I’ve got a whole bunch of good links for your mid-week browsing. Here we go:
1. Blogging: Add TwitterCounter to your blog to display how many people are following you on Twitter. I’ve added it over on the left, under the “Connect to Me” section.
2. Marketing: Price vs. customer service, which is more important? MarketingSherpa has a great chart that shows that companies often care more about customer service than price from their vendors. Losing customers? Maybe your pricing isn’t the problem. Maybe you need to take a good long look at your customer service. By the way, think about the implications for blogs, which are free to readers: The quality of what you provide to your readers, how you treat them, and how responsive you are to any comments or emails they send you may well determine how loyal they are.
3. Social media: Angela Connor is the community manager at WRAL.com here in North Carolina. She’s got a really cool blog foused on managing online communities, an increasingly important topic. Check it out.
4. Online marketing: Chris Brogan takes a look at how we can define the spectrum of social media marketing efforts, from banner ads at one end to dialogue between businesses and their customers. This helps to frame the slippery question of what should we do if we want to use social media marketing.
5. Writing: Copyblogger has links to two free teleclasses on copywriting and marketing. Free — so go forth and learn.
6. Social media: The Caffeinated Blog has eight tips for using StumbledUpon effectively. By the way, I love this blog’s name and wish I had thought of it first. But the blogger, Kari Rippetoe, has great content and is worth subscribing to. (And you can Stumble this post if you like — there’s a link at the bottom to make it easy.)
7. Management and career: Jeremiah points out that when you hire someone, you also get their network, including their online network. That can pose challenges for businesses, but it also brings opportunities. This is not a new idea, and applies to offline networks as well as online networks. In The Tom Peters Seminar, Peters describes the modern corporation as a Rolodex (the book was published in ’94, in the early days of the consumer Internet). The more experienced I get as a professional, the more I think that a greater and greater portion of my value as an employee comes from my existing network and my ability to nurture and grow that network. How are you working on your network?
8. Values: Christopher Penn reminds us that, to quote Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.” What are you using your powers of marketing and communications for?