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Picks of the Week: Jan. 22-28, 2011

In this week's picks, we offer insight on blog commenting, Quora for business, engaging your Facebook community, entrepreneurial journalism, and writing a killer press release. Enjoy!

Marketing Strategy and Social Media

Recommendations for Blog Commenting as a Marketing Strategy

Leveraging blog comments as part of your marketing strategy can increase brand awareness, drive direct traffic and improve search engine rankings. In this post, Rand Fishkin explains these benefits and provides blog-commenting recommendations, including:

  • Read the last five posts by that author, at least three posts worth of comments and all previously posted comments on the thread prior to submitting.
  • As a general rule of thumb, write “more than one Tweet, but less than a blog post.”
  • Don’t link to your own content more than once in a comment. Strive to make your comments promotion free.
  • Be authentic about who you are. Use your real name and photo, and explain why you’re there.
  • Share your comment on social networks. Bloggers appreciate the promotion; therefore, it can help establish goodwill.

For the full list and details, read Rand’s complete post.

Social Media

Quora for Business Not Allowed, But You Should Still Monitor and Respond

Jeremiah Owyang discusses the relevance of Q&A social media site, Quora, for businesses. He compares the new platform to LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers, and explains that it presents an opportunity for individuals to support their brand's online presence, as well as establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. 

Currently, Quora does not allow corporate/branded accounts, but this does not limit companies from securing a presence on the platform. Jeremiah offers several levels of adoption that businesses can implement:

  1. At minimum, monitor the discussions about your brand.
  2. Designate a member of your team to respond to discussions when needed.
  3. Encourage identified brand representatives to respond to relevant questions that help help them demonstrate expertise and thought leadership.

For more on Quora, including several of its limitations, see the complete post.

6 Steps to a Healthy Facebook Community

As more organizations turn to Facebook for building community and engagement with their audiences, many may not be prepared for the commitment involved with managing a successful, thriving page. In this post, Michael Della Penna offers a guide to building, nurturing, moderating and evolving Facebook business pages

This includes the not-so-fun parts, like managing negative comments or experiencing a lack of engagement. There are, however, proactive steps that an organization can take to build a solid foundation, such as the creation and enforcement of a user commenting policy. 

As Michael describes in Step 5, Foster Trust: "Being open isn't always easy. Many brands shy away from social media out of fear that their fans and followers may say something negative or turn on them. Deal with issues and problems in an open, transparent way. In fact, if you've done a good job offering value and engaging those who like your page, you may find these same people to be your biggest defenders."

For an example of community in action, read Debbie Williams’ article, How a 50-Year-Old Consumer Brand Engages Their Audience on Facebook.

Content Marketing & Journalism

How Entrepreneurial Journalism Will Change Our World

In this post, Rohit Bhargava addresses the question: “What does the new business model for journalism need to be in a world where the average citizen is increasingly expecting journalism to be a service provided for free?”

As a potential solution, Rohit shares insight into the concept of entrepreneurial journalism — that is, a field of media where journalism is the underlying discipline upon which to create content-based businesses and services that can make money.” In other words: brands that commit to content marketing, act as publishers and provide valuable content to their potential buyers, can potentially disrupt not only their own markets, but the journalism market as well.

Read Rohit’s complete article for an articulate look at this potential journalism model, as well as four examples of how it’s shaping up.

Public Relations

The 6 Essential Steps to Writing a Killer Press Release

In addition to helping you spread your news, optimized press releases can simultaenously provide SEO benefits. But, what does it take to create a press release that drives results? Jiyan Wei shares the following suggestions:

  1. Craft a hook that tells a remarkable story.
  2. Grab readers’ attention with a compelling headline.
  3. Avoid confusing your audience with industry jargon.
  4. Give readers a complete package of supporting resources, including relevant photos, videos, articles, etc.
  5. Proofread your release for errors.
  6. Share your news using a wire service and social media.

Read the complete post for details. And, for support on these and a few additional tips — our favorites being focused on release organization, and tying the release to a larger news story when possible — see Dave Manzer’s article, 7 Deadly PR Sins Committed on PRWeb.com.

And, as a bonus, today we’re suggesting a Bookmark of the Week: Edelman Trust Barometer Presentation Slideshow. This presentation has some great takeaways for marketers, and is worth reviewing and bookmarking for future reference. Example screenshot:

Edelman's Trust Barometer

What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

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