As I began to expand my Twitterverse back in October 2010, I started coming across a variety of different PR, marketing, and social media blogs. While the “traditional” PR blogs offered good insights, I find myself taking more interest in posts and stories about how to effectively use social media as part of your marketing efforts. Although I have been studying traditional PR (among many other things), I’ve found that my interest lies more in the realm of social media marketing, and I’m one of the very lucky individuals that has secured a post-graduate career in my field of choice.
One blog that has offered me great insight and advice over the past 6 months or so is PRtini.com, written by Columbus resident owner of Geben Communications (@gebencomm) Heather Whaling (@prtini). Having had a personal chance to meet Heather and hear her speak in a class at Ohio State made reading her blog a “no-brainer,” but what lent to her credibility even more was her prominence in her field. Heather’s blog is recognized nationally as one that all PR/marketing professionals should be reading.
While much of her content focuses on social media in relation to PR, media pitching, blogger relations, etc., you can find occasional posts regarding social media in the world of marketing. Heather recently posted on her blog a link to a story she wrote for Mashable – “5 Ways Social Media Has Changed Marketing Campaigns.” What I liked most about Heather’s post is her format and her use of external sources. Typically, Heather’s posts contain a bulleted list with main points, which make for easy take-aways and mental notes. Heather also uses outside sources (typically other PR/marketing professionals) to back up her claims – and she includes their twitter handles.
That leads me to my next source of social media marketing news – Mashable.com (@mashable). I often peruse the Mashable site looking for insightful posts or posts that will help me with current endeavors. I often find one or two extremely useful posts per day, but I typically stumble upon (no, not using StumbleUpon) quite a few posts that I probably should read, but they don’t immediately spark my interest. What I like about Mashable posts is that authors often provide real examples of what companies around the world are doing. For example, today I read the post entitled “4 Creative Ways to Reward Your Facebook Fans.” Mashable writer Leyl Master Black (@mktgalchemist) shared specific examples of ways companies have increased their fan base and rewarded those fans.
Another feature of Mashable that has proven beneficial is searching for content by author. I often find that the author of a post I enjoyed reading and actually learned something about has authored posts in the past that are also relevant to my interests.
Pingdom.com reported that there are 152 million “blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse)” in January 2011. Finding the ones that fit your niche takes time and research, but in the realm of social media marketing, PRtini and Mashable.com are key providers of compelling content that any young PR/marketing professional will benefit from.