5 Things You Might Have Missed — Blogging Edition!

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We love blogging. We’ve seen the power of good blogs put companies on the map and we write blogs for businesses all the time. All of this blog love got us thinking: Why don’t we make a 5 Things You Might Have Missed List devoted to blogging? And so we did!

1.) The Return of the Blogging Teacher: This story tops our list not just because we think calling your own students “rude, disengaged, lazy whiners” in a blog is hilarious, but because the power of blogging and how it can come back to bite us has never been more beautifully illustrated.

2.) Emily Henderson Designs Blogging Gold: The winner of HGTV’s Design Star has a great design blog that perfectly preaches the design diva’s witty and wry sensibility. But Henderson makes our list for her video blog recaps of the current season of the show that put her on the map. Funny and approachable, Henderson blogs and vlogs as beautifully as she designs.

3.) Nuts About Southwest: So what if the Southwest airlines is so decidedly no-frills that it is sometimes referred to as “Greyhound of the Skies?” The company has a great blog that laughs with its passengers while giving all kinds of behind-the-airline type of info. Southwest is a great example of how blogging can expand our brands and keep us talking with our customers.

4.) Fill Up That Company Tumblr: We’ve yammered about the genius of Tumblr on these pages before but now we think you should listen to us. Big companies like MAC Cosmetics have taken to using the site for company blogging for the same reasons you should; it’s easy, it looks fabulous and it’s free.

5.) Oh Pioneers! Last but certainly not least, hit food and lifestyle blog Pioneer Woman makes our list — not for being new (it started in 2006) but for inspiring us to think big with our blogs. Author Ree Drummond started out blogging about her life on a farm and is now set to launch her own Food Network show this month. Couple that with a bestselling cookbook and we’re convinced that blogs can lead to very big things, indeed.

3 Summer Social Media Marketing Don’ts

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It’s recently come to our attention that many think summertime is the time of year to slack off on our social media marketing and putter away the brilliant online branding we’ve worked so tirelessly to build when the temperatures were much cooler. In two words: Um, no. So we thought we’d publish our list of summer social media don’ts as a seasonal reminder of what not to do on Facebook, Twitter and the rest.

1.) Don’t Panic — So sales are slow and all of your clients are out of town and nobody is responding to your clever status updates. So what? It’s no reason to launch into promotional overdrive by flooding social media with infomercials dripping with desperation. Instead, just keep up the good work… and remember, social media is only as effective as the messages we send out. So stop sending out “the sky is falling” messages and you might just be pleasantly surprised.

2.) Don’t Go There — There’s plenty of unsavory topics to sink your teeth into these days. From overdosing stars to money-grubbing moguls, it’s hard to resist flinging Internet mud on Twitter and Facebook. But that kind of thing is best relegated to boozy dinner parties in private, not on company social media accounts. With our social media accounts, we want to keep our noses clean and out of other people’s business.

3.) Don’t Fall Out of Touch — Everybody needs a vacation, obviously. But to fall off the social media map is a big mistake. Recent studies have found that brands who get dropped on social media are usually the ones who fail to keep their content fresh. This isn’t to say you should spend your days in the sun Twittering instead of relaxing. There’s definitely a middle ground. If you can’t update while you’re away, turn it over to your most trusted, workaholic employee.

Chatty Cathy, Meet Blogging Betty

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We recently dished with a friend who has the tiring task of wrangling well-meaning volunteers at a local non-profit arts organization. It’s a juggling act that your average HR bear couldn’t stomach, since volunteers have to be handled differently because they are helping your organization for, like, free. So lots of times, according to our friend, this means swallowing some strong personalities and smiling through it. In regard to a particularly talkative type, however, our friend came up with a stroke of genius which has not only helped their social media content but helped keep a chattering volunteer busy.

