Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into action...in a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
email:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Promotion

Have you ever been disappointed with the engagement level of your blog?  Have you decided that this year something “better happen”, to make it all worthwhile?  If so, you’re not alone.  Here are 17 ways drive more users to your blog, and increase their engagement with it:

  • Write great content.  If you write poorly, or have uninteresting, uninsightful posts, people will never return.
  • Focus your topic.  You will attract a more loyal following if your topic is keyed to your target audience.
  • Be consistent.  Write using the same style, length, posting frequency, and posting date/time.
  • Be controversial. Very few people are interested in commenting on a dry (or vanilla) post.
  • Move beyond words.  Embed pictures and video within the blog itself.  It looks more interesting, and research shows that people are more apt to read a post with picture(s).
  • Team blogs.  Sharing a blog with a colleague is a great way to generate some variety. It also means that two people are promoting the blog.  A secondary benefit is that each team member can respond (like/share/comment), providing an “instant” base level of activity.
  • Tweet a value-added Headline.  If there really is value in the Tweet, then it will be retweeted.  And it will draw people to your blog
  • Use your email list.  Send an email talking about the post with an intriguing click-through link.  Send a direct message to your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts as well.
  • User your groups.  Post a summary of the blog in relevant LinkedIn groups.  If you post in irrelevant ones, you’ll get instant disengagement – and worse.
  • Auto-syndicate.  Connect your blog to LinkedIn and Facebook, so that your blog appears on your profiles.  Users will participate on those platforms directly, as well as on your blog.
  • Empower others to syndicate.  At the bottom of every post, let people syndicate the content through to their favourite social sites.  (AddThis.com and ShareThis.com)
  • Hold a contest.  Nothing like a little competition to drive activity.
  • Share your stage:  Ask others to be a guest blogger, taking your spot from time to time.  They’ll pull their readers with them, exposing yourself to a completely new set of people.
  • Share others’ stages.  Ask to be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog. You will pull these new readers back to your blog, if you are relevant enough.
  • Connection/integration with overall marketing plan.  The blog – and all social initiatives – shouldn’t stand alone, but should be integrated with all of your other marketing activities to achieve a specific goal.
  • Improve your Search Engine Ranking.  Ensure that people can find your blog when they search for it, by ensuring that each post contains the right mix of keywords.
  • Ask for comments.  Don’t end your post with a conclusion – ask your readers what they think, what their experience has been, or whether they agree.

This week’s action item:  Beyond the obvious of improving the engagement level on your own blog, this week, respond to this post with one or two ideas of how to improve social engagement.

More on Blogging:

The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

Black Friday

by Randall Craig on November 23, 2012

Filed in: Blog, Global Business, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Promotion, Strategy

Tagged as: ,

If you are an American, you know precisely all about Black Friday: it is when herds of people get up early, head to the stores, and shop.  It occurs the shopping day on the Friday following Thanksgiving.  If you live anywhere else, you probably have noticed an interesting and recent local phenomenon: Black Friday sales in your city as well.

Black Friday is a great example of the leakage of culture (and marketing)  moves from one jurisdiction to another.  It illustrates how an event, lubricated by social media discussions, advertising, and media has little respect for national borders.  Sometimes called globalization, this has had an interesting impact on much of the trading world:

  • The impossibility of fully containing a negative viral meme.  Brand damage in one market is now lethal in another.
  • The ability to develop a critical mass of customer-based product support, with contributors located around the world – including in markets that couldn’t afford a support infrastructure of their own.
  • The almost impossible challenge posed by gray marketers, who arbitrage pricing differences from one market or another.  The social web helps them spot both purchase opportunities and markets for sale.

The question for many businesses is whether it makes sense to “import” some of the innovations from other markets into the local one, as non-American retailers have begun to do with Black Friday.  Here are four criteria to consider:

1) Does importing the practice provide either a competitive strategic advantage, or at least a short-term leap ahead of the competition?

2) Is importing the practice important defensively?  Another key reason for Black Friday in Canada is to reduce the number of Canadians taking the day to shop in the United States.

3) Are the costs of implementing the practice in line with the expected return on investment?

4) Does importing the practice fundamentally change how the business operates?  (If it does change, is it for the better?)

