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Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.

Blogging Small Businesses have 55% More Traffic, 97% More Inbound Links

A recent study by Hubspot found that among their small business customers, those that blogged had 55% more traffic and 97% more incoming links than non-blogging small businesses.

How 'Shareable' Is Your Social Media Content?

One of the great things about social media is how quickly an idea can spread via truly 'social' tools and networks. But even though it's becoming easier every day to share social media content, you still need to create content that people WANT to share.

The One Thing You Should Start Doing TODAY to Grow Your Blog

I consider myself to be a pretty good blogger, and over the past 4 years, my blogging has definitely improved my writing skills. But there had always been one area of blogging where my efforts were failing, and that was holding me back.

Small Businesses Can No Longer Ignore Blogs

A recent study by eMarketer forcasted the next five years of blog readership, and creation. The findings weren't surprising, as eMarketer expects the number of people that read blogs, and those that blog themselves, to continue to grow dramatically. What this means for your business is that increasingly, your customers are going to be reading blogs, and writing them.

What's the Recipe for Making Your Blog Content More Relevant?

One of the biggest concerns you'll hear from bloggers struggling to write that next post is 'it's all been said before'. And it's true, by now every topic has pretty much been covered and dissected from every angle. But does that mean you can't bring something new to the table?

Why Is Your Business Afraid of Negative Blog Posts?

It's enough to make the average business owner break out in a cold sweat; the thought of bloggers ripping them. But while many businesses and companies are fearful of posts that shine a negative light on their business, these instances are in fact a wonderful opportunity.

New Tools Add to Twitter's Networking Potential

Twitter itself is pretty simple, but as the site continues to boom in popularity, 3rd party sites/tools are popping up like kudzu in the South. And many offer a great deal of potential for helping you tap into the networking ability of Twitter.

Don't Be Blinded By Social Media and Social Networking

EMarketer recently reported about a study on how small businesses would be spending their online marketing dollars in 2009, and the results were interesting at times, and downright scary at others.

What Jason Bourne Can Teach You About Social Media

If Jason Bourne did Social Media, the first thing he would do was assess the landscape. He would find out where his targets are, and figure out what they are doing and how they are communicating. Now you might not be able to take out two armed men in 1.4 seconds with your bare hands, but you can still learn something from Jason Bourne when it comes to YOUR social media initiatives.

How Do You Decide If Social Media is Right For Your Business?

You've heard the hype about social media for years now. Everyone is talking about it, and companies of all sizes are launching blogs and Facebook pages, and joining Twitter. You've heard enough and are ready to take the plunge into the social media waters. But there's one question left to answer; How do you know that social media is right for YOUR business?

Find Your Blog's 'Bigger Idea'

Most companies are pretty boring. Most company blogs are pretty boring. And you guessed it, most companies that blog spend way too much time blogging about themselves. So how do you excite readers? By finding your blog's 'bigger idea'.

Don't Rush Into Social Media

Social Media continues to be the pretty girl at the ball that everyone wants to go dancin' with. But even IF your business can benefit from using social media, make sure you ease into these waters slowly.

Keep Your Comments Organized With BackType!

I've said it time and time again, but the best way to grow your blog, is to leave it. And that means leaving a LOT of comments on other blogs! But if you do this, it can be difficult to keep track of all the blog posts that you have commented on. Difficult that is, until BackType came along.

How Do You Decide Who to Follow on Twitter?

In yesterday's post, I looked at some ways that I have used to get more followers on Twitter. Now I wanted to spin it around and look at some of the criteria I have for who I decide to follow on Twitter.

How Do You Get More Followers On Twitter?

As Twitter just continues to grow in popularity, more people are wanting to know how to expand their Twitter networks, and get more people to follow them. There are several different ways to do this, depending on how you use Twitter. Here's some of the things that have worked for me.

Remember, Social Media Are PERSONAL Communication Tools!

Plenty of companies and small businesses are curious now to learn how they can use social media to grow their businesses. Unfortunately, far fewer businesses are willing to invest the time to understand what these tools are, and why people are so excited about using them.

Wal-Mart Says No to Black Friday Ads on Internet, Goes After Sites and Search Engines

Failing to get the memo that it's 2008, Wal-Mart has decided to get even more aggressive in battling the 'pre-mature' leakage of their Black Friday circular ads.  The Bentonville, AR retailer is not only going after the sites that post the circulars, but the search engines that link to and index the sites....

