How to Discover Your Customers’ Favorite Social Media Platforms

Every few months, a hot, new social media tool hits the scene — Pinterest, Periscope, Foursquare, Blab — and some marketing experts make it sound like if you’re not using that new platform, you’re missing out.
That notion gives me a massive headache. Like everyone else, I feel pressured to have a presence on every social media platform, but I can’t possibly contribute to every one — at least not without doing a lousy job on all of them.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply focus our social media marketing efforts on one or two platforms we know our prospects use to share content and connect with one another?
But how do you know which social media sites to choose?
Smart social media marketing research
If you take a wild guess at your audience’s favorite social media platforms, you may guess incorrectly, resulting in wasted time and missed opportunities.
To avoid mistakes, conduct smart research, figure out which social media sites your audience prefers, and then spend the majority of your social media marketing efforts on those sites.
But that process isn’t as straightforward as you might think. I asked the smartest people I know in the marketing world where they would go to find this information, and I got a lot of different answers. It turns out, there’s no “magic website” you can use to do this research.
Let’s go through this slightly messy process, step by step, so you feel comfortable doing it for your own audience.
Step

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The Writer Runs This Show [SlideShare]

We have the technology.
We have the business skills.
We have virtual ink by the barrel.
The writer runs this show.
We’re the ones who command the attention.
We’re the ones who create the engagement.
We’re the ones who influence what people think and do.
The writer runs this show.
We won’t toil in obscurity waiting for a green-light.
We won’t submit to “creativity” by committee.
We won’t accept meager pay while others cash in our copyright.
The writer runs this show.
If you won’t read until your eyes blur.
If you won’t write more to write well.
If you won’t invest the blood, sweat, and tears . . .
Then you’ll have to work with real writers.
And pay those writers exceptionally well.
If they have the time, that is.
Because the writer runs this show.
Your words are the foundation of all online content
The words you write form the foundation of all online content, whether those words become a blog post, podcast, or video.
Check out our SlideShare dedicated to professional writers:

WORD by Copyblogger: a new free resource for writers

At Copyblogger, we believe writers deserve to feel fulfilled — emotionally and financially — in their careers.
Get our best advice in our new WORD ebook: a smart resource we put together for our writer friends.
Click to get WORD, a free ebook for writers
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on July 2, 2010.
The post The Writer Runs This Show [SlideShare] appeared first on Copyblogger.

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The Hubcast 101: Free Shirts, Conversion Rate Optimization, & HubSpot Training Day

Welcome back to The Hubcast, folks: A weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below, including some new HubSpot video tutorials …
The post The Hubcast 101: Free Shirts, Conversion Rate Optimization, & HubSpot Training Day appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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Rainmaker Rewind: How Neuroscientist Michael Grybko Defines Writer’s Block, Part One

This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Kelton Reid welcomes back research scientist Michael Grybko, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, to The Writer Files to unveil the mysteries of writer’s block from a scientific standpoint.
They also discuss why writers argue about the definition of writer’s block and how you can find your most productive writing time.
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

The Writer Files. Kelton Reid and Michael Grybko revisit the topic of writer’s block and what you can do to avoid it: How Neuroscientist Michael Grybko Defines Writer’s Block: Part One
The Digital Entrepreneur. Jerod Morris welcomes entrepreneur and podcaster Jon Nastor to the show to discuss the importance of finding your passion: The Two Biggest Keys to Consistently Doing Work That Matters
Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone navigates the messy waters of including controversial content in your marketing campaigns: 5 Suggestions When You’re Writing About Controversy
Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer. Sonia Simone explores goal setting and finding personal success: A Quick, Enjoyable Way to Sharpen your Vision, Goals, and Values
Hack the Entrepreneur. Jon Nastor interviews Kevin Kelly about finding your voice in a crowded internet space: Looking Back on 35+ Years Working Project-to-Project, with Kevin Kelly
The Missing Link. Sean Callahan of LinkedIn gives away his secrets to great writing and shares his thoughts on the best type of content to post on Pulse: LinkedIn’s Senior Manager of Content Marketing

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What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer?

I’ve been a writer for a long, long time. I’ve written something every day for around 30 years now. (Okay, I took about a week off when I had a C-section.)
I’ve been a content marketer since 2004, even though we didn’t call it that back then.
These days, I’m a Chief Content Officer — a job title that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
I love and respect writers, and I know a lot of them. Some are successful; some are struggling.
And I have some thoughts on what can make the difference.
You may know that we run a program to certify excellent writers as Certified Content Marketers.
What does that mean? What’s the difference between a good writer and a good content marketer?
(Spoiler alert: I kind of spilled the beans with the post image.)
But first things first: What is this content marketing thing, anyway?
Here’s how I’ve defined it in the past:
Content marketing is the strategic creation of text, imagery, audio, or video that delivers a relevant, interesting message to a customer or prospect, while at the same time paving the way for a sale.
Good content requires excellent writing. But the elements of strategy and structure need to be in place to get it to work as marketing. Which is, after all, what we get paid for.
So, here are five elements that separate high-quality content marketing from material that’s well-written but might not deliver the same business value.
1. It has to move the audience
You may have

