Posts Tagged ‘Diana Adams’

The Top #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Each year, the #Nifty50 awards honor 50 men and 50 women who actively engage on Twitter. 2011 was the inaugural year. In 2012, the #Nifty50 recognized the top men and women on Twitter in the technology realm.

The #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contributions of honorees to their fields, as well as their level of engagement on Twitter; to encourage interaction with these leaders; and to expand social networks. When the timing is right, the #Nifty50 will be expanded to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project, which will provide access to advanced technologies for low-income children.

This year’s #Nifty50 highlights men and women who write—more specifically, who regularly produce some form of business-related online content (blog posts, news articles, videos, infographics, etc.)—and who actively engage on Twitter. The honorees include both full-time (e.g., journalists, authors, or PR professionals) and part-time writers (e.g., bloggers).

Since the first awards, the #Nifty50 hashtag has been tweeted and retweeted nearly 7,000 times, with a total exposure of more than 50 million people, according to Topsy. The #Nifty50 was also featured in the new book by Mark (@mnburgess) and Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess), The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a social culture.

For 2013, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in a post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are both outstanding writers and content producers and active social media connectors and engagers. Beyond their professional lives, the interests of these women range from the fairly conventional (travel, food, wine, health, fashion, family) to the unexpected (Star Wars, Milk Duds, beer, Swedish fish).

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 48 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women writers on Twitter for 2013. You can find and subscribe to or follow the entire list on Twitter here.

(Editor’s note: Though I’d be proud to claim her as a member of my extended clan, I’m fairly certain that Marissa Pick and I have no familial relationship.)

Jennifer Aaker
@Aaker

Jennifer Aaker

 

Diana Adams
@adamsconsulting

Diana Adams

 

Ardath Albee
@ardath421

Ardath Albee

 

Kare Anderson
@kareanderson

Kare Anderson

 

Judy Bellem
@JudyBellem

Judy Bellem

 

Meghan M. Biro
@MeghanMBiro

Meghan M. Biro

 

Susan Borst
@susanborst

Susan Borst

 

Lisa Buyer
@lisabuyer

Lisa Buyer

 

Sandy Carter
@sandy_carter

Sandy Carter

 

Karima-Catherine
@karimacatherine

Karmia-Catherine

 

Ann Charles
@annmcharles

Ann Charles

 

Dorie Clark
@dorieclark

Dorie Clark

 

Heidi Cohen
@heidicohen

Heidi Cohen

 

Julie Cottineau
@JCottin

Julie Cottineau

 

Gini Dietrich
@ginidietrich

Gini Dietrich

 

Jenna Dobkin
@JennaSD

Jenna Dobkin

 

Esther Dyson
@edyson

Esther Dyson

 

Marni Edelhart
@CarpeDiFemme

Marni Edelhart

 

Kristi Eells
@Kristi_Eells

Kristi Eells

 

Laurie Friedman
@lauriefriedman

Laurie Friedman

 

Anne Deeter Gallaher
@AnneDGallaher

Anne Deeter Gallaher

 

Ann Handley
@annhandley

Ann Handley

 

Catherine Hays
@catharinehays

Catherine Hays

 

Elizabeth Hitchcock
@ElizHitchcock

Elizabeth Hitchcock

 

Amy Howell
@HowellMarketing

Amy Howell

 

Martine Hunter
@martinehunter

Martine Hunter

 

Jennifer Kane
@JenKaneCo

Jennifer Kane

 

Julie Kehoe
@juliekehoe

Julie Kehoe

 

Katrina Klier
@KatrinaKlier

Katrina Klier

 

Shelly Kramer
@shellykramer

Shelly Kramer

 

Megan Leap
@MeganLeap

Megan Leap

 

Heather Lloyd-Martin
@heatherlloyd

Heather Lloyd-Martin

 

Margaret Molloy
@MargaretMolloy

Margaret Molloy

 

Wendy Marx
@wendymarx

Wendy Marx

 

Lori Moreno
@LoriMoreno

Lori Moreno

 

Marissa Pick
@marissapick

Marissa Pick

 

Maria Poveromo
@mariapoveromo

Maria Poveromo

 

Tonia Ries
@tonia_ries

Tonia Ries

 

Jill Rowley
@jill_rowley

Jill Rowley

 

Lori Ruff
@LoriRuff

Lori Ruff

 

Angie Schottmuller
@aschottmuller

Angie Schottmuller

 

Esta H. Singer
@sheconsulting

Esta H. Singer

 

Mari Smith
@marismith

Mari Smith

 

Michele Smorgon
@maxOz

Michele Smorgon

 

Elizabeth Sosnow
@elizabethsosnow

Elizabeth Sosnow

 

Jayme Soulati
@Soulati

Jayme Soulati

 

Ann Tran
@AnnTran_

Ann Tran

 

Casie Vogel
@casievogel

Casie Vogel

 

Deborah Weinstein
@DebWeinstein

Deb Weinstein

 

Patricia Wilson
@brandcottage

Patricia Wilson

 

Again, you can find and follow the entire 2013 #Nifty50 Twitter women’s list here.

 

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101 Vital Social Media and Digital Marketing Statistics for (the Rest of) 2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

As marketing becomes more data-driven, it’s vital to use data to keep up with trends, competitor strategies, and developments in your market. To that end, 94.7% of all marketers love blog posts about marketing statistics.

101 Vital Social Media StatisticsOkay, that statistic was made up (though probably not far off the mark),  but the social media and digital marketing facts and statistics below are real (or at least from generally reliable sources).

For example, 93% of marketers use social media for business. But how do marketers and consumers view social media differently? How do top executives use social media? Small businesses? Rapidly growing companies? B2b vendors? What are the best days and times for Facebook updates? What’s the average click-through rate of a link shared on Twitter?  What tactic do 92% of SEO professionals view as effective? What percentage of queries on Google each day are new to the world (i.e., won’t show up in keyword research tools)?

Find the answers to these questions and many,  many more here in 101 vital social and digital marketing stats for (the rest of) 2013.

