For social media, Facebook has the numbers

Pew Internet reports that Facebook is far and away the most popular social media site for adults.

Publicize blog to social media graphicIt’s cold and lonely on the cutting edge. But some people like to be there. Like my hip friend who sniffed that “nobody cool uses Facebook any more.” (Shades of Yogi Berra’s “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”)

Cool be damned.

The latest report from Pew Internet shows that as of September 2013, 71 percent of online adults use Facebook. Compare that to adult use of other social networking platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram), which Pew says hovers between 17 and 22 percent.

So we would like to focus our social media marketing efforts…where?

Actually, you can easily cover all the bases — Facebook and many more— by blogging your message. Then use your blogging software’s Publicize feature to send a linked excerpt of the blog post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Metrics software such as StatCounter, Google Analytics, or a built-in statistics program like the one in WordPress will tell you which social media platform brings the most click-throughs to your original content.

Just curious — did you come to this post from one of those platforms?

Corporate bloggers: Stop competing against Perez Hilton

Stop competing against Perez Hilton. Instead, start using the power of a corporate blog to compete against your actual competition.

There’s blogging…and there’s corporate blogging. Today I’m going to talk about the difference.

Individuals, news organizations, and political groups blog for blogging’s sake. And those blogs live and die by their content: Quality of writing; freshness of information; originality (or outrageousness) of ideas.

Quick — name three individual blogs, news blogs, or political blogs.

Easy: Huffington Post. Robert Scoble. The Unofficial Apple Weblog. Perez Hilton. Gizmodo.

Now name three corporate blogs.


Not so easy.

Just because they aren’t wildly popular doesn’t mean that corporate blogs don’t have their place. Done properly, they can be extremely powerful tools to drive traffic, drive sales, and enhance recognition of a brand, products, or services.

What’s difficult to grasp is that, unlike non-corporate blogs, corporate blogs don’t accomplish these things through great writing, fresh information, or original or outrageous ideas.  They accomplish these results through hard work and smart SEO. Here’s how:

1. They consistently put fresh content on the top tier of the company’s website (which improves search rank for the whole site).

2. They use carefully researched keywords and keyword phrases in headlines, blog text, links, and excerpts. This eventually positions the company near the top of search results for those frequently searched keywords.

3. They link appropriately to other highly ranked websites.

4. They harness WordPress or other user-friendly blogging software to automatically send (keyworded) excerpts with links (think of them as teasers) to the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. This makes the resources invested in the blog post go much further.

For reasons too complex and varied to go into here, few companies are willing to admit that their blogs are simply a tool. And, as a result, they miss out on the powerful results that tool can accomplish.

There’s no way that the carefully screened, days-old corporate information or flattering customer stories that make up corporate blog posts can compete with Perez Hilton or Engadget for readership. Few people read them; all people will ever see of those posts is excerpts on Twitter or on a page of Google search results. (And yet, properly written and keyworded, those excerpts can be very effective in conveying a company’s branding to thousands of viewers.)

To make the situation even worse, many companies fail to invest in the sort of professional SEO analyses that would tell them which keywords to use in their blogs (and on their websites). Instead, they guess about keywords — and often end up emphasizing keywords they already “own” via Google (such as the unique names of their products) rather than the phrases prospective customers are using to try to find their products and services. In the non-intuitive world of keywording, it can even be beneficial to violate the old taboo against mentioning the competition. By mentioning your competition or a competing product on a webpage or blog, you can end up with visitors who started off looking for the competitor’s product but got search results that lured them into viewing your product, on your site, instead. (Chances are your competition is already doing this.)

Bottom line: Stop trying to compete against Perez Hilton! Instead, start using the power of a corporate blog to compete — against your actual competition.

A few words about WordPress

I know quite a few bloggers who are thinking of switching over to WordPress. My advice is: Do it.

After listening to Andru Edwards of GearLive Media making gentle fun of people whose blogs are hosted on their blogging software sites (“”) I took the plunge and got a WordPress blog. (This one.)

I like it.

But I soon discovered that a lot of the cool things you can do with WordPress, such as running ads, are for blogs that are self hosted. My blog is hosted on, and they don’t allow ads (except for on special VIP accounts for blogs “on par with the Wall Street Journal.”)

If you have a web hosting service you trust (and I do) getting your blog moved over or set up on that outside host is easy. But once you’ve moved it, you are now responsible for updating your version of WordPress yourself. (If you’re hosted at, they do it automatically.) And, if you want to install a new WordPress theme, or simply change a template image, you’ll be on your own. That means dealing with FTP uploads or using some host’s arcane, proprietary file manager software to rummage around in a server hierarchy. ( provides an easy interface for these.)

Maintaining your own software is not a big deal? Don’t be so sure. Just about every small company I’ve assisted with blogging has a message on their WordPress admin panel saying that their WordPress software needs to be updated. And they never seem to know how to get it updated. (In one instance, the software was so woefully out of date that I attempted to figure out how to get it updated for them. And ended up utterly baffled.)

ataI’ve just assisted a client in setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog, and in this case was asked to select and install a theme. (“Just make it happen!”)

Writer Way uses a particularly user-friendly theme (PressRow, by Chris Pearson) and I’d found it a breeze to customize. Turns out that not all WordPress themes are so simple to handle. The theme I selected for my client was Atahualpa (by Bytes for All). It’s named after the last Incan emperor of Peru. My experience was, shall we say, an exotic adventure.

Atahualpa turns out to be supremely configurable, with so many complex options that my head began to swim. The code might as well have been written in Quecha, for all I could understand it.

The client was in a hurry, and I was in over my head. But, somehow, I got a customized header image installed (thank you, iStock) and disabled the default floral images (so not my client’s style!).

The final product? Gorgeous.

I know quite a few bloggers who are thinking of switching over to WordPress. My advice is: Do it.

But host the site on a server where you can get a fair amount of hand-holding in terms of setup and updates — this is definitely the time to go with a small, local web hosting service instead of And spend some time evaluating WordPress templates before you select one: you’ll be getting to know it very, very well.

Gotta go. I think they just released a new version of Atahualpa.

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