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Science Behind Great Social Media, Digital PR and Content Marketing

A couple of weeks ago I presented on a panel called “Nobody Clicks on Boring!” at Pubcon in New Orleans.

On stage with me were the fabulous Krista Neher and Jeff Cohen, who gave rousing talks on what I frankly thought was one of the best session titles I’ve ever seen!

Science of Great Social Media, Digital PR & Content Marketing from Mel Carson
My talk focused on some stories of really great social media engagement and then deep dived into my thoughts on the “science” behind what makes content discoverable and shareable.
Slide 13 (unlucky for some but I hope lucky for you) shows the four elements your content needs to be to have an enduring effect on your audience >> Authentic, Useful, Relevant and Actionable >> across your all social media, digital PR and content marketing efforts.
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Photo: Jordan_Lloyd
I then strip down some Twitter and Facebook examples to show how important (and how possible) it is to have REALLY thought about what effect every word or phrase might have on your fans and followers.
The presentation ends with some examples about the three key ingredients your organization needs to be in order to be successful and, dare I say, Delightful in this increasingly crowded online space.
Flick through it on Slideshare and let me know what you think.
This is an evolving arena, so I’m always interested to hear what others think or get some perspective from your experience.

Learning: Link Building Advice & Excel Tools for PPC and SEO

Ever since I started my own consultancy nearly 8 months ago, I made myself a promise that I would try and learn new skills every day.

Just because my new job was to advise and help others understand social media, digital PR and get the most from their personal brands, it didn’t mean I knew everything, and I should see this as an opportunity to keep up-to-date with all the latest tools and trends.

That might seem an obvious discipline to stick too, but in my 13 years in online marketing I have met many people willing to take money from others who were not as current as they might have been.

My mantra has always been to be as transparent as possible, and if I don’t know something, admit it and go and learn whatever it was I needed to know.

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Life’s a Long Path of Learning

What has helped me keep learning is taking on clients from which I’ll learn in spades as well as help them improve in the areas they hire me to.

John Gagnon from Bing Ads last week published a post outlining a bunch of PPC and SEO Tools for Excel. He’s been speaking about these Excel tools and how to use Excel to distil oodles of data and present it in an actionable way at conferences for a while now.

Finally getting it all down on his ClickZ column, it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who knows they should be using Excel in new and smarter ways.

The other piece of content marketing I’ll be pouring over this week is on Majestic SEO’s blog: Webinar Recording: 7 Secrets To Getting More Quality Links

This is a free webinar from Ken McGaffin and Garrett French who talk about how to be smart with link building and get wholesome links to your site that the search engines will sit up and pay attention to.

A few months ago I gave some insight about how you might use Majestic SEO for link building and influencer outreach, Ken and Garrett’s webinar goes into lots more detail and offers some really smart tips.

So there you are. It’s not even 9.30am on a Monday morning and I already have my learning cut out for me for the week.

How about you? Seen anything recently that you want to help educate our readers with?

Comment below and share this post with your ideas.

Pinterest Marketing An Hour a Day – Interview with Author Jennifer Cario

The work I get to do with Majestic SEO never ceases amaze me (among many other things) because of the good luck I get whenever I’m on their booth at many of the digital conferences I attend with them around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, it just happened that our booth at SMX West was smack bang next to Market Motive’s where the fabulous Jennifer Cario (nee Laycock) was signing copies of her new book: Pinterest Marketing: An Hour a Day

Pinterest Marketing An Hour a Day

Not one to pass up an opportunity, and always on the look out for tips to pass onto my clients and followers, I asked Jennifer if she could spare a few minutes chatting to me about the book, what tips she had for businesses when it comes to their Pinterest marketing, where Pinterest marketing should fit into the overall social media mix, and how marketers should be thinking about copyright and trademark issues so they don’t get into a sticky mess with their pinning.

I know from my experience with clients – I also pin Delightful social media insight and digital PR research when I can – that Pinterest can be a wonderful resource and source of traffic for websites, but that, even though we keep hearing it’s a must “have” social channel, many businesses are still a little in the dark as to how to leverage it well enough to justify the time spent.

Jennifer gave some great, no-nonsense answers to all those questions, so if you are in any doubt as to whether your Pinterest marketing strategy is heading in the right direction, take a peek at the video above and follow Jennifer on Twitter for all her Pinterest goodness.