Social Media Facts and Statistics

93% of marketers use social media for business. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Social media has reached middle age(d). The fastest growing segment of social media users is now adults aged 45-54%. 55% of this age group now have a profile on at least one social network. (State of Search)

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most popular social networks with search engine marketers. The second-most popular tier includes YouTube, blogging and LinkedIn. The least popular major networks are Flickr, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. (B2B Infographics)

Marketers aren’t like ordinary people. (A pause here while you absorb the shock of that statement). While 86% of marketing professionals have “liked” at least one brand on Facebook, just 58% of consumers have done so. And the gap is even more dramatic on Twitter, where 61% of marketers but just 12% of consumers follow at least one brand. (Thought Reach)

Furthermore–75% of social media users “object to major companies and platforms using their personal information for commercial purposes.” And just 12% admit to having their purchases influenced by Facebook “Likes” or Google “+1s”.(Relevanza)

How big are these networks? As of January 2013, the five largest social networks based on active monthly users were: Facebook (1 billion), YouTube (800 million) and Google+ (343 million) followed by Twitter and LinkedIn with 200 million active monthly users each. (TECHi)

Social media users are more social than non-social-media-using-internet-users in real life too: social networkers are 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club, 19% more likely to attend a sporting event, and 26% more likely to give their opinion about politics and current events. (TECHi)

Half of all social media users under age 35 follow their online friends’ product and service recommendations. (TECHi)

Three-fourths of marketers planned to increase strategic efforts on social media and social networking sites this year, with 68% also focusing more on SEO and 63% on blogs. (eMarketer)

One in five married couples met online. But…20% of all divorces are blamed on Facebook. Coincidence? Hmm. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

As universal as business use of social media can seem to be, 26% of companies still block access to social media sites in their workplaces. 31% have no social media policy in place. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

54% of consumers say that “smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.” (MarketingProfs)

Social media…to engage or to advertise? Turns out agencies are slightly more likely than in-house marketers (81% vs. 75%) to advertise on social networks, while corporate marketers are significantly more likely to utilize “free” social media tools (89% vs. 71%). (Heidi Cohen)

70% of brand marketers (and 60% of agency professionals) view social media advertising as more valuable for building brand awareness than for driving direct response. (Heidi Cohen)

But–contradicting the statistic above–66% of brand advertisers want to see a measurable sales bump from social media advertising. (Heidi Cohen)

How C-Level Executives Use Social Media

82% of buyers say they trust a company more when its CEO and senior leadership team are active in social media.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company if its CEO uses social media.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

And yet – 36% of executives say their CEO “either does not care, or cares little, about the company’s reputation in social media.” (Polaris B)

It helps having a woman at the top. Female small business CEOs are 78% more likely to say social media is highly valuable to their firm’s growth (20.8% vs. 11.6%), and 43% less likely to say it isn’t valuable (14.2% vs. 25%). (Marketing Charts)

Email is still the most effective way to reach top executives; 90% say they check their inboxes regularly. 64% use LinkedIn on a regular basis, while 55% say the same for Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

How the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies Use Social Media

Only one-third of the companies in the Inc. 500 say they can adequately determine ROI for the social media spending. (Relevanza)

Yet 35% of marketers say ROI is the most important measure of inbound marketing success. 24% say marketing’s influence on sales and 16% cite conversion rate as the key metrics. (Marketing Charts)

90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 62% say social media is either “somewhat” or “very” necessary to their growth. (Heidi Cohen)

But just 44% of Inc. 500 companies maintain a blog. “This low number is a surprise since blogs drive social media, content marketing and search.” (Heidi Cohen)

While 31% of businesses overall have no social media policy in place (see above), that is true for only 22% of Inc. 500 firms. (Heidi Cohen)

How Small to Midsized Businesses (SMBs) Use Social Media

21% of small businesses plan to increase spending on social media advertising this year.  (eMarketer)

92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool. They are evenly split on the effectiveness of social media for attracting new customers vs. engaging existing customers. (e-Strategy Trends)

A whopping 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing technology tool–second only to email marketing. 15% say blogging is most effective at engaging existing customers; 11% value it more for attracting new customers; and 69% say blogging is equally effective for both objectives. (e-Strategy Trends)

Facebook Facts and Statistics

Obsession? 23% of Facebook users check their accounts five or more times every day. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

But it’s vital for businesses to have a Facebook presence: 80% of Faceook users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

47% of Americans say that Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than any other social network. (State of Search)

Facebook = mobile. More than half of all Facebook members have used the social network via a smartphone, and 33% use a phone as their primary means of Facebook access. (State of Search)

67% of b2c marketers have generated leads through Facebook.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

33% of milennial consumers are more likely to buy from a company if it has a Facebook page.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The best time and day for Facebook postings? Saturdays at noon. To maximize sharing, post to Facebook 3-4 times per week. (Visual.ly)

56% of Facebook users check in at least daily. 7% say they would check a message “during an intimate moment.” Awk-ward. (TECHi)

Half of all mobile web traffic in the U.K. goes to Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

48% of consumers who follow brands on Facebook do so in order to take advantage of sweepstakes and promotions. 18% follow to complain about a product or service. (MarketingProfs)

67% of the Inc 500 use Facebook, a decline of 7 percentage points from 2011. Facebook “demands dedicated resources” but doesn’t always show a comensurate return. (Heidi Cohen)

While 75% of internet users over age 45 prefer to share information using email, 60% of those under 30 say the same for Facebook. (Relevanza)

LinkedIn Facts and Statistics

97% of business executives have used LinkedIn. (Search Engine Journal)

LinkedIn rules for business owners. Asked which social media tool had the greatest potential to help their firms, 41% of small business owners chose LinkedIn. More CEOs chose LinkedIn than chose Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest combined. (Marketing Charts)

LinkedIn is the “social platform of choice” for companies in the Inc. 500, the index of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. 81% of these firms use LinkedIn, compared to 67% on both Facebook and Twitter. (Relevanza)

80% of LinkedIn users are at least 30 years old. (Relevanza)

Twitter Facts and Statistics

On Twitter, frequency (and quality) matter: 71% of all tweets are ignored. Just 23% generate a reply. (Search Engine Journal)

Worse, 56% of customer tweets to companies are ignored. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

69% of follows are based on recommendations from friends. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

34% of marketers say they have generated leads using Twitter. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

53% of Twitter users have been using it for less than one year. (State of Search)

50% of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The average click-through rate (CTR) for a link shared on Twitter is about 1.6%, BUT—the average CTR drops as one’s number of Twitter followers increases. Accounts with 50-1,000 followers generate a better-than-6% average CTR; the rate drops to less than 0.5% on average for accounts with 10,000 or more followers. (Bit Rebels)

During the work week, Tuesday has the highest CTR (1.8%) and Friday the lowest (under 1.5%). (Bit Rebels)

During the day, CTRs are highest between 8:00-10:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm. (Bit Rebels)

When planning timing of tweets, keep in mind that almost half of the U.S. population lives in the eastern time zone, and 80% of Americans live on eastern or central time. (Visual.ly)

Maximum CTR on tweets occurs between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Unless you are particating in a Twitter chat, there’s no point in tweeting more than four times per hour. (Visual.ly)

Nearly 40% of top executives say they check Twitter regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

67% of the Inc 500 use Twitter. Though valuable for content marketing and customer service, it is labor-intensive. (Heidi Cohen)

Pinterest Facts and Statistics

Women still constitute 80% of Pinterest users. (Search Engine Journal)

50% of users are parents. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

80% of pins are repins. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Pinterest and Tumblr are among the “stickiest” social media sites, each accounting for, on average, 89 minutes of time spent per month per user. That compares to 21 minutes monthly on average spent on Twitter, 17 minutes on LinkedIn, and just three minutes on Google+. (TECHi)

25% of all female internet users in the U.S. use Pinterest–compared to just 5% male web users. (eMarketer)

Google+ Facts and Statistics

Google+ has attracted users, but not engagement. Non-mobile users spend an average of just three minutes per month on the site, and 30% of users who make a public post never make another one. (Search Engine Journal)

40% of marketers use Google+. Two-thirds plan to increase activity there over the coming year. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

This doesn’t count as an official statistic, but in the process of collecting 100+ social media stats and facts, only the two above related specifically to Google+. For whatever that’s worth.

