14 MORE blog improvement ideas!

January 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Posted in social media | 8 Comments
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Pic by ME! 🙂

By Jove, I just did another blog analysis! (Earlier analysis here.)

Once again, many of my ideas were client specific (and of course confidential).

The rest are yours.

  1. ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in the banner is harder to read than Title Case and looks like ‘SHOUTING’ to some readers.
  2. The pic of the tree is pretty, but it doesn’t suggest a benefit for clients or a link to you. How about a pic of your products in action, in situ?
  3. The headers for the articles have varying capitalisation (Title Case and Sentence case). While this is a minor point, highly educated clients may find it distracting.
  4. Australians may prefer a Day/Month/Year format to the current American one.
  5. ‘Comment’ is simpler and shorter than ‘Add Your Comments Here’. The fewer words we use, the more info we impart.
  6. A relevant image at the top of each article would showcase your gear and make the blog much more interesting to readers.
  7. I had trouble understanding your company’s structure due to the varying names. It’d be good to have one long version and one short version and to use them consistently. Failing that, spell out what’s what at the start, so readers like me don’t feel stupid or waste time trying to figure it out instead of reading your content.
  8. Body copy capitalisation is also highly irregular. Unless corrected, this will erode your brand in the minds of some readers.
  9. Clichés kill interest faster than a road train wipes wabbits. Therefore, use your ‘natural voice’ to replace phrases like ‘110% effort’, ‘our dynamic team’ and ‘all this and much much more’. Doing so will make you appear human (and therefore, by implication, reasonable and trustworthy). And if your competitors don’t follow suit, you’ll open up an important point of difference in a homogenous market.
  10. I can’t see any tags, categories or keywords. You said your main site SEO gives you Google Page 1. What about this blog?
  11. A Bolded Subtitle doesn’t need a colon too.
  12. ‘Single quotes’ do the same thing (in less space) as “double quotes”.
  13. The wind energy article is great. This is another point-of-difference opportunity. Especially these days.
  14. YouTube is now massive. Some embedded videos of your products in action would be great. Especially for Gen Y and younger audience members.

Hope you dig. Let me know! 🙂

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

Business Blogs

Celebrity treatment

January 11, 2010 at 7:26 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Photo by Dave B

A client asked me to ‘search the blogosphere’ to see what people were saying about Product X.

My first search turned up a YouTube video showing a very famous actor on a very successful talk show saying very nice things about Product X.

I then found that several popular bloggers had referenced these positive comments, compounding the good vibe.

I next did an image search and found beautiful, high-resolution photographs of Product X in the actor’s home!

Delighted with my early success, I brought all this good news to my client’s attention – just in time for her to add it to her company newsletter.

The story was a great morale booster for staff (most of whom had no idea their products were beloved by Hollywood royalty).

I then suggested that my client send the actor a ‘show bag’ of Products Y, Z (and anything else to hand) in case he loved that stuff too (and perchance said so in public).

For all we know, the actor may become a spokesperson for the brand. Or at least consent to his comments appearing on product packaging and marketing materials.

When it comes to social media, it really is a case of ‘from little things, big things grow’!

Business Blogs

The future of damage control

January 3, 2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Sometimes a press release just won't cut it. Pic by Rogue Soul.

The other day I was busy convincing a client to participate in social media.

At the perfect moment, a dramatic case in point featured on the front page of my online daily newspaper.

It concerned the apparent inability of HP computers to track ‘black’ people’s faces.

A potentially brand-crippling (though rather entertaining) YouTube video was circling the globe (more than 1.7 million views at time of writing).

Yet just as spectacular (to my mind, anyway) was HP’s instant response on their blog.

Rather than rail against or try to discredit the man who made the flaw-demonstrating video, they thanked him for his feedback.

They even provided a link to the video!

They then admitted that they:

  1. Didn’t know the cause of the problem.
  2. Had some good ideas as to what it might be.
  3. Were working hard to sort it out.

Compare this to the bullsh*t, no-fault, no-blame, no-nothing damage-control press releases of old.

I’d just finished reading Groundswell, which predicts that scenarios like this will occur with increasing frequency. (I know I keep mentioning this book, but by golly it’s a ripper.)

Anyway, I sent my client the story and wrote, ‘If the sh*t ever hits the fan with one of your products, you need to be able to respond this fast. You have been warned.’

We’re on friendly terms. And she got the point.

Then came the ultimate irony: one week later, her company had to do a major product recall.

We’re now talking blogs.

Are you?

Business Blogs

Turn forums into temples

December 29, 2009 at 11:13 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Photo by David Paul Ohmer

When searching online for the names of your organisation, products or services, keep a sharp eye out for forums. 

This is where people gather to praise, study, discuss or revile what you do. 

Often, you’ll see requests for help or information which the forum’s current participants can’t fulfil. 

According to Groundswell, if you provide a forum with free tips on how to solve outstanding problems with your goods, users will worship your brand and spread the word. 

You can do this task yourself, or delegate it to a product-savvy eager beaver in your organisation as a special assignment. 

The results may pleasantly surprise you.

Business Blogs

Social media spot check

December 29, 2009 at 3:13 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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I’ve covered my most important bases. For now!

namechk.com searches all social media applications to see if your name’s being used.

The screenshot above shows how I’m doing. While it covers the most popular social media applications, you can also run the program for all 132 applications!

You’d do well to check out these applications to see who’s doing what with your personal, company and product names.

It’d also be a good idea to register (and thus lock down) free names in at least the really important channels (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn).

As this task would be more routine than expert (but still quite time consuming) it could be done cost effectively by an enthusiastic student with plenty of time on her hands.

Failing that, a junior IT person in your company could do it (and thus become a very valuable internal resource).

Failing that, I could do it myself.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.


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