Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Optimizing your blog (ch.3)

April 12, 2010

It wasn’t until I subscribed and have an RSS feed to Paull Young’s blog did I understand what an RSS feed is and how it works.  RSS (Real Simple Syndication) “is a way of sharing information across the Internet, according to A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization text. An RSS Feed is similar to a newspaper delivered at your doorstep. The content that a visitor subscribes to allows visitors to have the feeds in one place on the Internet than going to each site. Here are some ways that an RSS Feed works:

  • the “feed” is available for subscription to visitors
  • the subscriber can read each story without having to go to the original site

One RSS feed is a blog.  For example, I subscribed to Paull Young’s blog and the feed is on my yahoo page and I am able to read his blog on my yahoo page.  It is very  easy to use and can’t believe an RSS feed is this simple to use.  With RSS Feeds becoming a popular social media tool, it is important for bloggers especially but for any social media user to have effective, creative, and simple titles, descriptions, categories, and links.

“Your item descriptions may be the only thing a potential reader sees before they make a decision to read the full story,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  Categories, links, titles, and descriptions have to have a “hook” your reader in a proper way while still describing the story. 

Blogs however, “is a tool for posting information chronologically and allowing others to comment” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  Before a blogger begins blogging, it is vital for bloggers to know their audience.  Once  a blogger knows his or her audience, then he or she can decide what their purpose of the blog is. For example, my blog site discusses social media and how public relations is transforming an adapting to social media web 2.0. therefore, my blog site’s purpose is to share my knowledge based on what I’ve learned throughout my public relations college career with other colleagues, professors, and professionals. 

Blogs consist of interactivity, sharing, and collaboration, which are three general areas of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.  Throughout the social web, users are sharing information freely which pertains to sharing. Even though users share information freely, the information is only effective if other users interact by giving feedback and post blog comments. Futhermore, this is when collaboration takes place. Twitter for example, gives Twitter users an opportunity to collaborate in sharing information creating and generating other ideas for blog posts.

There are tools provided by WordPress that can help your site become more visible. One tool is called excerpts.  When I was reading about excerpts, I could only think of an excerpt of a paper or a novel.  I just began using excerpts this past week.  “Excerpts are used to summarize your post, and to use as a good “hook” to get readers interested in your entire post when they stumble upon it in a blog directory,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).

Other blog tools are :

  1. Tags: used to help organize and group blog posts and are used by RSS feed and blog directories as key terms, so you want to use tags wisely
  2. Categories: is a way to organize blog posts by topic. Readers are able to click on a category and see all the posts related to that one category
  3. Trackbacks: method of notification between websites.  “They are a way for you to comment on someone else’s blog from your own site, and have your entry show up on their site as a comment or as a notification on their WordPress dashboard. In order to use this, cite the blog you are commenting on and send a “trackback” to the blog you are citing. Then, your post will show up as a comment on the “trackboard” blog post,”  (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).
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Word-Of Mouth Marketing to Podcasts

March 21, 2010

       We have all heard of downloading podcasts from iTunes..but exactly what is podcasting? Podcasting is a downloadable audio from iTunes on cell phones, computers, and iPods that people can listen to on their own time. As I have studied and researched this topic for my Social media & Pr online class to create my podcast, I am having a better understanding to why  podcasting is an essential feature that is becoming a phenomenon that’s taking over the communication field. Companies can now create their own podcasts so that their customers and employees can access the podcast through Twitter or email, which people can receive via cell phones.  Furthermore, podcasts are another way of being informed in real-time and engaging with customers. 

     It is not uncommon today that companies are implementing social tools such as blogging and viral videos for their company purposes along with social monitoring and tweeting. With that being said, podcasts can be uploaded to the company’s website or blogging website which then can be automatically linked to Twitter. In other words, once a company creates a podcast, the company can then upload the podcast link to their company website or blogging website. Why would a company want to upload the podcast to their blog? Well, we all know the benefits of blogging, but customers and the company’s employees can respond by leaving comments to the podcast blog giving the company instant feedback.  Linking the podcast into the blog and having it automatically generated to Twitter increases blog traffic and online visibility. What does this all mean?  For example, if I see Coca Cola’s blog link with check out this new podcast about our product launch on twitter, I can not only give feedback, but “retweet” the link to my “followers” giving the site more online visibility similar to the traditional word of mouth marketing. If I share the link with one follower, the word will spread rapidly.