Blogging Facts and Statistics

B2b companies that maintain blogs generate, on average, 67% more leads per month than non-blogging firms.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

57% of marketers have acquired customers via their blogs, and 52% of consumers say blogs have impacted their purchasing decisions. (B2B Infographics)

Just 44% of Inc. 500 companies blogs – but that is up from 2011. (Relevanza)

Blogs are rated by consumers as the third-most influential category of sites influencing purchasing behavior (after retail sites and brand sites) – yet they garner just 10% of social media budgets (comnpared to 57% for Facebook). (Pamorama)

Blogs are the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for online information (ahead of Google+, forums, online magazines, brand sites, Twitter and Pinterest). (Pamorama)

86% of “influencers” blog.  (Pamorama)

23% of top executives say they read blogs regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Content Marketing Facts and Statistics

Content marketing works. 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness; 59% believe it supports sales growth; and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs. (iMedia Connection)

92% of SEO practitioners say content creation is an effective SEO tactic, and 76% regularly invest in content creation. (B2B Infographics)

Marketers spend most of their time producing blog posts, article and guides, social media updates, e-newletters, and news releases; they spend the least on podcasts, polls and surveys. (B2B Infographics)

While 90% of companies are engaged in some form of content marketing [http://webbiquity.com/book-reviews/book-review-content-rules/], just 36% believe their efforts are highly effective. (Polaris B)

Images are (important!) content too: 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images. Using photos provides a 37% increase in Facebook engagement and 14% increase in news release pageviews. (Heidi Cohen)

B2B Marketing Statistics and Facts

Social matters in b2b. 53% of b2b buyers follow social discussions about vendors they are considering.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The role of sales has changed. 67% of the typical “b2b buyer’s journey” is now done digitally.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Google accounts for 90% of search traffic to b2b websites. (MediaPost)

Average conversion rates for different types of b2b web traffic: 1.60% overall; 2.89% for email; 1.04% for referral visits; 1.96% for paid search; 1.80% for branded search; 1.65% for direct visits; 1.45% for non-brand organic search; and 1.22% for social media. (MediaPost)

The biggest challenges for b2b content marketers? 64% struggle to produce enough content, while just over half (52%) find production of “engaging” content a challenge. (imFORZA)

More than 80% of b2b marketers use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to distribute content. 61% use YouTube and 39% Google+. The least popular channels (all with single-digit percentage use) are Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr and Quora. (Polaris B)

SEO is for traffic, social is for leads? Organic search accounts for, on average, 41% of traffic to SMB b2b websites, but just 27% of leads. Social media, in contrast, supplies just 2% of visits but 5% leads. And email accounts for just 1% of web traffic on average, but 9% of leads. (eMarketer)

Breaking that social traffic down one level, Facebook accounts for 54% of b2b website social media visits, but just 9% of leads; Twitter, on the other hand, provides less than a third of social visits but a whopping 82% of social leads. (Really?) (eMarketer)

SEO Statistics and Facts

Search produces quality traffic. SEO leads have a 14.6% sales close rate on average, compared to 1.7% for outbound leads (e.g., from direct mail or print advertising). (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Search is the top traffic driver to content-oriented websites, producing on average nearly four times the traffic of social media (41% from search, 11% from social).  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Another study found an even more dramatic advantage for search, with organic search supplying 40% of all traffic (and Google alone accounting for 36% of visits) to b2b websites, while social media accounted for just 5% of traffic. (Forbes)

Keyword research only goes so far: 16% of daily Google searches, on average, have never been seen before.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Remeber when Google first started “hiding” the exact keywords used in organic search, and promised this would only affect a small percentage of search traffic? It now hides, on average, keyword data for 41% of all organic searches. (MediaPost)

For b2b websites, on average, the split between branded and non-brand search traffic is 31%/69%. (MediaPost)

6 of 10 organizations plan to increase SEO spending this year. (imFORZA)

One-third of searches are location based. (imFORZA)

71% of marketers say that content marketing has helped inprove their site’s ranking in organic search, and 77% say it has increased website traffic. (iMedia Connection)

Nearly a quarter of U.S. small businesses plan to spend more on their web presence this year–as well they should. As of early 2013, “More than 60% lacked an address on their homepage, and nearly 50% did not provide a contact number…47% were not present on Google Places, and 35% did not have a Bing Local presence.” (eMarketer)

Don’t forget to optimize videos for search. YouTube is the second-largest “search engine” by volume of searches. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Top brands spend, on average, 19% of their digital marketing budgets on search, vs. 14% on video content and 10% on social media. But the largest share (41%) goes to display advertising. (MarketingProfs)

Mobile Marketing Statistics and Facts

25% of all internet searches last year were made on mobile devices. And 25% of all U.S. internet users are mobile only (includes tablets). (imFORZA)

More than three-quarters (77%) of mobile users use their smartphones and tablets for searching and social networking. (imFORZA)

While mobile marketing is by no means unimportant, it may not justify quite the attention it gets. Marketers have a disorted view of the market because while 90% of marketing professionals own smartphones, but half of consumers do. And while 41% of marketing professionals say they have made a purchase based on information on Facebook, less than a third of consumers with smartphones–and just 12% of consumers without smartphones–have done so. (Thought Reach)

Forget the app, just use email. 33% of consumers say the email is the most effective tool for building loyalty, vs. 26% of marketers. On the other hand, 23% of marketing pros believe that custom apps are most effective at loyalty building; just 7% of consumers agree. (Thought Reach)

Asked how their marketing strategies would change in 2013, the largest percentage of marketers (82%) planned to increase their focus on mobile media. The largest decreases were expected in newspaper and magazine advertising. (eMarketer)

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Funny Business: The Best Digital Marketing Humor, 2013 Edition

Monday, July 15th, 2013

One of the greatest aspects of being a marketer is that, in most professions, sitting around the office thinking up bad puns, penning snarky double entendres, or storyboarding cat videos would be considered goofing off. In marketing, that’s called “work.”

