Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Pros and Cons of Social Log-in Buttons

Facebook Social Login Button

(Attrib: Flickr/Rob Enslin)

When it comes to website design, speed and simplicity are key. It doesn’t take much for users to become confused or frustrated and abandon their intended action.

This applies particularly where user registration is concerned. Asking users to enter large amounts of data, or even minimal data in a confusing interface, can lead to users bouncing. For websites, that means lost conversions.

Social logins offer a method of drastically simplifying this process.

Social logins use existing social media network log-in data for a single sign-on process. The user simply chooses which network they would like to be associated with their new account, approves the login with their choice of social network, and that’s it (unless there is specific data that needs collecting). Social logins can drastically reduce the friction of the registration process. Continue reading

Should You Be Guest Blogging?

(Attrib: Flickr/opensourceway)

Guest blogging took off in a big way this year. It’s an increasingly popular way to spread brand awareness and an excellent adjunct to other inbound marketing strategies.

That said, the answer to the question in the headline is ‘No’. You should not be guest blogging.

That is, you shouldn’t be guest blogging if you think that any of the following are true:

  • Article banks are a great source of guest blog content.
  • Guest blogs don’t need to be of the same quality as the content on your own blog.
  • The same article, or a spun version, can be used for multiple blogs.
  • Guest blogging is a cheap way to get inbound links.

Take a look at this video from the estimable Matt Cutts if you’re curious why we have such a downer on guest blogging.

Continue reading

Eight Tools for Effective Content Curation


Content curation is the collection and sharing of interesting, informative, or entertaining content from within a particular niche. It’s a great way of establishing a reputation as an authority and gathering followers with a particular set of interests.

For businesses, content curation helps demonstrate expertise, is less expensive than content creation, and perhaps most importantly, contributes towards cultivating relationships with potential clients, customers, vendors, and partners.

In an age where social media and content marketing are blossoming, the sheer amount of content out there — of vastly variable quality — makes finding just the right material to share a potentially time-consuming endeavor. Continue reading

Buying Social Media Followers: Pros and Cons

Twitter 6x6

Twitter 6x6 (Photo credit: Steve Woolf)

Social media is an important part of modern marketing. Facebook has over a billion users; Twitter has become many people’s platform of choice for communication with companies; Pinterest has just become one of the thirty most visited sites on the web.

Businesses who have no social media presence are ignoring a powerful and cost-effective marketing and customer relationship resource, especially if they are selling or providing services online.

Unfortunately, establishing that presence and kick-starting engagement has a cost. It is difficult for a business new to social media to attract followers without a substantial investment of both time and money. For many businesses, that’s not an investment they are prepared to make, and so they are tempted to manufacture a follower count.

Follower count, and the ratio of followers to followed, is often viewed by potential customers, media, and marketers as a sign of success. Everyone likes to be popular, and if they can’t be popular they want to seem popular without putting in the necessary time and work to get there naturally. There are definitely benefits to manufacturing a follower count, but there are also numerous drawbacks. Continue reading