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Ping Your Way To a Successful Social Marketing Strategy – It’s A Whole Lot Better Than Being an A-Hole

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a company in the tax industry that appeared to be getting some bad advice on how to conduct a successful social marketing campaign. I discovered this unfortunate strategy when the company spammed the comment section of one of my blog posts. Flabbergasted Reputable Tax Service Company acting like an A-Hole

Jumping head first into a social marketing strategy without first understanding how the game is played is likely to tick off the players or at the very least, your company will have a bad social showing. As with all business strategy’s, you really need to make sure you hire advisors that know what they are doing. For goodness sake, people DO YOUR RESEARCH. For the CPA industry there are people who specialize in helping you with your social strategy – Michelle Golden of Golden Practices is one such advisor.

Which brings me to pinging your way to success. Yesterday I was barraged with “pingbacks” on my blog site.  A pingback is simply a notification that someone is linking to my site.  Wikipedia defines pingback this way:

A pingback is one of three types of linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. Some weblog software, such as Movable Type, Serendipity, WordPress and Telligent Community, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published.

Now in WordPress, my blog host, I also have the option of posting the URL of the blogger linking to my post in the comment section of my blog.   It’s kind of like a handy built in quid pro quo for you saying nice stuff and linking to my blog. I in turn allow a link back to yours. Neat! And might I say an appropriate use of the comment section of my blog.

Curious about what all the links were about, I instantly clicked over to read what was being said about my blog.  I discovered that they were coming from a company that I assume got  some good advice on how to promote their social networking strategy,  Tax Resolution University. And let me say, if theirs isn’t a planned strategy, it certainly should be.

I was pleased to read the praise for Stacie’s More Tax Tips offered by blog author Michael Rozbruch at Tax Resolution. His writing shows that he actually read and appreciated the content of my blog. He spent the time to identify elements that he liked and continued on to make great comments in his post  Tax Help and Tips from Tax Blogger Includes Refreshing and Candid Look at Issues Facing Today’s Taxpayers here’s some tid bits:

From why she thinks American Express sucks to the true story of a magazine door-to-door sales person who encountered nightmarish tax consequences from her self employment status, Stacie’s unique take is both entertaining and enlightening.

Stacie’s More Tax Tips provides a wide and eclectic mix of tax information. The blog is well organized and quite informative – taxpayers can find excellently categorized information concerning tax, accounting and business advice, mixed in with quirky commentary. The blog offers information published by the IRS, such as IRS Patrol and IRS Presents, news releases and tax tips.

Other great content featured on the blog includes interviews with interesting individuals who put a new spin on everything tax, book reviews, Education Credits, Tax Guidance (need any help filing out those numerous tax forms?), coaching, and types of tax explained. You can even check out Abigail’s story of sex, drugs, and taxes for a bit of jolting tax reading.

While these comments are well thought-out and flattering –  heck they make me feel all good inside, more importantly they are a good social networking strategy. Because of this well written post, the Tax Resolution Blog will show up under, the blogs I like category on Stacie’s More Tax tips. And I will allow the ping backs all like eight of them – some quid pro quo.

And just as a side note  – Well-done Tax Resolution, your blog campaign tells me that you are a good strategist. This is a wonderful quality to have when you are in the business of resolving tax controversies. I am a fan!

Flabbergasted Reputable Tax Service Company acting like an A-Hole

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

I was totally amazed a few days ago when I received a spam comment from a reputable organization that describes themselves as premier providers of specialty tax services. Like I mean flabbergasted. I’ve done business with these people. They aren’t stupid. But come on. They don’t know that spam commenting is sleazy and disgusting and just plain wrong?

Needless to say, it really really ticked me off and got me to thinking who the heck is giving out the bad advice.

For those of you who aren’t bloggers maybe you can still understand the premise here. Bloggers put forth effort. You know, a real time investment involving research, examination and compiling of information for their posts. And for the most part, bloggers do it for free. There is the payoff of course, the showcasing of your expertise, the expansion of your web presence, the name recognition yada yada yada.

Then you get some sleaze ball who looks at your blog site (or they hire some slimy low life company that does it for them) and says, gee I’m going to post a spam comment on this blog to get some free advertising off the back of someone else’s hard work.. Come on WHAT TYPE OF A-HOLE thinks that is a good idea.

If you are wondering, what a spam comment looks like. Well – it generally advertises the services of another company. It reads like marketing literature. It links back to someone else’s website, and for the most part has no real reference back to the original blog post. It’s the blog world equivalent of a form letter, cold and impersonal.

Bloggers post content that they often hope will relate back to a reader on a personal level. It showcases not only the writers knowledge, but also their personality and opinions. Think of spammers like this, you are out having cocktails with a friend chatting happily about what knot when some greasy slime bag wedges his way into the conversation and tries to sell you a used car – eewwww get away from me you creep.

The comment section of a blog is meant for readers who are interested in commenting about the post, sometimes a reader thanks you for the information, praises the writer on a job well done, asks a question about the content or maybe the commenter wants to express their own opinion on the subject .

Hello, the comment section of a blog post IS NOT FREE ADVERTISING SPACE FOR YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS. If you want to capitalize on my time investment and my readership, contact me and I will be happy to discuss the fee for advertising on my site.

Social Networking Fad or Fiction?

Great video on social networking. Thought I would share. Although I am not exactly sure how the whole social networking thing will drive clients to service providers, it certainly provides a way to brand yourself. It also allows a forum for service providers to demonstrate expertise.

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