There are three kinds of marketing data analysts: those who can count and those who can’t. If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success? I once saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.

Yes, the marketing profession can be a challenging and frustrating one: unrealistic expectations, dizzying change, crazy demands on time—and that’s before heading to the office.

So, grab a cup of coffee (or glass of wine, depending on what time of day you’re reading this), sit back for a few minutes, and enjoy some of the funniest, oddest and/or most creative posts, videos, lists and infographics of the past year.

The 7 best “what I’m really doing” graphics by iMedia Connection

What a social media marketing manager doesBethany Simpson writes “Whether you’re a runner, a designer, or a marine biologist, you finally have the chance to tell the world you’ve been misunderstood for too long. Thanks to the ‘What I really do’ meme, everyone gets a voice! We’ve listed some of our favorites.”

10 Funniest QR Code Fails by Mashable

Christine Erickson shares a compilation of some of the dumbest placements and uses of QR codes, such as across subway tracks (or great placement–if you are trying to actually kill your target customers), in subway cars (for products you wouldn’t be caught dead scanning), on billboards, and more.

25 New Nike Designs Including Twitter, Google & Michael Jackson! by Bit Rebels

Twitter-shoeIt’s unclear whether or not these are still available, but Diana Adams highlights custom Nike sneaker designs from Daniel Reese that range from Twitter and Pac Man to Super Mario and Flash (the superhero, not the software).

12 Most Hilarious Parody Accounts on Twitter by 12 Most

Cara Friedman highlights a dozen of the best Twitter parody accounts, including @Lord_Voldemort7 (“If Lord Voldemort was evil at Hogwarts, imagine him giving commentary on current pop culture”), @FakeAPStylebook and @BettyFckinWhite.

Betty White parody tweet

 

31 Jokes for NERDS! by vlogbrothers (on YouTube)

Hank Green tells 31 rapidfire jokes which combine funny stuff with nerdy stuff. One of the best: Argon walks into a bar. The bartender says “We don’t serve noble gasses here!” Argon doesn’t react.

 

6 Iconic Things You Won’t Believe Began as Publicity Stunts by Cracked

Not so much funny as surprising (and even educational), this post explains how six, well, as the title says, “iconic things” had their origins in PR. One (perhaps) surprising example: the Guinness Book of World Records was invented by the beer company to sell in bars, so that patrons would have an “official book of records that could be used to settle bar bets.”

Awkward Stock Photos

Awkward stock photoWe all know that stock photos are what designers turn to when they need to put SOME kind of photographic image on a page, that reflects some idea, but don’t have access to any real photography from the client. Many have been overused (the business meeting including the white-haired guy with glasses, the attractive brunette with the telephone headset that just screams “customer service!,” etc.). This site, however, showcases stock photos that…no one is quite sure of the intended purpose for.

15 of the Funniest Tumblr Sites Out There by Sexy Social Media

Blogs aren’t just for sharing in-depth “hot to” articles or thought leadership pontification. And you certainly won’t find either of those things in this collection, but you will likely find amusement (and bemusement) on these specialty blogs such as Breaded Cats, The Lisa Simpson Book Club and the can’t miss Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber.

The Digiday Dictionary: What It Really Means by Digiday

Saya Weissman helpfully explains what many commonly used business and digital marketing phrases really mean. A few examples:

social strategy: give it to the intern
strategy: PowerPoint
synergy: whose idea was this anyway?

Uncommon Sense: A Rose By Any Other Name by MediaPost

In a twist on the dictionary concept above, Jeff Einstein riffs on 21st-century euphemisms, such as artificial intelligence: “AI is where we currently deposit all of our hopes for a better future through digital technology — largely because we have no faith in our own intelligence anymore (for obvious reasons).”

100 of the funniest things we have read on a CV: Part 1 by Response

Nathan Lloyd compiles 100 actual examples of the types of information it’s best not to include on your resume, among them:

KEY SKILLS – “Perfectionist with a keen I for details.”

SIZE OF EMPLOYER: “Very tall, probably over 6’5?.”

COVER LETTER – “Please disregard the attached CV; it’s totally outdated”

10 Ways to Make Your Next Infographic Totally Awesome [Infographic] by DIYBlogger.NET

Infographic by Danny AshtonThe inimitable Dino Dogan observes that some people are good at visualization, and some are good at link baiting, and that when it comes to infographics, the two groups don’t like each other much. After being trashed by a visual purist, here is the infographic on how to produce infographics that resulted “one lousy link-baiter/infographic-maker decided to strike back, with vengeance.”

Five ideas to prevent a Facebook phone fail by leaderswest

Noting that the concept of a Facebbok phone “looks to be a derivative product developed a few years too late into a market that it can’t differentiate in,” the prolific Jim Dougherty suggests a handful of enhancements that could nevertheless turn this product into a winner, among them: “Game thwart. In response to any Zynga game request, with Facebook phone you can pay to ruin that person’s social game. Dispatch a small Army of gophers into anyone’s Farmville or get the word out in Mafia Wars that your friend is a snitch. The best feature is that you don’t even have to understand the game to do this. Just pay Zynga through Facebook’s PayPal analog FacePal and they will take care of it for you.”

Bing’s Sponsored Results For ‘Keyword’ Are Out Of Control by Business2Community

Why do ads for “a seemingly random assortment of merchants – Bloomingdales, BMW of Sudbury, ankylosing spondylitis treatments, whip cream chargers” show up on Bing for a search on the term “keyword”? Elisa Gabbert gets to the bottom of it.

40+ humorous print ads by Web Design Depot

tatoo-babyStacey Kole showcases more than three dozen print ads that will make you alternatingly cringe, chuckle, scratch your head, admire the art director’s creativity, wonder why the art director hasn’t yet been confined to an institution, and express other emotions.

Blog Theft is Serious…but Sometimes It Can Be Entertaining by Inkling Media

Ken Mueller displays the humorous result of scraping and auto-rewording (Ken surmises “it must have been run through some sort of program that looks for synonyms, and then replaces a lot of the words, while supposedly keeping the intent and context”) gone horribly wrong. Hey, at least the original backlinks were left intact.

Spinning Beach Ball of Death by Improv Everywhere

As the post notes, “a presenter at the TED conference has his talk interrupted by the Mac spinning wait cursor” that slips its digital bounds, and, well…the results are fun–and the look on the presenter’s face is priceless.

 

25 signs you work in social media by Ragan’s PR Daily

Kevin Allen identifies more than two dozen signs of a social media affliction beyond addiction, such as:

14. When you think of “engagement,” a future wedding is no longer top of mind.

20. Man or woman, you write like an excited teenage girl sometimes and you just can’t help it.

22. You don’t just use exclamation points—you abuse them!

The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

Josh Dreller pokes fun at 17 real by ridiculous job titles, including Wizard of Light Bulb Moments (“How many HR directors does it take to fire a ‘Wizard of Light Bulb Moments’?”), Social Media Badass (really, is your mom proud to tell her friends that?) and Direct Mail Demi-God (“I would think an omnipotent, all-knowing being would have had the sense to get out of traditional media by now”).

