Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Be That Guy

Am I tense about tense and subject agreement? Yep. When I see a headline like:

Check Out an Employee Before You Hire Them

I think, 'fly-by-night company, or just plain sloppy?' Either way, it's not confidence-inspiring.

Business owners/managers, please hear this: your website should direct a reader's attention to the message, not to your grammatical errors. Trust me, I'm not a lone word snob. Those blunders will cost you potential customers. Business. Mooo-lah.

Have a professional writer, proofreader, high school English teacher, or a good high school English student (!) review your site for gaffes like the one above. Especially if you don't see the problem with the example above.

There. I'm done ranting for the day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practical Intro to Using Social Media

Outback Steakhouse is one company that's gotten a bang for its buck using Twitter and Facebook. But scads of companies are wasting their time (and $$) on social media "campaigns" that are just so much cyber-waste.

If you're in marketing/advertising/pr (or advising someone who is) I urge you to read this marketing brief from motivelab, which, before it launches into some very practical advice, acknowledges that social media is just good-old-fashioned word-of-mouth with a much speedier delivery mechanism, thanks to current technology.

Why it's worth the download and some thoughtful consideration: it reminds us how to use the old tried and true marketing theories online, on mobile devices, and such. Clarify your positioning is good advice that will never go out of style; figuring out how to do it (and not muck it up) using social media vehicles is what writers need to know, now.

As the article points out, very wisely, "Ultimately, your most influential audience are human beings, not computers, so don't let your SEO ambitions take the life out of your blog."

Of course, I translate that sentence into "content is still king." (If you've been paying attention, you're not surprised.)

If you've got a solid grounding in advertising or copywriting, do you need to read this? Yes. There are plenty of new twists marcomm writers need to understand.

For example, we still need to leverage the one- or two-percent response to convert good marketing into better sales.

See, the game hasn't changed; social networking is just like the new sharkskin-inspired swimsuit - and we all have to swim a little faster now.