Thanks,

Mel

P.S. If you think Jennifer’s Pinterest tips and advice are worth sharing, why don’t you share this post and let all your followers in on the information!

Content Marketing Tips: Beware the ‘So What? Factor’

Last year, “Big Data” was this buzz phrase emanating from everyone’s mouths and social media handles.

Now we’re well into 2013, “content marketing” seems to be the Holy Grail adorning the subject line of most inbound marketing blog posts and digital industry conference agendas.

It’s a little funny to me, because for several years many companies have been creating meaningful, useful, relevant and delightful content in order to amplify their brand presence and attract new customers (keeping current one’s entertained), and yet it only seems recently the trend has become mainstream and part of our digital vernacular.

To this I say, HURRAH!

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/shrug (Flickr Credit: striatic)

During my time at Microsoft, I worked with different marketing and PR teams to create content – be they blog posts, videos, photos or social experiences – that helped the brand be talked about for longer. I’ve written before about how important Digital PR is to an organization, and about how CEOs need to get with social media in order to create the kinds of conversations people want to hear. So couple that with a content marketing discipline throughout the company, and you start to have a really powerful platform for message dissemination that’s both enduring AND endearing.

CEOs Need Help With Social Media and Personal Branding

Something told me when I set up Delightful Communications that I was onto something with helping CEOs with social media and personal branding.

During my 12 years in digital marketing and my 9 year career in the entertainment business, one thing I’ve observed is just how badly some CEOs and senior business leaders conduct themselves online and onstage.

Okay, so “badly” is probably too strong a word, so let’s say they leave a lot of opportunity begging as they and their PR teams miss many chances to really cement a positive image in the minds of their own staff, their customers AND their potential customers.

Only last week, eMarketer talked about some Weber Shandwick research into the subject.

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Is your CEO ready for the digital stage? (Photo: CODYody)

This is what they concluded:

“Having some kind of CEO presence on social channels is becoming an almost necessary part of doing business—whether for brand image or company transparency. Eight out of 10 employees deemed it important to communicating with customers and investors. On the flip side, almost half of respondents said CEOs who did not engage on social channels risked becoming out of touch with their customers—an indication that, over time, not engaging on social media will be considered a liability more than a choice.”

We’re living in an age where digital feedback via social channels is rife and marketing and PR teams get that.

What their not doing well is promoting one of their best and most public assets in an intelligent way.

Next week I’m talking about Digital Evangelism at SearchFest in Portland, and I’ll be touching on the need for companies to have a face, a human face that customers can identify with and look for positive signals from and engage with.

Digital and social media content across a myriad of devices has educated a much more savvy public as to what is PR spin and inauthenticity on the part of a CEO.

They can smell it a mile off, and they will react badly if they get a whiff.

What companies need to do is formulate a strategy around their leaders’ personal brand and open them out a little to the world.

Some CEOs are not that gregarious, really busy running the business, and just not that into broadcasting their every thought and that’s OK.

But they all have a story to tell, and they all have a duty to respond in some way in an authentic and honest manner to feedback whether good or bad.

In 2013, that’s the sort of behaviour that gets your brand liked. That’s the sort of behaviour that get’s your brand talked about in a positive and endearing fashion.

In a world where one Tweet can go more viral than anything ever before and say so much in a photo about that leader and his feelings & values, doesn’t it make sense that your business at least try and create a positive digital platform for your CEOs personal brand and that of the company?

If you or your company leader is in need of a personal branding strategy please Contact Me…….before your competitor does!

If you agree with this post or have a comment please share it and say your piece below!

EXCITED! – 5 Alternatives to the Most Overused Word in Press Releases

Really? You’re so enthusiastic and eager to tell the world about your news that you can’t spend 30 seconds trying to think of an alternative word to adequately and originally convey your emotions?

Welcome to one of my PR Pet Peeves!

 

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A quick search for the phrase “excited to announce” on Google throws up 138,000,000 references. They even helpfully try and complete your query because so many people are using that adjective in their press release copy.

This is lazy writing.

3 Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand at Work (CCs All Millennials!)

In a hilarious post last week, Brian Morrissey from Digiday, wrote about what advertising agency execs feel about their younger charges in an article entitled:  WTF Millennials: Managing Agencies’ Newest Generation. It was called out and quoted by many in the industry press and caused much debate on Twitter.

Hilarious because of the quotes Brian managed to solicit from various sources, and because he gave millennials a chance to answer back where many of them seemed to agree with what had been written about them the day before.