 

What’s made you laugh today?

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Best Social Media and Digital Marketing Research and Statistics of 2011, Part 2

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Reports, surveys, studies and infographics are among the most popular content posted and shared across social networks. We’re all hungry for data.

Marketers, we’re told, need to think like publishers. But which networks are most effective for spreading the content produced? How widespread, really, is the use of social media for marketing? How are B2B marketers using social media differently from their B2C counterparts? How are marketers measuring social media success? Who is actually consuming all of this content?

Find the answers to these questions and many more here in more than 40 of the best reports, studies, videos and other sources of social media, search, and other marketing facts and statistics of the past year.

General Social Media Statistics

The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic by Search Engine Journal

Jenise HenriksonJenise Uehara Henrikson highlights the phenomenal growth of social media over the last six years, and particularly since 2008. Also noted:

  • • One in four Americans watches a YouTube video every day.
  • • 53% of employers now research candidates on social networks before hiring.
  • • 71% of companies now have a presence on Facebook. 59% are on Twitter, and 43% use a company blog for marketing.

Researchers To Marketers: Go Social, Mobile by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Les LuchterLes Luchter looks at research showing that 10% of all website visits to the top 1,000 web properties come from social sharing, half as much as from search. Sharing accounts for nearly a third of all referral traffic, and shared links are “clicked on 4.9 times each, on average, across all sharing channels, so content shared by large groups of people reach a wider audience than content passed along from others.”

Social Networking Growth Stats and Patterns by Social Media Today

Dan NelmsDan Nelms dives into a Comscore report which found that although Facebook engagement is increasing (the average time spent on the site per user per month increased from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours in the last year), niche social networks are experiencing the fastest user growth (up 48.1% for the year). Still, the top 10 social networks account for nearly 80% of all social network traffic.

Twitter, Facebook And LinkedIn: Age, Ethnicity And Gender Of The Major Social Networks [STUDY] by All Twitter

Shea BennettShea Bennett examines research finding that, no surprise, the user base on LinkedIn skews older than on other social networks: more than half of all members are aged 36-65, with just 6% younger than 22. People over the age of 65 don’t make up more than 6% of membership on any social network (the 6% figure is for Facebook). And while women outnumber men on almost every major social network (e.g. women make up 64% of Twitter’s following), men (63% to 37%) are the larger share on LinkedIn.

Infographic: Social Media ROI Statistics by Digital Buzz

Aden HepburnAden Hepburn shares a wealth of social media ROI statistics here, such as that 74% of CMOs believe they will get a handle on social media ROI in 2012. Website traffic is the most commonly measured social media metric, followed by conversions, positive mentions and number of fans/followers. In the coming year, 77% of companies plan to spend more on YouTube; three-quarters plan to increase spending on Facebook and blogs, and 73% will invest more on Twitter.

You just shared a link. How long will people pay attention? by bitly blog
***** 5 STARS

Hilary MasonHilary Mason reports on research showing the “half-life” of a link on various social networks (the time in which half of all clicks the link will ever get occur). Among her key findings: “(looking at) the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links, the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours, on facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on facebook than if you post on twitter.”

The State of the Internet Now
***** 5 STARS

This incredible site displays real-time statistics on a variety of global internet metrics, including today’s “Intetnet mood poll,” the relative positions of the largest social networks, how time is spent online, and a constantly changing collection of “Fun Facts” (e.g. “Lady Gaga is Twitter’s most followed user with 8.4 million followers”).

11 infographics for your next presentation by Ragan’s PR Daily
***** 5 STARS

Arik HansonArik Hanson shares a collection of “Infographics that would fit nicely into many digital marketing/PR presentations.” Topics include online demographics, the growth of social media, Twitter facts and figures (e.g., 40% of all tweets are pointless babble; only about one out of every 11 tweets gets retweeted), location-based marketing, and how executives use social media (LinkedIn is used by 92% of top executives, Facebook by 51%, and Twitter by 41%; half of all top executives use at least three different social networks regularly; and 83% trust social media sites “somewhat” or “strongly”).

Social Media Adoption Slows For Fortune 500 by The Realtime Report

Marissa McNaughtonMarissa McNaughton looks at social media use among America’s largest companies. Among the findings: 114 companies (23%) of the Fortune 500 maintain blogs, 62% have active corporate Twitter accounts, and 58% have a Facebook presence. But after rapid growth in 2009 and 2010, the study found that “There has been little or no change in the number of companies using corporate blogs (0%), Facebook (2%) and Twitter (2%) in the last year.”

McKinsey Social Technologies Survey: the Business Ecosystem Benefits by Fusion Marketing Experience

J-P DeClerckJ-P De Clerck passes along some fascinating stats from a McKinsey study on social technologies, including:

  • • 72% of companies use at least one type of social technology; 50% use social networking, 41% have blogs, and 38% use video.
  • • The most rapid increase in adoption has been in the use of social networking, which has nearly doubled since 2009.
  • • 27% of companies expect “the elimination, or at least lessening, of an organizations formal hierarchy because it will be easier to make decisions as a group.”

Out with the Old (Marketing) And In With the New by Blue Focus Marketing

Mark BurgessEchoing the statistic from Erik Qualman that “78% of people trust peer recommendations vs. only about 14% who trust ads,” Mark Burgess makes the case for online and inbound marking using numbers: consumers are more likely to trust online consumer opinions (49%), opt-in (vendor) emails (40%) and even brand websites (35%) than any type of web-based advertising–though search ads (21%) outperform other formats.

Companies Should Communicate Via Social Media by MediaPost Onlne Media Daily

Gavin O’Malley relays research from New York University which finds that “78% of respondents (consumers) agreed that either social media platforms would soon replace other means of customer service altogether, or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.” The study also noted that “45% of respondents would feel ‘angry’ if ignored by companies on a particular social media platform…nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they would stop doing business with the offending company altogether…(and) if confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand.”

McKinsey Research Again Validates Social Technology Benefits by paulgillin.com

Paul GillinPaul Gillin quotes from McKinsey research findings on social media use in the enterprise that 72% now use some form of social media, with more than 40% participating in blogging and social networks. Why? Because it produces real business results: “Executives at fully networked organizations report greater benefits from both internal and external interactions…Self-reported operating-margin improvements correlated positively with the reported percentage of employees whose use of social technologies was integrated into their day-to-day work. Market share leadership in an industry, the final self-reported performance measure, (also) correlated positively with the integration of social tools in employees’ day-to-day work.”

