Business, Business writing, Marketing

Excel with Business Blogging: The Customer’s Voice

ID-10034913Capturing the customer’s voice is a value-added feature for a blog because it invites people to share their thoughts and ideas. A customer’s voice is captured in the comments that are made on the blog’s platform. Comments providing stories about how the customer uses your product or service are golden. They uncover new techniques, tricks and tips that can benefit your customers and help your research team, sales team, marketers and product developers. Most importantly, these stories can express the value of your offerings.

Customers are more prone to share their thoughts about a business’ products and services when they have developed a relationship. Remember, how you respond to a customer’s comments on your blog speaks volumes about your business. The response can encourage more interaction and more valuable information. Typically, the more ongoing the interaction, the more the business learns its customer’s needs and wants and the more comfortable the customer feels sharing the information.

The relationship you create with your customers can instill confidence that their voice will be heard. Research has shown that the customer’s voice can predict customer retention. It’s positively linked to behavioral intentions that  increase future purchases. It can generate favorable word of mouth, and it influences other customer’s willingness to engage in marketing research initiatives, such as surveys that can help with the evaluation of advertising campaigns and insight on unfulfilled customer needs.

The positive interactions you have with your customers via conversations occurring in your comment section can help heighten the comfort level customers have toward your business.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

Images courtesy of phanlop88/

Business, Business writing, Marketing, Small business

Excel with Business Blogging: Niche Blog



A blog can solidify your connection with your clients. It can establish your reputation and credibility. Browse the blogosphere and you’ll find several blogs covering various topics. However, you’ll likely come across blogs abandoned or rarely updated compared those that are active and frequently updated with fresh content.

The overwhelming amount of blogs may intimidate you as you begin to create your own blog. It may appear that every topic has been addressed more than once. However, don’t let it discourage you. Your unique approach on a topic and passion will bring you success.

Begin your niche blog

The more specific your niche the more likely you’ll build traffic because the content isn’t commonly discussed; and, for some visitors, it’s like finding a rare gem. Your unique approach encourages readers to keep coming back for more.

People often visit your site in their spare time; therefore, the niche and content needs to be appealing to continue to draw traffic. Here are some ways to help define your content, create a theme and make your blog unique.

  • Describe your topic in detail. Leave no stone unturned by discussing all of its components.
  • Compare and contrast your topic with other subjects
  • Uncover the origins of your topic and explain its history, evolution and events that influenced it and what it has influenced.
  • Discuss how others have approached the topic and argue for and against it.
  • Find out how the topic has been applied to provide solutions to challenging problems.

Evaluate your blog posts

Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with a structure for a blog post. Begin with a draft or an outline that answers the questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

Get creative

Elevate your creativity and keep eyeballs glued to your content with writing prompts. A writing prompt maybe a single word, short phrase, paragraph or picture that encourages an idea to help you write and it helps encourage your creativity. Here are some examples:

  • It was the beginning of spring
  • The meteorite flashed across the sky
  • The joyous glint in her eyes

Websites like can give you more prompts to help fuel your creativity. It’s possible to create your own writing prompts by using headlines from the news, a phrase from a conversation you heard or from inspirational quotes.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

Image Courtesy of  Boykung/

Business, Business writing, Career, Marketing, Small business

*New* Business Blog Series: Excel with Business Blogging

Many of you have asked me how to develop your own blog, so I created a new course on Udemy called: Excel With Business Blogging. I am also going to submit a blog post each week discussing ways for you to develop your own blog and to improve your blog post.

First, here’s more information about the course:


Do you want to create deeper relationships with your customers to build brand loyalty?


This course offers an effective way to IMPROVE YOUR BLOGGING ACTIVITIES via a STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS


The Excel with Business Blogging course PROVIDES you with:

  • AN OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS BLOGGING: Learn how blogging gives your brand a personality
  • CRITICAL WRITING TECHNIQUES: Find out how to get creative with your content.
  • BLOGGING GUIDE: This guide acts as textbook for the course.  It provides you with additional information and emphasizes important concepts.
  • CASES STUDIES: Discover effective methods from top business blogs.
  • A CONTENT PLAN: Create a plan that addresses timing, quality, topics, legal risks and policies.
  • AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR DEMO: We don’t just tell you about we arm you with the tools to set up your editorial content today.
  • TEMPLATES: You’ll receive templates for your editorial roadmap calendar, blogging policy, blogging privacy policy and blogging comment policy.




J. Nemetvaraga writes:  “Great course!” I found Brigitte’s approach in presenting this course absolutely spot on; because the lecture material had been presented in a way that it was easy to digest the information and more importantly to the point!”

L. Valderas writes: “Awesome”


Craft a Solid Social Media Policy

ID-100144400Imagine the following occurring at your business. You hire a social media marketing agency to help develop and implement social media strategies for your brand’s advertising and marketing programs. You give the staff access to your corporate accounts. One day you learn that a staff member from the agency drops the F-bomb while tweeting about your industry on your corporate account.  This is the nightmare the Chrysler Group faced.