 Let’s recap why podcasting is an essential social  tool companies can benefit from:

  1. Podcasts can be uploaded on a company’s website or blog post
  2. Podcasts can be shared via social websites, especially Twitter creating instant feedback and blog comments
  3. Podcasts are  the traditional “word-of mouth marketing”

The Next BIG “Customer Feedback” Method Already Happening

February 23, 2010

    Rather than using traditional marketing research, companies are able to listen, engage, and share internal thoughts with their customers through blogs/blogging. Blogs are a tool that gives companies the opportunity to build relationships between the company/organization and its customers, allowing the company to become more transparent due to social media during Web 2.0. In other words, companies have a chance to propose the culture, processes, and people in the organization to the customers through blogging.  customers are already having conversations about companies, which is another reason for companies to blog.

However, not anyone can “just” blog for companies/organizations. Corporate blogs don’t have to be posted by one person. Employees within the organization  who have “expertise” can blog along with being able to listen to what  customers are saying.  Corporate blog posts have to have follow-up blogs. What this does is it allows companies to become more visible to its customers along with really listening to the customers.

Companies can have a sense of control of their blogs by creating blog guidelines for customers posting comments.  furthermore, companies can now see how much traffic their company is receiving, what is the top post or page, and receive customer feedback through creating blog posts. Customers are able to see companies’ vision through blogs and it also gives companies an advantage to hear what people are saying and doing about the company.

How can return of investment be measured? was a question that was rasied during the conference.  Dell has a great commercial explaining this saying “customer feedback is priceless.” WordPress is a prime example in how return of investment can be measured through quality.  A company was advertising their products in a positive light in which a customer responded with negative feedback. As a result, the CEO responded hiring word press as one of the vendors for this reason. Thus, this is how WordPress was developed. The return of the investment is  creating a customer-CEO relationship.

Generally speaking, companies who have not done so should really consider having blogs for customers to post their feedback because like I said previously, the conversation is already taking place. Shouldn’t companies have a “place” in which customers can converse with the internal comany and want to know what their customers are thinking or doing? So, why not implement blogs as a social media tool that is prevalent in the workplace?

Communication is Powerful

February 20, 2010

Language is communication. Communication is engaging writing. Writing delivers strategic messages. The better the communication, the more effective written publications will be delivering strategic messages that others can simply understand.  I know this is an understatement, but it is so important to know: mean what you say, say what you mean. Communication is powerful because it influences and drives people to buy your product, brand, and influences the company’s reputation. Communication is a big deal becoming more prevalent in social media through blog posts, Facebook updates, and in 140 characters on Twitter that anyone can see. These communication methods can influence a company which is why improving writing skills is very essential. The more your writing skills improve, the more effective blog posts will be, the more followers you will have on Twitter because of what you say in 140 characters, the more you can drive  people via Facebook status updates.

News releases are the most powerful thing today. Public Relations practitioners need to understand that by having smart quotes and getting inside the heads for whom they’re writing for will make their news releases more effective. For example, one of the speakers  this session told us that one of his friends writing samples  was in the State of the Union Address speech. The point is that you never know how important news releases are and who may read them, so it is not something to take lightly and think “oh that’s just a news release, I can write that in five minutes before I leave today.” One way to improve your writing skills is to become a good reader. In other words, read novels that pertain to your field of study or something that is interesting to you and not reading “Seventeen magazines.” To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader.