B2B Marketing Research and Statistics

10 informative B2B marketing infographics by Econsultancy

Graham CharltonGraham Charlton presents 10 B2B-focused infographics, filled with statistics and findings such as that B2B buyers are increasingly getting their information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs while other sources fall in popularity, and that 86% of B2B firms are using social media (versus 82% of B2C companies), but they are less engaged than their consumer-focused counterparts (with 32% of B2B companies engaging online daily, compared to 53% of B2C enterprises).

B2B Marketing [r]Evolution (Content Marketing) by PropelGrowth on YouTube

The latest version of this video provides a wealth of B2B-related stats, including: 83% of buyers no longer trust advertising (but most do trust recommendations from other users online). Google attracts more than one billion unique visitors per month. 92% of B2B buyers use online resources to research products and services. And most B2B buying cycles are 70%-80% complete before the salesperson is even aware of the buyer.

The End of Blogs (and Maybe Websites) as We Know Them by Forbes

Scott GillumScott Gillum believes that tools like Blogger Dynamic Views and Flipcard have “the potential to turn over complete control of the user experience to the visitor.” He explains what it means for B2B marketers when buyers are essentially able to create their own UI.

How B2B Search Engine Marketers Can Better Impact the B2B Buying Process by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS

Derek EdmondIn this must-read post for B2B marketers, Derek Edmond reviews research from TriCommB2B detailing the role of content marketing assets in B2B marketing (e.g., which assets are viewed as most critical to buyers—technical data sheets and vendor websites—and which are least important), the six distinct phases of the B2B buying cycle, SEO best practices, using social networking for link building, and more.

Types of Valuable Marketing Content by The Daily Numbers

David EricksonDavid Erickson reports that 39% of B2B marketers (as well as 37% of their B2C counterparts) view blog posts as the most valuable type of content to support their marketing efforts. He notes that some companies try to use a blog simply as a mechanism to re-post their press releases, and are subsequently disappointed by the results. But he also points out that companies who stick with blogging over the long term “gain immeasurably through an understanding of content marketing, what types of content appeal to their customers, (and) how content works with search in attracting new customers.”

B2B Marketers Have Much To Learn About Social by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Gavin O’Malley passes along findings from a Pardot study, indicating that “as much as marketers like social media, they’re not spending proportionately on the new channel.” Although 95% of B2B marketers report using social networks to reach prospects, “nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of such campaigns on lead generation and sales. And among those who do, about 42% of marketers replied that zero or an uncertain number of sales leads resulted from social media programs.”

Study Shows Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketers by Marketing Pilgrim
***** 5 STARS

Frank ReedFrank Reed examines the differences in digital marketing practices between B2B and B2C marketers, such as that 75% of B2C marketers say Facebook is their most active social media channel, while B2B marketers are more divided on the question (35% say Facebook, 26% Twitter, and 25% LinkedIn). B2B marketers on average spend a higher percentage of their online budget on SEO (33%) than their B2C counterparts (22%), but less on PPC advertising (28% vs. 43%) and social media marketing (10% comapred to 15%).

Only 8% of B2B Companies Heavily Engaged in Social Media by Social Media B2B

Jeffrey L. CohenJeffrey L. Cohen looks into an Accenture study finding that although 65% of B2B marketers call social media “extremely or very important,” only 8% would describe their own social media use as “extensive.” 26% are only slightly engaged or not using social media at all. Why? According to the study, “50% of marketers surveyed felt they needed new tools and technologies to manage their social media efforts and 40% indicated that their team was not properly trained to take advantage of social media.”

4 Ways To Boost The Value Of Your B2B Marketing Content by Social Media B2B

Adam Holden-BacheHow can B2B companies best take advantage of social media? Adam Holden-Bache passes along research showing that 77% of B2B buyers view content as more influential if it includes social sharing buttons. 92% say that when video “is embedded in content it positively or very positively effects the overall influence.” And 37% of buyers have consumed b2b content using a mobile device.

Social Media and C-Level Executives

Executives Fail to Focus on Social Media Marketing Strategy by eMarketer

Despite the fact that 80% of companies with 100 or more employees now use social media in their marketing mix, “only 27% (of business executives) list social business as a top strategic priority. Nearly half (47%) admit a social plan is necessary but not a strategic priority and 19% say social business strategy is simply not necessary.” Given those figures, it’s not surprising that just 17% of executives believe their company’s social media strategy is ahead of the curve, while 33% are concerned that they trail the market.

Social Media Stats for the C-Suite by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Jeff EspositoJeff Esposito here compiles results from several research studies in a collection of 30 interesting social media facts, among them: 82% of 18-29 year olds utilize at least one form of social networking. 40% of corporate Twitter accounts include customer service use. Only about 10% of CMOs say that social marketing efforts are integrated with their overall marketing strategies. And nearly half of consumers “combine social media and search engines in their buying process” (which is why web presence optimization is critical).

Social Media: A Must For CEOs Of The Future by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KramerThe always insightful Shelly Kramer comments on recent research showing that more CEOs are starting to embrace social media. More specifically, “Twenty-eight percent of CEOs under the age of 40 maintain a work-related blog daily. And 32 percent of them contribute or read micro-feeds using Twitter or a similar application.”

Twitter Stats

13% of Online Americans Use Twitter [STATS] by Mashable

Lauren IndvikAccording to Pew Research stats cited by Lauren Indvic here, 13% of all online Americans, 15% of those with incomes greater than $75,000 per year, 16% of college graduates, and nearly 20% of Internet users aged 25-34 use Twitter.

Study: 76 percent of communications professionals use Twitter by Ragan’s PR Daily

Michael SebastianMichael Sebastian reports that “76 percent of communicators (PR professionals) in the United States and Canada used the site, nearly double the percentage from 2009,” and in addition, “The percentage of organizations with a budget devoted to social media has doubled since 2009, to 30 percent from 15 percent. 32 percent of PR pros said they have a dedicated social media team in place.”

30 Terrific Twitter Facts And Figures by Geeky Stuffs

Shaan HaiderNoting that its “glamor and brand problem has not held back (Twitter’s) growth after its humble origins and launch in 2006,” Shaan Haider lists 30 stats about the microblogging service such as that the service had only three million registered users in 2008 (but 225 million by March 2011); 60% of all tweets come from third-party apps; and mobile Twitter users increased by 182% in the past year.

StumbleUpon Stats

The Shelf Life of a Web Page by The Daily Numbers

David Erickson (again) reports that StumbleUpon not only accounts for the bulk of social sharing (it drove “50.3% of the social media traffic referrals in the US from August to September” in 2011) but also that its link have a much longer half-life than those on Facebook or Twitter. He also notes that once-hot Digg has devolved into “the MySpace of social sharing sites.”

