Use Pictures in Blog Posts

Use Pictures in Blog PostsAdding photos your blog posts is a great way to encourage visitors to stick around and read more of your post.

As humans, we seek out and relate to visual media. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and while cliché, it’s also true. Relevant images help readers better relate to the content on the page. Add in the fact that the internet is an inherently visual medium, and you can’t deny that visual cues are important for digital marketing today.

Using Images in Social Media

Wired and many other organizations have recently begun adding images to their tweets to increase the visual interest and to encourage more people to click through to the article.

Seeing an image in your Twitter or Facebook timelines makes the post stand out more than if it were a simple text link.

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Content Strategy

Content StrategyIn a world where content truly is king, you should seriously consider blogging as part of your overall marketing strategy. Regardless of what industry you’re in, creating compelling content with authority can go a long way toward putting your company at the top of your customers’ minds.

An effective blog and content strategy could include behind-the-scenes looks at your company or employees, authoritative information about some of the best places to visit or see in your area, answers to frequently asked questions about your company or industry, or a look at current events and how they could affect your company or customers.

Click on the button below to let us know why you’re interested in blogging or content strategy.

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Four On Friday: Social Media Recap

Check out these articles to see what you may have missed this week:

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1: Facebook Ads Become Dramatically More Transparent | AllFacebook

Social Mediarology thinks: This is a simple but beneficial change for Facebook users and for advertisers. The ad’s URL only displays if it’s taking you off Facebook.com. So you still won’t know exactly where the on-site ads will take you, but this is a great step forward in transparency for all Facebook users.

2: Windows Live Outsources Blogging, Migrating 30 Million Users To WordPress.com | TechCrunch

Social Mediarology thinks: Four years ago, Microsoft launched Windows Live Spaces, a blogging platform for Live.com users (the successor to MSN and what preceded Bing). Over the past four years, WLS has racked up 30 million users and starting now, those users are being migrated over to WordPress.com – the world’s largest blogging site. This is a great move for Microsoft, because it will give their users more robust features through the WordPress interface and it allows Microsoft to focus their efforts where they’re more urgently needed (Windows 7 phone?)

3: Get at Clue: What do People Remember About Your Site?ReadWriteWeb

Social Mediarology thinks: Clue is a great free web design usability tool that can help you as you’re in the process of redesigning your website. Enter the URL you want to test into Clue and they’ll spit out another URL for you to share for feedback. Users are given five seconds to view your page then they’re asked what they recall from the page. Each Clue ‘test’ is live for 48 hours and results are easy to view – just add a + to the end of the test URL and you can see the results.

4: Don’t Let the Intern Run Your Social Strategy | Travel 2.0

Social Mediarology thinks: Troy does it again with another great post about managing your company’s social strategy. While interns may have a greater degree of technical knowledge, they shouldn’t necessarily be the front-lines of your social strategy. The first step toward a successful social strategy is buy-in from the top of your organization.

Interview: Troy Thompson of Travel 2.0

Travel 2.0

Welcome to our series of interviews with local (and sometimes national) leaders in the social media and technology industry that will be featured on Social Mediarology. Today’s interview is with Troy Thompson of Travel 2.0, a Denver-based blog and digital consulting company focused on the travel and tourism industry

Travel2dot0.com
@Travel2dot0

Troy Thompson – Travel 2.0

Troy ThompsonTroy has been involved in interactive marketing for the past 13 years. After starting his career at NASCAR in Florida, he was integral in launching their interactive department in the late ’90s. After nearly a decade with NASCAR, Troy moved to Arizona to become the Advertising Manager for the Arizona Office of Tourism. During his time at AOT, Troy headed up the social media division and recently moved to Denver to manage Visit Denver‘s interactive marketing department, including social media, mobile, SEO and more. Earlier this year he decided to break out on his own and dive into tourism technology consulting.

The Travel 2.0 blog started while Troy worked for Arizona Tourism as regular email updates about interactive marketing to the AOT staff and quickly evolved into a blog that could reach people far beyond the Arizona Office of Tourism. Now, thousands of people throughout the world read the Travel 2.0 blog each week and Troy is considered a thought leader in the interactive travel and tourism community.

