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Blogs of Greatness – Marketing Brilliance

How many blogs do you read? I mean, REALLY read? Regularly. How many can’t-miss, always-awesome, have-to-share blogs do you read?


For me, there are just a handful. I peruse lots of them, and scan over even more, but the ones that I can say that I ‘read’ are limited to a select few that consistently deliver the goods that I can’t seem to get anywhere else.

I will state right now that yes, Seth’s Blog is great. We all know that, so let’s talk about something different.

Blog #1 – Mitch Joel‘s ‘Six Pixels of Separation’ – http://www.twistimage.com/blog/
Mitch is one of those fantastic bloggers that not only gives you advice that you can deploy today, but also makes you really THINK about where we’re going with all this ‘marketing’ stuff. No two posts on Mitch’s nearly decade-old blog roll are the same. He does brilliant podcasts and interviews with the top thinkers & doers in business. I’ve seen Mitch speak live on more than one occasion, and I can say with certainty his blog delivers just as much personality in writing as he does in person. A truly great business blog that is my default go-to place when I’m looking for marketing inspiration.

Blog #2 – Sam Fiorella‘s ‘The Social Roadmap’ – http://www.senseiwisdom.com/Home/bID/3/
Sam is all about results. Actual, measurable, results. If you can’t translate your actions in to a real benefit for your business, then WHY are you doing it? This is the question that Sam’s blog posts answer. One of the first things you’ll notice about the writing on the Social Roadmap is that it’s infused with passion. It’s a no-holds-barred assault on pretentious marketers who spew buzzwords and measure success based on what CAN happen instead of what DOES happen. Read this blog if you want to break through the BS and develop a plan that gives tangible results.

Blog #3 – Mark Schaefer‘s ‘{grow}’ – http://www.businessesgrow.com/blog/
Mark is truly a great author, speaker, and thinker. His focus is, quite obviously, helping you and your business grow and thrive. Mark’s articles span a wide range of topics, but always seem to come back to a central, overriding theme of ‘Do It Right’. It’s not a matter of doing things because they’re new, shiny, or fancy. It’s a matter of doing them because it’s the right move for your business and for your customers. Mark is a true advocate of relationship building as the core of success. Those businesses that can forge the strongest relationships with their partners are the ones that will grow and thrive. Mark often brings in guest writers to shed a different perspective on certain topics, and only chooses those writers who hit the same high standard his readers have become accustomed to.

These three blogs are indicative of what I look for when searching for the latest and greatest in marketing thinking: Passion, diversity, experience. Too many blogs tell you what you already know, and not enough of them tell you what you need to hear. Bookmark these three, add them to your RSS reader, follow them on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or wherever you turn to for good stuff. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

So those are my top three, but what are yours? Where do YOU turn to for the ‘awesome’?

Fully Committed

The business climate we find ourselves in doesn’t allow us to take a cavalier attitude towards Marketing activities. Social Media is no different. Having no presence in any of the Social Media options is just plain dumb, but having a presence that is merely superficial can be just as bad.

We’ve all seen ‘those companies’ on Twitter who tweeted a handful of times in the first few days of creating their account, and then went dead silent for the last year. What happened? Why would they do that? What about the company blogs or Facebook pages that haven’t seen any fresh material in months, or longer? Who’s behind this? Far be it from me to criticize, since I have my moments of extreme procrastination that would make ‘the Dude’ in ‘The Big Lebowski’ seem like a dynamic young go-getter, but how can a company not have anything to say for a YEAR?!?

Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re in business and are currently alive and breathing, then you know about ‘Social Media’. It’s been the biggest buzz phrase since ‘Think Outside The Box’ thoroughly saturated the business world. If you’ve been paying any attention to the world at all, you know that Social Media is big on an epic scale, and businesses are adopting it at an astounding rate. That being said, if you took the time to create an account for your business, create an avatar, write a description, design a fancy background, and post a few snippets of info, then you MUST have done it for a reason. You must have recognized some intrinsic value in doing this, even if it was only a tiny little bit. Yet you stopped? For some reason you stopped doing something that takes no cash out of your pocket, creates a constantly growing footprint for your company, is searchable, shareable, and (if done properly) gives you greater credibility than your competition in your marketplace.

I suppose what ‘could’ have happened was that whoever took the initiative within the company to start using SM either left, was fired, or ordered to stop. But really, what are the odds of that? Probably better than I realize, but still, I don’t think that should be considered a legitimate reason. If you’re reading this, and realize that “Holy crap on a cracker, he’s talking about MY company!!”, then the time to remedy this problem is right now.

The accounts are there, ready and waiting for you, all you need to do is start feeding them some material. However, before you start going in to damage-control mode and posting everything and anything in an incoherent stream of gibberish, take some advice that comes direct from one of the top thinkers in the world of Social Media, Mitch Joel. Joel says in his book, SIx Pixels of Separation, that to proceed in to social media without an overarching strategy can hinder your ability to create a thriving community presence.

Start by thinking about what your goals are, what your strengths are, where your knowledge and expertise truly are, and how you can help. That last point is really key, because the entire reason for joining, creating, or participating in any community is to give help and receive help. Formulate your plan for social media based on how you can provide useful material to your community. Then, start contributing, and most importantly, don’t stop. This isn’t to say that you need to post everywhere, everyday, but you do need to be consistent. Start out at a comfortable pace, then pick it up as you gain confidence with what you’re doing. As Mitch Joel also points out in “Six Pixels”, the last thing you want is to have your audience be accustomed to you posting a ton of content at the beginning and then be disappointed as you slow down when your content fuel tanks dry up.

The key is to be fully committed to the fact that this stuff matters. If you’re going to be there, then BE THERE. Take it seriously, realize that it takes time to build your community, and most importantly, realize that you’re doing it for your audience, not for yourself.

False Conversation?

Just read an interesting post on Mitch Joel’s blog regarding social media and the so-called ‘conversations’ that were supposed to have been taking place as a result.

He makes some excellent points on whether the communication that’s been occurring actually qualifies as what we would all call an actual conversation, or if it’s really just a barrage of one-sided statements and comments.

Direct link: http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/the-end-of-conversation-in-social-media/

I encourage you to engage in THIS conversation, because I believe that it will actually be one.