It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in 2013 and here we are, 52 weeks and 52 blog posts later, starting the New Year.
I decided to look back at the topics that generated the most discussions on my website and social media networks and that addressed issues relating to my areas of business focus: blogs and social media, employee engagement and branding.
To be honest, several of these are subjective. They are my favorites – maybe because they stimulated discussions or because I just felt strongly about the topics.
That’s what great about a blog. I choose what to write and soon learn the posts that people like and the ones that don’t attract the desired audience. But traffic isn’t my only measurement.
I care what people say in the comments both on my site and on social media. I also want to add to the conversation about topics such as whether you can actually sell on social media
So here goes. If you missed any of these posts during the year, simply click on the link in the post title and it will take you to the complete post. I’ve listed them in my three major areas of focus: social media and blogging, employee engagement and branding.
There is some obvious overlap. You brand needs to be clear in all your communications, whether traditional channels or participation in social media.
I also want to thank the guest bloggers who so generously gave of their time to write posts. They are: John Sawyer, Janet Handal, Scott Huntington, Ashley Faulkes, Sara Collins, Steven Fabian, Michael Yublosky, Stanna Johnson and Emma J. Fox. Just click on their names to read their posts, which were among the most popular this year.
Social Media and Blogging
I write a lot about LinkedIn because that’s my primary social media network. It’s where my clients and potential clients in the B2B space hang out. I’m grateful for the connections I’ve made and for the support from my fellow bloggers in the Bloggers Helping Bloggers subgroup of the Blog Zone. Thanks to you all.
One of my most important posts, I felt, was the one I wrote about Why Keywords are Essential in Your LinkedIn Summary and Headline. It certainly was true for a client. As soon as I finished writing his Summary and Headline he came up first in a LinkedIn search for his keywords!
I made a new friend when I responded to LinkedIn message from Christopher (ck) Korody requesting that I subscribe to his new blog.
If you’ve followed my posts over the years you know how much I dislike the default LinkedIn invitation “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
I was so impressed that I contacted Chris and wrote the post, A LinkedIn Message That I Couldn’t Resist. That post got a lot of comments.
In a how-to post, I advised my readers Why You Should Edit the Headlines in Your LinkedIn Discussions.
Thanks to Mike Yublosky who contributed the post To Enhance Your New LinkedIn Profile Add Images, Documents and Files.
While LinkedIn is my primary network, Google+ is growing fast in membership and influence. I believe you simply have to be on G+ if you want to improve your search rankings. So I was pleased when Ashley Faulkes kindly offered to write a post, A Primer for Sharing Your Content on Google+.
Social Media Examiner published an eye-popping study at the beginning of the year in which it surveyed marketers about the effectiveness of social media marketing. What stood out for me is that vast majority — close to 90% — of those surveyed felt the most important benefit of social media marketing is increased exposure.
At the bottom of the list as described in the post So You Thought Social Media Would Increase Sales. Think Again is improved sales, coming in at only 43%.
Based on my own experiment, my answer to the question Does it Pay to Boost Your Posts on Facebook was a resounding “no.” Many readers chimed in with their own experiences.
On the other hand, Twitter has proven to be a godsend for customers with service problems. I wrote to AT&T on Twitter on behalf of a friend who was getting the run-around by phone reps. Voila! He got almost an immediate response. See how you can do it in the post I wrote How a Tweet on Twitter Got Action (Finally) From a Social Care Rep.
Companies can enhance their brands by being early adopters on social networks like Instagram, which is booming. Guest author Sara Collins wrote about it in a post 7 Tips for Promoting Your Business on Instagram.
Another guest author, Scott Huntington, wrote an excellent tutorial on How to Monitor What Others Are Saying About Your Brand.
The CEO is often a brand’s most powerful advocate. Think of Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and the late Steve Jobs at Apple. They embodied their company’s brands. Yet many CEOs lack a voice on communications channels, especially social media networks.
One notable exception is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin. You can read more in my post Why Every CEO needs to be the Company’s Chief Communications Officer.
Finally, why don’t companies leave their names alone? If you send large files by email you’ve no doubt heard of and used YouSendIt. It’s a great service with a catchy name that tells you what the company does.
But, no, leadership tampered with the brand by changing the name to Hightail, which made no sense to me at all. Here is the post I wrote Should You Fiddle With Your Brand by Renaming Your Company?
This is a topic close to my heart. I fervently believe that companies that engage and care about their companies will achieve the greatest success. I’ve written about this topic frequently since I started blogging almost five years ago.
Here is a post I revisited with The 12 Elements of Employee Engagement. I also believe that a company’s employees can be its most effective and committed brand advocates.
I wrote about this in a post How Do You Reward Your Employees Who Serve as Brand Ambassadors? based on a talk I gave at a Public Relations Professionals of Long Island breakfast meeting.
Now it’s time to look ahead to this year’s posts. Next week I’ll be writing about my bird’s eye view of the shifting social media landscape and how things that once seemed old hat are beginning to seem new again.