 Half of communication is about being friendly and available, which is part of developing media relations.  Building media relations means that you being the “PR” person is a resource for the media (journalists) such as directing the media to other organizations or people who can help them out with a story.   It is also important for you to make others understand the importance of quick response because not everyone works the hours that “pr” practitioners work. With that being said, future  public relations professionals  must have writing skills, poise, a team-player,innovative, detail oriented,  confident, and have revenue forward thinking for the companies. In other words, bring something to the table that will benefit companies, agencies, or non-profit organizations in 5 or so years down the road.

 One of the speakers told us that working hard is not going to get you the job, talent is.  I disagree  because talent comes from working hard. I’m  becoming more well-rounded reading novels from “A Thousand Splendid Suns” to “Groundswell.” I have learned and still learning skills and various ways of thinking from these novels, which can improve my writing skills. Another example of being a good reader is being a good writer is to blog. Blogging is helping me develop tight, cohesive thoughts which is essential in writing.  My point is that my work ethic improves my public relations skills and hopefully shines through.   I didn’t realize how powerful writing is until I attended the PR Real World Conference.  Even though I have publications from newsletters to news releases  to three articles  in the Georgia Southern University newspaper, and blog posts,  I am still learning and improving not only my writing skills, but  my poise, confidence, and  being a team-player.

Blog Posts is about you, Blog Comments Are Not

February 5, 2010

Blogging to me is similar to communicating in a small group discussion. The group discusses one topic or issue while others listen attentively. Then, other group members voice their thoughts, ideas, and feelings on the topic giving everyone feedback on the issue.  Blogging works the same way on a bigger level of course. One person blogs about various topics hoping to receive feedback from other people, which are comments.  Every blogger has a purpose-  to put their ideas out in the “social media” world so that others can view them, bringing in traffic to their blog posts. However, even though blog posts are vital in the social media world, so is becoming part of blogging which is to comment on others.  This “rule of thumb” is similar to my other post discussing paying it forward.

Blog posts express a person’s individuality and to set them apart from every other blogger, but blog comments are not about that. Blog comments are vital and are part of the blogging world.  Every blogger need to have an open mind and comment on other peoples blogs, whether it’s on twitter discussing the issue or on the blog website. Comments allow a blogger to think outside their own box and receive feedback to help improve their blogging skills. Isn’t that what every blogger want ( to become more knowledgeable on each blog post and to receive more traffic each time?  Of course YES!! In order to do that,  a blogger has to help someone else out by putting themselves out into the blogging and social media world.

Here’s a recap of answering the question “so why should I take time to comment on other people’s blogs?”

  1. Commenting on other blog posts gives you readership to YOUR blog posts. If you comment on other blog posts, the same domino effect will happen to you.
  2. It’sabout respecting  others and not being selfish. It’s not just about you and your blog posts.  Blog comments just like blog posts expresses that you just don’t post your blog, you become an active blogger.
  3. Blog comments can give you (the blogger) ideas for other creative blog posts that people might want to read or discussed.
  4. Blog comments shows that you aren’t afraid of interacting with other people in the social media world and are able to become well-rounded in discussing various topics.

Active Blogging

January 22, 2010

Through my recent blogging, I have noticed that I haven’t received comments or ratings. First, I thought I’m a “beginner blogger.” However, the more I blog, my statistics  stay the same even though I publish my blog posts on Twitter. Reading novels such as “The Whuffie Factor” and “Twitter Power” have made me realize that it doesn’t matter what you blog about or how much you blog.

 What matters to increase your blog posts is to comment on other people’s blogs and rate them.  By doing this, not only will people begin to give you feedback, but also increase your popularity on various social media websites. The result is rewarding because you make connections with people who you never thought you would. So commenting on other people’s blogging increases your popularity on social networking websites, which will result in connecting with other people. It is important to see what other people are saying on various topics, not just what you’re interested in. For example, even though I’m interested in the public relations field,  I still read other people’s blogs that discuss fitness, politics,  businesses, etc. Not only does this give you ideas to blog about, but it also gives you awareness on what people are talking about, similar to “trending topics.”

My lesson that I have learned is to comment on other blogs and end my blogs with questions so that people can comment and discuss your blog topic.  What is your advice on commenting other blogs?