Why StumbleUpon Drives Over 50% Of All Social Media Traffic [Infographic] by PSFK

Emma Hutchings shares an infographic loaded with StumbleUpon statistics and facts, such as that “2.2 million web pages…are added to StumbleUpon every month, which works out at 51 each minute. The average Stumble page view lasts 72 seconds, nearly 25% longer than the average web page view, and the average Stumble session lasts 69 minutes, which is three times longer than the average time someone spends on Facebook.”

Facebook Stats

Social Network User Base Grows, 56% Are Adult Females by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Mark Walsh relays survey results revealing that nearly half of Americans now use at least one social networking site. Facebook is, no surprise, the dominant network, but interestingly “the average Facebook member has 229 friends on the site, with people from high school making up the largest share at 22%, followed by extended family (12%) and coworkers (10%), college friends (9%), and immediate family (8%).” The survey also suggests that Facebook may have reached its saturation point in the U.S..

Social Media Surpasses Search, Facebook Leads by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Laurie SullivanFrequent best-of honoree Laurie Sullivan looks into a Nielsen report showing that in terms of time spent on the site, Facebook (yeah, I know, a shock) is the leader followed by Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn. All came in well ahead of sites like Google, AOL and MSN. In addition, “Tumblr has grown to become the eighth-largest U.S. site, jumping 183%…in the past year.”

Doing Some Social Networking? You’re 5x More Likely To Be On Facebook Than Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC] by All Twitter

Shea Bennett (again) posts an infographic loaded with online usage stats, such as that 65% of adult internet users engage on social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn (vs. 13% who are on Twitter), 92% use email and search engines, and 81% go online to check the weather. Meanwhile, dating websites and virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) are reportedly among the least popular online activities.

SEO Research and Stats

SEO Underused, Forrester Report Suggests by MediaPost Search Blog

Laurie Sullivan reports Forrester research discovering that three-quarters of technology vendors have embraced SEO; less than 10% don’t use search optimization at all. However, SEO remains under-used in certain areas, such as “supporting sales in moving prospects through the sales process.” From the buyer perspective, Forrester found that “When customers search for IT products, 20% said they primarily search for best practices; 19%, vendors and products; 18%, technology categories; 17%, other experiences; 16% business problems; and 9%, organizational adoption programs.”

Wow, you can make good money in Search by iMedia Connection

A.J. LawrenceAJ Lawrence shares SEMPO research on SEO salaries showing that the average search marketer earns $75,542 per year. This ranges from rookie analysts starting at around $30,000 annually to vice presidents bringing down more than $250,000. More than half of all SEO professionals (57%) have five years or less experience.

SEO Salaries and the Best Cities for SEO Jobs by Onward Search

Going a bit deeper into the topic of SEO compensation than the post above, this post/infographic shows the top cities for SEO work (New York, LA and San Francisco top the list; Minneapolis, where I’m at, comes in at a respectable 12th place), a breakdown of SEO titles, and salary ranges by market (if you don’t mind the heat, SEO jobs in #10 Atlanta apparently pay considerably better than those in #9 Seattle).

SEO Behavior: Click-Through Rates Drop Per Search by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Laurie Sullivan (again) notes research showing that more than half of searchers click on a first-page search result. In round numbers, the top result generates 18% of click-throughs, the #2 result 10%, and positions 6-10 each get 4% or fewer of all clicks. David Erickson offers additional detail on the same study in Organic Click-Through Rates by Ranking.

10 Stats to Justify SEO by Search Engine Journal

Daniel BianchiniDaniel Bianchini shares some high-level stats on the importance of search, such as that 93% of all internet traffic comes from search engines, with Google dominating. The figures here are specific to the UK, but the general ideas are more universal.

Google Longtail Keywords Infographic by SEO Book

Aaron WallAaron Wall presents an infographic titled “How Google Killed the Long Tail,” which delves into topics like spell correction (sometimes a friend, sometimes not), Google Instant (ugh), query freshness and “not provided” keywords in Google Analytics (boo, hiss).

A Tale Of Two Studies: Google vs. Bing Click-Through Rate by The Daily SEO Blog

According to this infographic, results on the first page of Google generate higher click-through rates across all positions (maybe that “Bing and decide thing isn’t working out—or maybe this data set is simply too small). 55% of Google searchers are male, while women (58% to 42%) are more likely to be searching on Bing. And in terms of ranking factors, Google supposedly no longer cares about the H1 tag, while neither search engine gives weight to domain age (hmmm).

General Marketing Research

Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops by Ad Age Blogs

While social media generates headlines, don’t write off traditional media just yet. Stephen Kraus and Bob Shullman report that of households with more than $100,000 in annual income, 93% read magazines in hard-copy format, while just a third read them online. Similarly, 86% read printed newspapers compared to 39% who read the same news online. And 94% watch television shows on (gasp!) televisions, versus 23% who view TV shows online.

Study Says Drudge Report Drives More Traffic Than Facebook & Twitter Combined by Mashable

Lauren Indvik (again) takes note of research from Outbrain which finds that the Drudge report drives 7% of traffic to sites like the New York Times, MSNBC, and The Atlantic (and Mashable), more than twice the percentage of Facebook and Twitter combined. That figure was up 1.5% from the previous year. Overall, according to the study, “social networks still drive relatively little traffic (7%) compared to content sites (56%) and search (37%).” Among social networks driving traffic, Twitter and Reddit came out on top.

2011 Insane Mobile Marketing Facts & Trends by Bit Rebels

Diana AdamsThe delightful Diana Adams reports that more than one-quarter of all mobile phones are now smartphones, that mobile internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2014, and that Americans spend about twice as much time on their mobile phones each day as they do eating, among other fascinating factoids in this infographic.

Paid Search To Grow 15% In 2012 by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Laurie Sullivan (yet again) shares findings from recent search marketing research. Among the trends: paid search is projected to grow 15% in 2012 and 2013, followed by 13% in 2014. Costs are rising: “a promoted trend on Twitter now costs $120,000 daily, up from between $25,000 and $30,000 when Twitter first launched in April 2010.” And the fastest growing format is expected to be online video ads.

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24 (of the) Best Business Blogging Guides, Tips and Tools of 2011

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Despite any recent recent rants you may have seen about how blogging is dead or blogs are passé, the fact of the matter is that business blogging is now more important than ever. With Google’s most recent Panda algorithm updates, attributes like content freshness and social signals (strengths of blogs, not corporate websites) will gain increased importance in search ranking.

But as the blogosphere continues to expand (as noted by Diana Adams below), it becomes more difficult to stand out and be heard above the noise.  How can a company launch (or relaunch) a new blog properly? Write great blog post headlines? Promote new content most effectively? Optimize blog content for search? Emulate the best corporate blogs? Take advantage of free or low-cost blog tools and resources?