The consulting arm of Travel 2.0 launched in June, 2010 and focuses on social media strategy/social media audits, mobile strategy including iPhone applications, statistical analysis, training and tourism marketing plan development.

What are some current and upcoming trends in the travel industry as it relates to technology?

The two trends we’re in right now that are still progressing are mobile and location based services (LBS). They certainly go hand in hand, but mobile feels a lot like it did in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when everyone realized the web wasn’t going away so they started to shift more budget and create functional websites. I see this a lot within the mobile space. It’s following a very similar pattern where people are saying “I think this mobile thing is going to stick around, I think the iPhone is going to be a solid platform to build on” and they’re shifting some dollars over to address that need. The challenge is that you don’t want to fall into the same trap we all did when we built our first websites – looking for the cheaper option, just doing the basics and not thinking long term. I think a lot of us built a website in 10 years ago and have had to rebuild the site every couple of years, and I think we’re now getting to the point where people are thinking more long term and more strategically about what the site is and what it needs to be. I’m hopeful that we’ll start to take that same approach with mobile – thinking long term rather than short term. While I think there will be a lot of transition within the mobile space in the next decade or so, building a good base at the beginning will help set you up for success in the long run.

As far as location-based services go, Foursquare seems to be the media darling of LBS.

If 2009 was Twitter’s year, it’s fair to say that 2010 is shaping up to be the year of Foursquare. I think with the recent launch of Facebook Places, LBS’s will just become more important, particularly for the travel industry.

The fact that you’ll be able to have geographic information about your visitor while they’re in your area becomes very powerful. Right now, while the tools aren’t there to completely take advantage of that, those tools will surely come about soon. Taking advantage of a one-on-one communication with someone visiting your local Art Museum will be just as easy as setting up an email campaign or a Google Adwords campaign.

The final trend I’m seeing is tracking. It’s been the big demand of everyone, not just within the travel industry, but everyone who’s been involved in the mobile or social media field. How do we track all of these these things and connect the dots between websites, SEO, mobile marketing, social media marketing, and how do we get the accurate tracking to be able to quantify the ROI that we’re putting into these new spaces. I feel like that’s coming along. It depends on how much information the consumer wants to give out about themselves, but I think that’s an area where we’ll see some more big strides over the next two or three years.

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Blog Indiana 2010 Recap

Blog Indiana 2010

I spent Friday at Blog Indiana, a great social media and blogging conference  based in Indianapolis. It was a great chance to run into some social media and tourism people from Indianapolis and a chance to finally put a face to some names I’ve gotten to know through social media.

Day 1 Highlights:

Thanks to Noah Coffey (@NoahWesley) and Sean Plew (@HoosierPlew) as well as all the other presenters for putting on a great conference this year.

Four On Friday: Social Media Recap

Since I’ll be at BlogIndiana tomorrow, I’m posting the weekly Four On Friday a day early. Here are some great posts from the past week about social media:

1: Facebook Places Makes Location a Commodity | ReadWriteWeb

Social Mediarology thinks: With Wednesday’s release of Facebook Places, what does this mean for location-based services in general and for Foursquare and Gowalla specifically? This post hints at the idea that the commoditization of location that Facebook Places could provide might just allow services like Foursquare and Gowalla to focus on providing rich features to users, rather than having to spend so much time on location accuracy.

2: The 8 Wrong Questions PR Firms are Asking About Social Media | Convince and Convert

Social Mediarology thinks: Instead of clamoring to make sure you can provide social media service to your clients, make sure you can provide the RIGHT social media service to your clients. These tips can be extracted for whatever industry you happen to work in, not just if you work at a PR firm.

3: 100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition | Smashing Magazine

Social Mediarology thinks: Smashing Magazine delivers a fantastic list of 100 free WordPress themes. Take a look through to find what you’re looking for. Read our How To: Choose a Blogging Platform for Your Organization post to see if WordPress makes the most sense for your business.

4: BlogIndiana 2010

Social Mediarology thinks: We’ll be out of the office today at Blog Indiana 2010. This great event, now it it’s 3rd year, features 35 different speakers from across the country talking about all kinds of digital topics, from blogging to social media and everything in between. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to check it out in 2011.