This week’s action item:  Check out the competition in another country.  Are there any ideas – real or on Social Media – that meet these criteria?  If so, jump on them.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

 

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

Social Media Measurement (Part Two)

by Randall Craig September 14, 2012

Over the last year (or three), how much time have you spent Linking In, Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, and using other social tools?  If you are like most, getting a return on your time investment probably has crossed your mind:  Is Social Media actually paying off?  Is it worth the effort? To answer this question, many […]

Read More

Consistency

by Randall Craig October 12, 2011

How often have you struggled to show up on time for a meeting, only to be kept waiting as others stumbled in 5-10-15 minutes later? Or have you ever tuned in to your favorite TV show, only to find that it was “rescheduled” for some other time? Or travelled to a faraway store, but finding […]

Read More

Buzz the Buzz

by Randall Craig February 8, 2011

Have you ever been in a situation where everyone is “talking” about a particular movie, restaurant, or gadget?  While the subject of the buzz was probably quite noteworthy, what isn’t known is how much professional help from marketers it got along the way. If you are looking to develop buzz for your organization or project, […]

Read More

Not Yet

by Randall Craig April 7, 2009

Have you ever been asked whether you had a particular skill, and struggled to answer when the answer is clearly “no”? While no one appreciates spin, there are a number of ways to answer, each with a unique nuance: Answer: Yes: If you are part of the Fake it ’til you make it school of […]

Read More

Unqualified!

by Randall Craig October 28, 2008

Nobody likes the odds in a lottery, but when you apply for a new position, sometimes it feels like you’re buying a ticket for one. When you put your name in the hat, you do so with 1000 others. Get through the screener and your odds may be 100 to 1. By the time there […]

Read More

Quantify your Impact

by Randall Craig October 21, 2008

For the best investors, each investment requires a prospectus or annual report. For the best business managers, each new initiative requires a business case. For the best project managers, each project requires a project charter. The purpose of these documents is to list the benefits, identify the costs, define the scope of activity, and possibly […]

Read More

Weasel words have no weight

by Randall Craig October 7, 2008

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t give you a straight answer? They have a way of saying things that leave doubt in your mind about whether they will deliver on their promises. When this happens, listen to their words carefully: they use conditional words to express commitments. For example: I might try to work […]

Read More

Your Boss Doesn’t Care About You

by Randall Craig September 9, 2008

While some managers might disagree, the truth is – especially when you are being interviewed – that your boss doesn’t care about you. They only care about how you can solve their problems. In fact, the only way that you will be hired (or promoted) is if you are able to prove that you can […]

Read More

Career Spin Doctor

by Randall Craig August 13, 2008

Is the glass half-empty, or half-full? How you answer will usually brand you as an optimist or pessimist. But is one answer better than the other? Optimists usually are great at envisioning the possibilities, while pessimists can often spot risks well before they occur. Both personality types are critical to the success of a team. […]

Read More

Low Maintenance High Return

by Randall Craig June 3, 2008

Does your car need service every three months, six months, or just once yearly? How often do you need to change the oil, check the tires, or fill up the tank? Each car is very different. Like cars, every person is different. Some people are high maintenance, and others require less service. High maintenance people […]

Read More

Career Inertia

by Randall Craig April 1, 2008

Has your career hit a brick wall? Is it becoming harder and harder to get where you want to go? Career Inertia refers to all of those things that slow you down as you try to reach your goals: not obstacles that stop you in your tracks, but people and activities (and mindset) that just […]

Read More

Process Professional

by Randall Craig October 2, 2007

It is NOT hard to get a job – it’s just that we don’t have practice doing it. We spend each day becoming stronger in our area of expertise – yet for the vast majority of people, job search is something that occurs only a few times in one’s lifetime. While being obsessive about your […]

Read More

Reference Check Marks

by Randall Craig September 18, 2007

Reference checks are probably the most unknown – and sometimes scariest – part of the recruitment process. When someone checks your references, what do they ask? If you are asked to “call the applicant’s references”, what questions should you use? Essentially, reference checks are used to verify resume and interview information, look for “red flags”, […]

Read More

Who is more important?

by Randall Craig August 21, 2007

When you are speaking to a large group, who is more important – the audience or you? Think about it, there is an entire audience sitting on the edge of their chairs, listening to each and every one of your words. You may have been paid thousands to deliver your speech. And there you are, […]

Read More

Nickels and Dimes

by Randall Craig August 7, 2007

If you had a choice to be paid either $50 or $100 for a service that you performed, which would you choose? Most of us would choose the greater amount; after all, if we have to do the work, why not be paid as much as the market will bear? Take the money and run! […]

Read More

Secret Sauce

by Randall Craig July 31, 2007

There is no shortage of books, experts, web sites, and computer programs that purport to tell you how to succeed in your job, and often, in life. They exist because of the public’s insatiable appetite for self-improvement. When you examine them closely, the vast majority have two things in common: – Success will be yours […]

Read More

Winning the Interview Beauty Contest

by Randall Craig May 22, 2007

How can you do better at job interviews? It’s not about being “lucky”, nor is it about winning a beauty contest, it’s about preparation, presentation, and perseverance: Fish where the fish are: Only apply for those positions where you have a strong chance of success. Energy wasted with pointless applications can best be applied prepping […]

Read More

Don’t Focus on Results

by Randall Craig April 24, 2007

Did you reach your quota? Have you completed that report? Did you win your case? How many people did you serve today? While you might be measured on different criteria, there is one common thread: each of these statements focuses on results. And focusing on results… results in, well, results. But is this really true? […]

Read More