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Excel with Business Blogging: Avoid Corporate Speak

ID-100217746In many corporate environments, business professionals often default into a speech pattern that’s dressed up in business jargon and riddled with words.

Cluttered business communications consisting of complex sentences with lingo and acronyms specific to the corporate environment can cause readers’ eyes to glaze over. In addition, key messages become buried to the point that their relevance is lost and confusing. Here’s an example The OxfordWords blog provides that comes from a memo:

“Going forward, all stakeholders in National Memo Day will be tasked to proactively think outside the box and produce a synergistic vision for growing the impact of this day on the national consciousness.”

In your efforts to persuade, motivate or inspire your blog readers, take the following steps to get rid of corporate speak:

1.)   Read the Content Out Loud: Recruit another colleague to silently read the content with you as you read the material out loud. This person can check for grammar, spelling, jargon and clarity.

2.)   Keep It Simple: Simplify the information you are presenting and get right to the point

3.)   Intrigue with Storytelling: Bring readers along on your business’ journey. Tell them about all your adventures, your challenges and triumphs and encourage them to share their stories as well.

Corporate speak can lead to confusion and communication, keep your readers’ attention, so they can take the action you request and become a part of your community.

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 franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

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Excel with Business Blogging: Blogs as Marketing Tools

Blog

  • Blogs organize, create and distribute content
  • Blogs are repositories of information
  • Business blogs focus on a niche

Several marketing tools exist, but when the right one is used it can boost business growth and revenue. When blogs are used as a marketing tool for a business, they can help organize, create and distribute content. This content may consist of a recent press release, audio from a conference or a corporate announcement, photos from events, video of a new building site or a product demonstration. Blogs combine all of this information into a nice repository for employees and customers to access.

Blogs chronicle activities and events much like diaries or journals. They have been in existence for a short while. The first blog, according to New York Magazine, was created in 1994 by Swarthmore student Justin Hall on Links.net. Three years later, an online diarist, John Berger gave the activity a name, “weblog.” By 1999 programmer Merholz to what “blog” and later that year the first popular free blog-creation service came about known as “Blogger.”

Today, blogs are ubiquitous and used often in business. Business blogs differ from a personal blog because they focus on a niche topic, whereas personal blog covers a gamut of topics. Many businesses have recognized the value they bring.  Customers gravitate to they offer information that doesn’t involve a hard sell.

A business blog can generate a loyal following when it educates and connects with the readers and this is achieved with a well-defined focus and a message that inspires and interests your target demographic.

Blogs are an effective marketing tool because they house a business’ content and create value. Marketing messages are intertwined in the narrative in subtle way and products and services are offered through a soft sell.

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

 

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CEOs are Embracing Social Media

Many businesses realize involving the CEO in its social media activities raises a company’s thought leadership and credibility. CEOs reap these benefits including a raised profile.

CEOs interest in social media over the past couple of years has grown. They are curious about what customers have to say, and they are listening to the conversations that are occurring online. The CEOs who participate in online activities understand the need to relate with the company’s customers and its prospects.

Slowly, they have increased their visibility on company websites and videos.

CEOs Social Media Resistance

The process of CEOs joining online conversations has been slow because some CEOs haven’t felt the need to communicate on social media. They’ve reasoned if business is good than what’s the point. Others have questioned the return on the investment. However, this way of thinking doesn’t work anymore. Customers are asking questions and they are looking for companies that are more socially responsible.

Customers are drawn to company’s that are more socially conscious, such as those brands that have incorporated social and environmental causes into their mission.  They’re looking for brands to demonstrate their passion for causes on social media, and this is encouraging companies to communicate.

In addition, concerned CEOs also feared risks, such as security breaches and data privacy; and, they worried about negative feedback. However, if CEOs and businesses arm themselves with a solid social media strategy and social media policy, these situations are often avoided.

The Benefits of a CEOs Social Media Presence

As a leader of an organization CEOs have a pulpit where they can share their voice. They can use it as an opportunity to empower a community, nurture the culture of the workplace, set the tone of the work environment, inspire and encourage people to reach their goals.

A CEO’s participation is critical because it fosters a dialogue and relationships. If offers transparency, especially when success and mistakes are acknowledged because it creates authenticity which can build trust.

The engagement of C-suite executives on social media makes them better equipped to lead a company, communicate values and shape a company’s reputation, according to Brandfog’s 2012 first annual CEO, Social Media Leadership survey.

In addition, respondents of the social media leadership branding firm’s most recent survey viewed CEOs social engagement as a gateway to create deeper connections with customers, employees and shareholders. The 2013 survey, questioned 800 US and UK employees at startups and Fortune 1000 companies.

The analysis revealed 80.6 percent of survey respondents believe social media is an important communication channel. It offers CEOs  a chance to engage with customers and investors. In addition, 83.9 percent thought CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty.

“The role of the CEO has been transformed by social media and CEOs have no choice but to become more visible, social and accessible than ever before,” says Brandfog’s CEO Ann Charles in a company statement.

 

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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 CEO.com 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: GraphicStock.com

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

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Read more:

Understanding Edge Rank

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

 

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Business Blog Series: 4 Tips for Using Blogs in Corporate Environments

Blogs present many opportunities for corporate environments.

  1. A blog can be a resource for different departments to share their stories.
  2. C- suite executives position themselves as opinion leaders with the use of blogs.
  3. Blogs are used as an avenue for super fans of products and services to share their love for the product.
  4. Encouraging guest bloggers to participate helps elevate the conversation on the site.
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Using clients versus customers

I have noticed how some people developing business communications struggle with word relationships, such as the use of clients versus customers.

Many people make the mistake of using the word customers and clients interchangeably as if they are synonyms, but this is not the case. A client is a person who uses a professional service while customer is a buyer of products and merchandise from a business that’s not necessarily an individual or group of professionals.

The differences in their relationships are subtle, but either way a business patron is investing their time in the business and this creates an opportunity to develop a long-term relationship.