Whatever generation you were born in, the impression you give people in the workplace has never been more important. A business doesn’t owe you a living whatever age you are, and rather like companies trying to survive head and shoulders above others in an increasingly crowded digital world, the same goes for your personal brand in the office.

My Personal Branding Services largely help people with their online persona and how to behave positively and effectively through social media, but having read these articles, I couldn’t help but want to jot down my thoughts on how to leaving an enduring impression in the physical workplace.

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Millennium Bridge in London (Flickr)

How To Present Yourself with True Confidence and Sincerity

It’s January and many of us will be embarking on new resolutions that we hope we’ll still be keeping by the end of the month.

Some maybe health and fitness related, some maybe career-driven and some will be a combination of both.

Although many of us focus on the physical health of our bodies at this time of year, it pays to have a think about the mental or attitudinal aspects of where we want to be in the next 365 days and how we are going to get there from a cerebral point of view. It’s all very well losing 10 lbs. or cutting down on caffeine, but physical health needs to go hand in hand with some mental limbering up as well.

When it comes to that new job, promotion or next round of VC funding you’ve promised yourself, personal branding and how you present yourself online (or off it) has never been more important to think about, especially in this age of ubiquitous social media.

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Photo by artwork_rebel on flickr

Online Personal Branding Tips & Examples

Whether you’re looking for a new job, you have a public-facing role in the role you’re in right now, or you’re just simply curious what Personal Branding is all about, then this post should add value to whatever you know already.image

Where are Your Digital Footprints Taking You?

As I’ve written in the Delightful Personal Branding blurb on this site, the proliferation of the web and social media means having an optimized presence online is crucial for a number of reasons:

  • I’ve been told by people “in the know” at search engines that searches for names represent 60% of search queries. Now I’m pretty sure they meant brand searches, because most people use Google and Bing as navigation aids as well as looking for stuff, but people names are going to make up a significant proportion of that massive number and that means YOU are going to be among them!
  • If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, and your name isn’t as common as “John Smith”, then the chances are you’re going to rank very highly via these social media sites because those networks are very authoritative with the search engines. If that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to make sure they present you and your brand in the best light possible?
  • Somewhere down the line, you might want run for office or have a family and how are voters or your kids going to feel if your online persona is littered with compromising photographs, factual errors, missing data or, even worse, NOTHING can be found out about you at all!

Making sure that you have a tidy house online says a lot about you:

  • It shows how serious you are about people getting a good first impression when they look you up.
  • It helps people find the right sort of information about you and puts you in control of your personal brand.
  • And it shows you actually care what people can discover about you online, and acting like you care adds positive fuel to your fire.

Now you might be thinking: “Who are these people that are looking for me online?”

Well here are a few scenarios:

  • Job recruiters and headhunters – whether you have applied for a job or not.
  • People in your company that want to know more about you.
  • People in other companies that want to know more about you – they may be competition or potential work partners.
  • Ex-flames!
  • Potential new flames!
  • Long-lost relatives.
  • The nice lady you always chat too at the supermarket checkout.
  • On and on and on…..

Now having an effective, orderly and clean online presence is fine, but in order to maintain it you need to learn to conduct yourself in a manner that shows your interested and interesting.

This might mean:

  • Regularly checking and updating your various profiles to make sure they are accurate and current.
  • Having a no swearing policy – what would Aunt Mary from Outer Mongolia think?! – unless of course you’re a rock star and that sort of thing is cool (man)!
  • Keeping abreast of social networks’ privacy policies and security features, so you know the minute they change how to hide certain content or add new permission measures you can act swiftly.
  • Simply adding a bit more flesh to your posts and updates so they are not so thin and cryptic and anyone can instantly see what you’re about – hopefully in a positive way.

Personal Branding is not something you get right overnight. It takes discipline and nurturing to start cultivating an online persona that starts paying dividends.

The good news is that it can be done, and over the next few months I’ll be updating the Delightful Blog and adding links to this post that will give you some ideas, tips and examples of how you can look good online so people like you, you give a great impression to potential employers, and you leave a digital legacy that you can be proud of.

Thanks for reading,

@MelCarson

Here are more posts on Personal Branding from this blog:

3 Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand at Work (CCs All Millennials!)

How To Present Yourself with True Confidence and Sincerity

If you’ve found this post useful, please share it using the button over to the right!

Photo Credit: M Pratter

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