Our buddy turned little miss chatty Cathy into the company’s social media diva. The formerly motor-mouthed mama now turns out tweets, blogs and Facebook posts for the non-profit, which had previously experienced a tough time in staying consistent with social media upkeep. Being reformed “talks too much and passes notes” kids ourselves, we love channeling real life conversation into digital engagement. Naturally, it makes sense to have the person who always has something to say be in charge of posting your company’s message online. These types are more likely to engage with followers in lively conversations.

And while part of what makes social media marketing so much fun is the fact we get to talk to our customers and find out what’s on their minds, there is a fine line between delightfully conversational and downright annoying. Make sure your chatty social media maven knows how to rein it in before you give him or her the keys to your Twitter or Facebook kingdom. Lately, we’ve seen dozens of disastrous results when a blabbing and belligerent employee takes over Twitter to wreak havoc. From big clothing companies to airlines, the wrong person in charge of social media can cause complete PR nightmares.

But if you have a lovable, trusted and well-spoken big mouth who needs something to do, social media and blogging might just be their dream job and could be great for your brand.

5 Things You Might Have Missed

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So many crazy, informative, strange, stories— so little time. Thankfully we’ve hand picked a bushel of the best things happening right now in online marketing, social media and branding.

1.) Your What Talks?!?: We’ll gracefully avoid making any “douchey” jokes and let the outspoken lady parts in this series of online ads for Summer’s Eve do the talking, instead. These frank spots for feminine hygiene branded with the tagline “Hail to the V” are either groundbreaking or highly stereotypical and offensive. Either way, it’s a totally talked about and list-worthy campaign.

2.) Twittering Presidential Wannabes: When the GOP presidential hopefuls took to Twitter to debate the issues on Wednesday, there were three things that stood out: A.) Twitter as a political debate platform certainly has its limitations. B.) In order for people to care about Twitter campaigns, they need to be properly promoted, and C.) Obama and his social media marketing have this whole thing in the bag.

3.) The Big Apple Handpicked by New Yorkers: MyBlockNYC.com is an awesome new crowsourced site which allows New Yorkers to give virtual visitors a real look at the city that never sleeps. The site is a creative and social look at tourism from the people who live in New York. And it’s a trend we hope spreads to other cities.

4.) Plus or Minus: This great editorial from the thoughtful folks at good made us think about who we want to add as our Google+ friends. Google+ has had an estimated 18 million visitors so far and the way we friend — and market — on the site is bound to be a topic we continue to discuss.

5.) Rocking the Brostache: Okay, we know this is a few weeks old, but if you don’t watch Hulu as much as we do you might have missed the hilarity of Gieco’s new commercial and accompanying “brostache” smartphone app. It’s the kind of funny digital and mobile marketing folks love from Geico and far be it from us to dispute the power of a virtual moustache.

Social Yet Anonymous?

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It was only a matter of time before a group of rebels started their own social network — and that time is now. Fed up with getting kicked off Google Plus, Your Anon News, along with the members of its parent hacktivist organization Anonymous, soon will launch the media platform AnonPlus. While we doubt a group of hackers can singlehandedly take down Google or Facebook, DIY social networks are all the rage and could push the masses into niche social media marketing.

Anonymous once had higher and mightier political aspirations: The organizers have set their hacking sites on big business and corrupt countries like Tunisia. But the goal with AnonPlus is simple — poke holes in and take the wind out of the sails of big-time social media conglomerates. By being anonymous, the group is encouraging users to hang onto their privacy and identity. A social network that doesn’t require all of your deepest secrets from your favorite color to your phone number is something revolutionary, indeed. AnonPlus certainly raises eyebrows with its promises and political manifesto, but the fact of the matter is that the homemade social network has been on the rise for a while. We’ve been tracking independent social media sites for months, most of which are bent to a specific audience. And whether it’s a network of farmers or people in recovery from addiction, these sites all look and act like the big boys but with a smaller, tailor-made audience.

As to what AnonPlus will look like or when it will come out, the details are being kept under wraps. What we do know is that the message is clear: If you’re tired of the big social networks, start your own.