Favorite Blog Posts From Write Speak Sell in 2013

blogging, social media, employee engagement, brxandingIt 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

Drum Roll

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.

Social media red lettersOne 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.

Branding

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?

Employee Engagement

Gallup Poll lists 12 Elements of Employee EngagementThis 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.

Say tuned!

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Comments

  1. You and your guests have written a lot of valuable business posts this year. I looked at the one on social media – I see sales at the bottom. Seems one has to think broadly about how social media can be useful. I definitely remember the post about renaming your company – definitely makes one think.

    Have a great 2014, Jeannette. Look forward to more wonderful, informative posts.

    • Thanks so much, Leora. Yes, it was a bit of a surprise to see that sales was at the bottom of the list of the value companies place on social media. I think we have to start viewing social media as another communications channel and not a magic bullet.

  2. Agree with Leora. Read many interesting post on your blog last year. The one I personally remember most is” So You Thought Social Media Would Increase Sales. Think Again”

    Wish you a fantastic New Year, Jeannette!

  3. You always give us great content Jeannette! Must have been difficult to narrow things down to this. I particularly liked your post with Richard Branson in it. For me that post communicated he is the real deal.

    Happy New Year!

    • Thanks very much, Pat. It was a little tough to narrow down the list, but I’m pleased with the ones I picked. When I think how much work all of us as bloggers put into our content, it’s a bit amazing that we keep persevering. I haven’t missed writing a post in almost five years. The first four I wrote two a week and last year I cut back to one a week. Got too busy with other assignments. The best to you in 2014 and can’t wait to read your book.

  4. How did you manage to pick just these post, Jeannette? Job well done – a great year for your blog 🙂 Wish you 2014 to be even better 😉

    I am reading your blog for a few months so some of the posts you mention are new to me – adding them to my ever growing reading list. I love your LinkedIn posts! And i sure remember the one with the message you couldn’t resist – i wouldn’t have been able to either!

    • Diana — thanks very much. I chose several posts because they got a lot of comments and others because I felt they communicated good information. It was really quite arbitrary. I included the message I couldn’t resist simply because I liked it! I appreciate your reading my blog and I’ve been reading yours, too. Here’s to a great 2014!

  5. What a fabulous summary of so many great posts, which are always filled with great advice. I’m off to the G+ one as I’ve become lazy about using it, and have also questioned whether it’s a good tool. All signs seem to say yes, especially with the drop off in Facebook. Happy New Year Jeannette.

    • Thank you, A.K. I’m glad nudged you to explore Google+. It really is essential to your search rankings aside from the fact that it is growing rapidly. While I’m not making any wild predictions, it could one day surpass Facebook. They have the power.

  6. This is a great line up of you many great articles. One thing I can honestly say is I always look forward to your posts when they show up in my email box. It never fails that I come away with something new or cool to use or do. Sometimes they make me think and that is a good thing. Why? Because I’m so buried in my day to day stuff and your post pull me of that, giving me something of value, something I need at the time. So Happy New Year my friend. 🙂

    • Susan — you are so kind. Thank you! Your comment inspires me to keep going. So glad I’m providing information you can use, my friend.

  7. Jeannette,
    I agree with everyone here that you consistently provide high quality informative articles that often add additional insight. Writing this post was a wonderful idea. I’ve already found your post about editing our posts in LinkedIn and I sometimes let the “blog post” text go by. (I am going to make an effort to not do that any more.) Thanks so much my friend and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.ac

  8. There have been a number of your posts this year that prompted me to consider certain matters and take action based on the information you provide. It’s late and I can’t think of them all, but trust me, I value your posts 🙂

  9. Happy New Year, Jeannette! I always enjoy a visit to your blog as I am sure that I will always learn something and develop new thoughts about a current issue. Keep up the good work, and thanks for all the time you spend researching these posts.

    • Thank you, Doreen. We all spend a lot of time researching our posts. You certainly do. Happy New Year to you, too!