Category Archives: Blogging

We laughed, we cried. A look back at 2009

2009 is just about in the books.  As I think about the potential and promises of 2010, I wanted to take a look back at 2009 and review the highlights of a busy and productive year.  We welcomed new clients and team members into the fold, executed our first “Worst Website Ever” contest, built our blog and Twitter account (@strategicguru), let our hair down a little and prepped the business for the next step in growth. Phew!

Here are some of the Strategic Guru greatest hits from 2009:

  • Our top-viewed blog posts included, not surprisingly, posts on the Worst Website Ever contests. Over 14,000 votes were logged!  Congrats again to our winner, Dave of A & S.   Also, our thoughts on the rules of engagement for social media also caught reader’s eyes.  2009 marked the year when social media truly was embraced by businesses of all shapes and sizes.
  • We also garnered six design awards (go Janet)!  Among our proudest achievements are the MarCom Platinum awards conferred for a re-branding campaign for client Fuse Graphics and work on a corporate brochure for Knowledge Vector.  The PURL lead generation campaign for Piedmont Geologic earned a MarCom honorable mention.
  • Head Brainstormer, Carolyn Rhinebarger, appeared at 10 different speaking engagements and addressed over 200 attendees in national webinar hosted by Training Industry.  She’s also off to Amsterdam in early 2010 to lead a brainstorming session with global business leaders
  • We introduced two new product offerings: CaptureClix and OnTarget, lead generation and nurturing programs to help build sales.

2010 promises to be another year of change and growth.  A heartfelt thank you to our wonderful clients who we are thrilled to help.  See you in the new decade!

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Filed under Blogging, cary, north carolina, twitter

5 Rules for the Social Media Playground

Jumping (or dipping a toe) into the social media pool is great – after all, you do want to increase your online real estate.  But it’s important to understand a few guidelines first:

  1. Are you prepared to engage? It’s important to understand that social media is a two-way street.  Sure, it’s a relatively easy to way to broadcast messages to your marketplace.  But the market talks back –and it’s crucial that you engage with them.  A Facebook page for a well-regarded television drama posts exclusive behind the scenes videos but doesn’t reveal the date of the next season premiere, despite fan pleas.  Don’t leave your customers in the dark.
  2. Make the Commitment Lifestyle guru Oprah (@oprah) made a big splash recently by joining Twitter and sending out her first tweet, albeit in all caps.  But she’s only sent 44 messages since April 17th, indicating that she’s not a loyalist.  It’s important to set goals for your social media campaign and then execute.  An abandoned Facebook page, Twitter stream or blog sends the wrong message.
  3. Be interesting What does your target want to hear?  What are the issues in your industry?  How can you relieve pain?  No one cares what you had for lunch — unless maybe it’s the special at your restaurant!  Understand what information you can share that’s worth knowing.
  4. You can’t control the conversation Understand that social media can’t be controlled.  People are talking about your business or industry, whether you participate or not.  You can’t suppress negative comments, only respond to them so better you be there than not.
  5. Social media offers no fast fixes Social media campaigns usually can’t deliver the same kind of metrics as other marketing tactics. A good plan should develop over time and results will emerge over time.

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Filed under Blogging, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, social media, twitter, Web Marketing

Start a Corporate Blog? Survey Says…Proceed with Caution

Nearly everyone in the marketing/pr/social media world (including us) has been talking about the importance of business blogging. However, new research completed in Q2 of this year from Forrester finds that the majority of online consumers do not trust corporate blogs. When asked to rank various information sources, such as newspapers, radio, direct mail, consumer product reviews, and social networking sites, corporate blogs came in as the least-trusted source. Only 16% of online consumers indicated they trust corporate blogs.


Chart - trusted media sources

Chart - trusted media sources

One possible reason for this is that corporate blogs may be viewed as traditional advertising, the same noise consumers try to minimize with TIVO, pop-up blockers and do-not-call lists. Remember, social media is all about engaging with your customer and opening a dialog – not just pumping more one-way messages out.

So what does this mean to a company that’s thinking of starting a blog or currently maintains one? Should you stop blogging? No!

A company blog needs to work hard to overcome skepticism. A blog that discusses only about company and its products, leaving out the consumer and their needs, is ineffective. A blog should be consumer-centric, helping the reader solve a problem or save time and money. Rubbermaid’s blog is an example of how this can be done well.

Another strategy is to empower your employees to author posts. Perspectives from outside the marketing department can give your corporate blog a human face. People generally trust content generated by a “real” person as opposed to some faceless corporate communications department.

There are some more excellent thoughts from Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester on making your company blog as transparent, useful and trustworthy as possible here.

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