Get the answers to those questions and more here in two dozen of the best blogging guides of the past year.

Guidance for New Bloggers

20 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers by Ink Rebels

Diana AdamsNoting that will well over 100 million blogs on the web now it can be challenging to stand out, the effervescent Diana Adams shares a list of common mistakes to avoid such as making your RSS button hard to find, posting inconsistently, and failing to respond to reader comments.

12 things every business blogger should know how to do by Ragan’s PR Daily

Susan YoungContending that “blogging isn’t that difficult until educated, professional, bright grownups begin to overanalyze things,” Susan Young provides a dozen pieces of commonsense advice for business blogging success, such as sticking to what you know and enjoy, and writing “to express, not to impress.”

The Entrepreneur’s Advisor | Why and How to do a Blog Right by The Entrepreneur’s Advisor

Stuart W. Smith provides some blogging basics and helpful tips for those relatively new to blogging. After making the basic case for a blog, he delves into keywords, developing quality content, links, calls to action and more.

6 Tips for Blogging for SEO in WordPress by Business Insider

Sue ReynoldsSue Reynolds offers a half-dozen tips for SEO on WordPress blogs, helpful particularly for those just getting started.

Business Blogging Tips, Tactics and Best Practices

8 Ways to Get Your Blog Ready for the Big Time by Blog Engage

Kristi HinesFrequent best-of honoree Kristi Hines offers eight tips to get your blog ready for a surge of traffic if you happen to get mentioned or retweeted by a highly influential source. Among the tips: optimize your site for speed, delay your opt-in popup form (or better yet – lose it, they’re obnoxious) and make sure your key pages (About, Contact, Guest Post Guidelines, etc.) are easy to find.

How to Be an Awesome Blog Commenter by HubSpot Blog

Kipp BodnarKipp Bodnar offers half-dozen tips for “how to be a thoughtful and engaged commenter” that apply to social networking sites as well as to blogs. Much of it comes down to appropriate social etiquette, and always striving to add value to the conversation.

How to Turn a Lousy Blog Headline into a Great One by The Backlight

Tristan HigbeeTristan Higbee steps through the creative process of turning a boring blog headline into a better one and then, eventually, into one that is both search-friendly and compelling to potential readers.

26 Ways to Enhance Your Blog Content by Social Media Examiner

Debbie HemleyAnother delightful A to Z post from Debbie Hemley, this one alphabetizing the business blogging process from attributing source material through links and blogging as a hub of social media efforts through YouTube and “Zigzags and Leaps” (“mental moves that might open up things a bit, allow a little more in, including, we hope…discovery”).

7 Key Elements to a Successful Business Blog by TopRank Online Marketing

Lee OddenLee Odden defines the key characteristics to consider in terms of “branding, community, SEO, PR, recruiting and taking midshare away from your competition” with your blog including the URL, name, design and navigation. (For more on this topic, see also Eight Factors to Consider When Launching a Business Blog previously published here.)

12 Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post by Content Marketing Institute

Brody DorlandNoting that “even great content can go unnoticed,” Brody Dorland recommends 12 steps for promoting your blog content, from the obvious (utilize keywords for SEO, use syndication) to the creative (using a post to answer a question on Twitter, promoting posts via your email signature).

21 Ways Bloggers Engage by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen details 21 ways bloggers can engage with readers beyond just responding to comments, among them: inviting others to contribute guest posts, providing social sharing buttons, enabling readers to subscribe by email, and participating in Twitter chats.

The Blueprint for the Perfect Blog Post (Infographic) by Business 2 Community

Brian RiceBrian Rice graphically illustrates nine components of the “perfect” blog post, beginning with a compelling post title. in this nicely-done infgraphic. He also shares six blogging lessons learned, including the importance of user experience and letting your audience drive your the conversation.

Displaying Social Proof – What the Marketing Experts Use by KISSmetrics

Kristi Hines studies the AdAge Power 150 blogs to see how leading bloggers are displaying their social clout. Tools and methods used include displaying FeedBurner reader count, a Facebook Like box, LinkeddIn share button, or multi-purpose tools from AddtoAny, Share This, or AddThis.

Blog SEO

SEO success for your blog in 10 easy steps by {grow}

Eric PratumGuest blogger Eric Pratum outlines a “10-step prioritized plan to improve the SEO for your blog without spending a lot of time or money,” from keyword strategy to sitemaps.

How to Optimize Your Blog for Google by Social Media Examiner

Dino DoganIn this extensive and detailed post, Dino Dogan walks through the process of search optimizing a blog, from audience targeting considerations and keyword research to SEO plugin settings (presuming you are using WordPress).

Where to Use Keywords in Corporate Blog Posts by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Lee Odden lays out a non-technical five-step process for getting a corporate blog to rank well in search. His item #4 (“Use Descriptive References vs. Pronouns”) in particular should be required reading for ANYONE writing online content.

Top 10 Blog Directories 2011 by SEO Wizardry

Peter HollierWriting that “Blog Directories add an important element to your web site traffic generation and search engine optimization programs,” Peter Hollier lists and links the top 10 blog directories along with their Alexa ranks.

8 Steps to Optimize Your Blog Post by Search Engine Watch

Erez BarakErez Barak recommends a heavy focus on keyword research, selection and tracking among his eight steps for getting a blog post to rank well in search.

Examples of Exceptional Corporate Blogs

The 10 Best Corporate Blogs in the World by {grow}

Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer shares a few observations on the state of corporate blogging (e.g. the tech sector produces most of the best corporate blogs, the Fortune 500 lags the rest of the world in this area) as well as his picks for the top ten corporate blogs based on quality. Most of the companies are large, but the variety of industries represented is intriguing.

Outstanding brand blogs you should check out by iMedia Connection

Sarah KotlovaSarah Kotlova showcases four well-done corporate blogs (or in the case of Cisco, a collection of company-related blogs written by internal subject-matter experts) from both the B2B and B2C worlds.

Blogging Tools and Resources

Huge List of Useful Tools for Bloggers by ShoutMeLoud

Exactly what it says–a big list of tools to make your blogging more productive. This post lists and links to tools for SEO, writing, blog marketing and more.

Stock.XCHNG

Need an interesting photo for your latest blog post but don’t want to shell out big bucks, go through some convoluted licensing process, or risk violating a photographer’s copyright? This may be the site for you. Owned by Getty Images, Stock.XCHNG bills itself as “the world’s best free (image) stock site.”

veezzle

A free stock photo exchange where you can search, use, share and create collections of images for online use.

fotoglif

If the free sources above don’t have quite what you need, fotoglif offers reasonably-priced photographic images, in a range of categories including news, politics, business, technology and lifestyle.

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