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3 Unexpected Ways Writers Deliver Value (So They Can Charge More)

In today’s world, the writer runs the show.
Not just any writer, of course. The pennies-a-word scribe may barely scrape by. But the quality professional writer — the writer who demonstrates high value and trust from the moment of first contact all the way through to delivery of the final word — that person writes his own ticket to success.
Quality professional writers command attention online, whether they do it for themselves or for the businesses they represent. Writers influence behavior, help form opinions, and drive people to take action.
Great writers are the modern-day stonemasons of any online presence. Our words form the very foundation of all online content, whether those words become a blog post, a podcast, or a video. Writers rule the online world!
And successful professional writers do things differently.
They don’t stop at writing with authority. That’s just where they start. They also deliver outstanding value even in the most unexpected moments in their interactions with clients.
In today’s post, we’ll cover how successful writers deliver value in all three stages of a project: before, during, and after.
Value Phase #1: Before the first project begins
Writers set the stage for a quality customer experience before they write a single word for a new project. How can you do this in your own work?
Before you begin

Listen between the lines. Tune in to your client’s underlying frustrations. Take notes on his current situation. Listen closely when you hear your client talk about long-term goals and desired results.
Be flexible.

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How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if You Feel Like a Nobody

In this overcrowded online world, do you ever wonder why people would listen to your advice?
I used to feel the same way.
I didn’t understand why people would read my writing tips when the web is awash with writing advice from people more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more authoritative than me.
Why would anyone listen to me?
I’ve learned that mindset was flawed.
When I learned how to write well, a new world opened up. I connected with people across the world. I built a thriving blog. People started listening to my advice — and more importantly, they acted on it.
Can you make an impact with your words?
As writers, our toolbox may seem limited. We can’t shout. We can’t use body language. We can’t even bang on a table to add weight to a message.
We only have our words to communicate with passion and power.
But written words are enormously powerful. You know that. When was the last time words made you smile? Or cry? Or inspire you to take action?
Once you learn how to write with power, readers start listening to your ideas, acting on your advice, and buying your products and services. You can inspire change — even if you feel you don’t have the required clout or authority right now.
Want to learn how?
Step #1: Write with clarity and substance
Weak writing rambles, rattles, and prattles.
Powerful writing, in contrast, is simple and to the point.
Many writers misunderstand this …
Writing with

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Mad Marketing 99: Setting the Record Straight on Buyer Personas with Adele Revella

  Have you ever tried identifying your “buyer personas” as a company? Well, if you’ve been doing Inbound and Content Marketing over the past years, you liked have at least dipped your toes in these waters. But here is the thing: Most companies are doing buyer personas wrong. They really are. And in this interview,…
The post Mad Marketing 99: Setting the Record Straight on Buyer Personas with Adele Revella appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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The Essential Secret to Creating Powerful In-House Videos for Your Business

Recently, we were approached at The Sales Lion to help a real-estate company sell one of their premium homes—a listing well into the millions—and upon review of their needs my thoughts were simple—we needed to allow potential buyers to “see” the entire house, every room, every feature, and every aspect on video via the web…
The post The Essential Secret to Creating Powerful In-House Videos for Your Business appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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Try the Rainmaker Platform for Free (No Credit Card Required)

A lot has happened since we launched Rainmaker two years ago.
What started as an easier, more secure, and maintenance-free way to build a powerful website has become a complete digital marketing and sales solution.
The website aspects of the Platform are even more powerful, and are now complemented by integrated email, marketing automation, an online course builder, podcasting and content optimization tools, and much more.
I’ve spent a lot of time using the Platform myself over at Rainmaker.FM and Digital Commerce Institute, as well as my personal sites Unemployable and Further. This has been important for our software development process, because if we ran into something Rainmaker couldn’t do, we simply built it.
We had put off moving Copyblogger to the Platform, because a lot of what powers Rainmaker was custom-developed for this site years ago. More or less the same technology, until …
One day, I logged in to Copyblogger to get something done and realized I couldn’t do it myself like I could with our other sites. Rainmaker had left our legacy technology behind.
Naturally, I complained to the dev team. I didn’t tell them to do anything … I was mainly just venting.
So, they went ahead and moved Copyblogger to Rainmaker without telling me. The next time I logged in, it was a pleasant shock — after 10 years on WordPress, I saw the beautiful Rainmaker dashboard instead.
I think you’ll have a similar experience when you try Rainmaker for yourself. And the great thing is, we’re

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