Crafting a social media policy that outlines your organizations’ guidelines for communicating online saves you from these types of public embarrassments.

Consider this incident.  You notice the Internet is slow. Your IT team works on the problem. They discover the problem is due to issues pertaining to the bandwidth. Too many items have been downloaded, and your IT team attributes those items to the thousands of minutes your employees consumed on Pandora and YouTube. This is a what Procter & Gamble endured.

Don’t let these incidents happen to you.

A social media policy helps you to manage and monitor discussions about the company as well as the use of social media networks by employees.

When you write your policy, account for the company’s personal ethics. In other words, ensure the policy upholds the values of the organization. The policy needs to have a strong legal backbone that addresses issues, such as securing trade secrets, compliance with federal and state laws, privacy and employee liability.  Keep the policy authentic. Even though many generic templates are available online your businesses policy must speak to the company’s culture and focus on the unique ways the business can give value on social networking platforms.

Start putting your policy together with a task force of social media evangelists at your company and upper management. Outline an approval process and determine who’ll have authority over the social media networks. Clearly establish the content identifying what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable. Next, do some research. Find effective social media policies and learn how these policies are evolving by visiting the National Labor Relations Board. The Board puts out a report that discusses different social media policies.

Remember, a social media policy avoids risks by protecting the company’s online brand.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Business, Extra

CEOs’ Use of Facebook

hand working businessMore CEOs are gravitating toward social media to capture insightful information and to participate in online chats and conversations. One popular social networking site they are choosing to appear on is Facebook.

Facebook has dominated the social networking landscape. It has more than one billion active users. An estimated 143 million Americans have a Facebook profile, according to a 2012 “Social Habit” report from Edison Research and Arbitron, and many of them are dedicated users.   The report found nearly a quarter of Facebook users check their account at least five times a day.

Researchers for the 2012 Social CEO study combed through Facebook filtering out CEOs with accurate profiles, relevant content and a good number of followers. They found as many as 38 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies use the site.

However, Edison Research and Arbitron’s discovery that Facebook is the dominant platform for brand-following behavior and that it’s the network that influences respondents buying decisions the most is resonating with CEOs.

Some businesses hear “Facebook” and only think its relevant to the B2C side of business; however, they’re mistaken. The social media platform can serve their B2B side as well.  In fact, Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report learned the 43 percent of B2B companies who were questioned acquired their customers using Facebook.

They use the platform to build awareness, generate leads and build thought-leadership.  In addition, they customize offers throughout each stage of the sales funnel to connect with people on Facebook.

CEOs can take advantage of the Facebook’s social networking platform by providing their perspectives and insight, responding to customer feedback, seeking suggestions for new products and services and understanding EdgeRank.

Photo Courtesy:

Do you think CEOs should have a presence on Facebook? Why or why not?










Read more:

Understanding Edge Rank

Learn more on this topic in the ExecSense webinar, “CEO Best Practices for Using Facebook to Land New Customers.”


Business, Career, Marketing

Screening Job Candidates Online

Social networking conceptJob recruiters circumvent traditional methods when pursuing a job candidate with a few taps on a keyboard. The old methods involved an advertisement, a short list of candidates to interview and a list of their best references.

Now, recruiters use a more cost-effective approach to find and screen top job candidates: social media.
In fact, CareerBuilder, an online job site, produced a recent study that found more employers are using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn additional information about job applicants.
Nearly 39 percent of employers it looked up information about job candidates online; yet, within that amount nearly half of these employers found information that led them not to hire a candidate. This information included provocative and inappropriate photos. On the other hand, almost one in four employers found information that influenced their decision to hire the candidate, such as a professional-looking profile.
Social media gives employers the opportunity to peer into an individual’s personal life. This glimpse has consequences. Employers who rely on the information found on social media to make hiring decisions are opening themselves to an array of legal troubles and headaches.
Photo Credit:

3 Ways to Boost Your Edge Rank Score

equationLearning your Edge Rank score is important because it lets you know how significant your Facebook page is to those who “like” it, and it helps you to increase its exposure.

The lower a brand’s Edge Rank value the less updates are seen by consumers. Brands that score well tend to offer more media-rich content.

Here are three ways to boost your Edge Rank  score and online presence.

1. Make your posts more visual. Use photos and videos to help explain your content. They are a  quick way to get people’s attention because it catches the customer’s eye. For instance, instead of writing lengthy posts, post a picture that links to an article or website. Find unique photos related to your industry and put a caption beside them.

2. Consider the time of day when posting content.  Aim for times when people are most active on Facebook, such as mid-afternoon, evenings and weekends.

3. Keep content interesting, short and fresh.  Keep updates consistent. Some brands have themes for certain days of the week. Add deals and discounts to your posts to lure customers and prospects and consider Facebook sponsored promotions.  Ask questions to encourage engagement, and use fill-in-the-blanks to get people thinking. For instance, if you work in the food industry, try something like:

“My favorite food is _______,”


“Tonight, I am looking forward to having ___________for dinner.”

You can find out how to boost your page rank by going to

Read more:

Understanding Edge Rank