Social Media profile Photo. What does it say about you? Is that the impression you wish to give?

 Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you build profitable companies and great social media strategies
email for info or

call 586-254-0095

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Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. As children we accepted the authority of our parents, babysitters, teachers, the police, and clergy. When we matured, we also honored the orders of our boss, attorney, or doctor.

 Authority Holds Power

In an on-air stunt, a TV reporter dressed in a uniform and carrying a badge and baton placed a sign on the ATM that read “OUT OF ORDER – GIVE DEPOSITS TO GUARD ON DUTY,” then stood next to the machine.

“Do you need to make a deposit, or a withdrawal?” he asked as each bank patron approached.

Without hesitation, the customers handed over cash, checks, Social Security numbers, credit cards, account numbers, and PIN codes. In two hours time, the reporter gained access to over $10,000 in check deposits and account balances. Only one out of ten showed any signs of hesitation, even though they were all giving away private information that could leave them penniless if it fell into the wrong hands.

When the reporter ‘fessed up and asked the people why they were so willing to hand him money and private information, every one of them stated that the sign and the uniform gave him authority. [1]

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Online Authority

Google and the other search engines give “authority” to people who have earned a following and share all they can on a given topic. The more “authority” Google ascribes to you and your web page/blog, the higher your page will rank in organic search results.

While the search engine authority equation is complex, the concept is simple: online, your authority is based on what other people say about you, which includes the number of other authoritative people who link to your site or blog.  As humans, we seek out the people who are credible, knowledgeable, and reliable. We give them authority, and when we see that someone else has the “blessing” of those authoritative people, we give them authority, too, so we link to them or subscribe to their blogs and feeds.  Why do you think unknown authors pay $10,000 or more for a two-sentence front-of-the-book “endorsement” from famous names? They become authoritative by association.

How do you Build Authority?

Aside from technical steps related to coding for Search Engines, there are quite a few things you can do. Here are four no-cost avenues with which to start:

Stories that STICK & Educate: “Sticky content” is the stuff that brings people back to your website again and again. It’s relevant to the reader, and it educates. Sticky Content is not loaded up with sales talk.

Great Headlines and Hooks: Without ‘em, you don’t have a chance to attract attention. 80% of people read only the headline. Only 20% read the rest.

Good Content Promotion:  Great Content + Limited Promo = Fail. Great Content + Great Promo = Great Results. Be consistent and strong in your promotions, but don’t load it up with sales talk.

Loyal Subscribers:  You can yammer on all you want about your favorite topic, but you are speaking into the wind if you don’t have a growing following. Offer incentives and/or freebies – an e-book, for example – when people subscribe to your blog, then stay in touch. Look them up on Facebook or Twitter and learn a bit about them, contact them and ask for their feedback. Show them you are interested in them, and your list will grow because they will talk about you to their network.

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. Will you be one of them?


[1]  Story told by noted Copywriter Dean Rieck www.directcreative.com

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you gain authority online.
email for info or

call 586-254-0095

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How to Make Google Like Your Blog and Rank it Higher

How to Make Google Like Your Blog and Rank it Higher

Part of Google’s Matt Cutts blogging presentation at a recent Word Camp shed light on how Page Ranking works, and how to make your blog relevant to your readers as well as to Google.

In case you are new to the blogging world, page rank is one of the measures Google uses when deciding which websites or blogs to put in the results list on any given search, and in what order.

Google will like your blog and rank it higher based on an equation that includes:

Relevance and Reputation

According to Matt Cutts, the “relevance” side is drawn from what you say on your blog – the content you serve up. Like any other web page, your blog post has to deliver what it says. If your title is “Making People Laugh,” your content must be about making people laugh, not delivering newspapers. “Content” includes the images you use. Learn more about the relevance of image files here.

“Relevance,” then, is what you say in your blog. “Reputation” – the other side of the equation – is about what people say about you and the things you write.

How does Google determine if you are relevant and reputable?

The “Relevance” side of your blog comes from Google crawling your website code, looking to see if the page title and content and images all work together and cover the same topic. If they do, Google will like your blog and rank it higher. The “Reputation” side of your blog comes from the number of people who link to your blog, the importance of those people, the frequency of their visits to your blog, and how deep they go into your blog.

 Here’s a very simplified example of the Reputation side:

You and a guy named Joe both write blogs on the same topic. You have 10 links back to your blog from other sites. Joe has 20. Six of your ten back links are from the New York Times, famous authors, and other “important” people, who tend to come to your blog each week and invest time in looking at a number of posts.  All of Joe’s 20 back links are from his co-workers, friends, and a few of his college buddies, who have linked one time and never returned.

Guess whose blog ranks higher on the “Reputation” side?  Hint: it’s not Joe.

Three Things to do so Google will like your Blog:

  • Make sure your page titles, image names, and image ‘alt’ tags use keywords related to the main focus of the blog post.
  • Scatter the keywords throughout your content, but don’t “keyword stuff.”  Your content should be written naturally, not too sterile and without using the keywords so much that it’s uncomfortable for the reader.
  • Seek out people with authority in your subject who might be willing to link to your blog post. Be careful here so that you are not getting links from disreputable people, and don’t become obsessed with getting back links. When your content is good enough to be shared, back links will occur naturally.

Keep in mind that doing these things may not make Google like your blog and rank it higher right off the bat. But over time, and with consistency, you will see your relevancy, reputation, and page rank increase.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps small business owners create and maintain blogs that are liked by Google.

Learn more about our blog strategies and services by calling:

586-254-0095

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