What Blogs Should You Be Reading?

Whenever I speak to small businesses that are considering launching their own blog, there are always a few people that want to know which blogs I think they should be reading to stay up to date on the ever-changing world of social media. If you are just getting started exploring blogs, here are some of my favorite ones that should help you quickly get up to speed on blogging and social media.

Everything You Think You Know About Social Media and Measuring ROI is Wrong!

One of the biggest 'criticisms' of social media that companies have, is the difficulty in measuring the return on investment for their efforts. Many believe that widespread business adoption of social media won't happen until a clear benefit to the company's bottom line can be measured. Of course, these people are totally missing the point of what social media is, and why it works.

Need More Blog Posts? Then Start a Series!

At one point or another, every blogger struggles to find new content ideas for their blog. For some of us, ideas for posts come easily, but if you're a blogger that's constantly wracking your brain for the next post idea, launching a blog post series could be your solution!

Your Blog is Reallllllly Boring...

I'm noticing recently that a lot of business/company blogs are very stale and boring. Here's some simple ways you can add flair and personality to your blog.

Social Media Can Be Cheap, But Its Not Free

One of the big reasons why social media can be so appealing to small businesses is because many of these tools/sites are free or very cheap to use. Which is perfect for small businesses that probably have very little in the way of a marketing budget to begin with. But there are still costs to consider when launching a social media strategy.

Are You Putting Your Best Blog Posts on Display?

I talked to a blogger last week who explained that he had written a blog post last year that still gets traffic referrals. Which is great, but this blogger had his post buried in the archives of his blog. Instead, why not put the spotlight on your best posts?

You Can't Control the Conversation, But You CAN Change it!

One of the biggest concerns I hear from companies and small businesses about blogging is 'what if someone says something negative about us?' Unfortunately, having a blog won't automatically mean that no one will ever say anything negative about your business.

Can You Still Afford to Ignore Blogs and Social Media?

So is all this blogging and social media stuff really just a fad? Is it going away? Or will most companies need to invest in the coming years in using these tools to better connect with their customers? Thanks to many recent surveys and studies, the future of social media for businesses is becoming much clearer...

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Small Business Blog

While many small businesses are curious about blogging, few understand the steps necessary to get a solid effort off the ground.  Here's the steps you should consider to create the perfect blog for your small business....

Putting Your Best Face(s) Forward on Your Blog

So often, we want to focus on writing great content in order to grow our blogs.  But we can sometimes forget why social media works so well; because it connects people....

Social Media is NOT a Silver Bullet

For many businesses, social media can seem to be this mysterious black box that they don't really understand.  But a recent conversation with my friend Tim Jackson reminded me that social media really isn't as mysterious as many companies think....

Small Business Blogging Case Study: Tinku Gallery

One thing I love about blogging is that it gives a small business the ability to quickly and easily build awareness for itself online. This is exactly what Amrita Chandra is doing to get the word out about her Toronto-based art gallery, Tinku Gallery.

This is Why I Love Plurk (And Why You Should Too)

If you use Twitter, then you might have heard of a new microblogging site called Plurk. Both services are alike in that they are both microblogging sites, in the same way that a Jeep and Ferrari are alike because they both have four wheels. But just as Twitter holds potential for you to grow your business, so does Plurk.

Blogging Case Study: Newcastle Square Realty

Perhaps the most important area of a business blog, is its content. How you position your blog's content can greatly determine how successful it will be, and this is a lesson that hasn't been lost on Newcastle Square Realty.

How Well Do You Know Your Blog's Traffic?

Can you tell someone how many visitors your blog gets every day? Do you know how many people access your blog via a feed on a daily basis? If so, great, but that's only the surface of understanding your blog's traffic.

Five Sites You Can Use To Grow Your Blog

Think all you have to do is create great content, and readers will beat a path to your blogging front door? Think again. One of the best ways to grow your blog, is by participating on other social sites.

Why is Social Media So Hard For Businesses?

More businesses than ever are exploring the possibility of using social media tools and sites to help grow their business. But many of these efforts aren't very effective, and I think that is due to many businesses simply misunderstanding what social media is, and why it's so important.

Five Ways Your Small Business Can Use Online Video

Thanks to the lowering cost of technology, it's now possible for any small business owner to create and share videos with current and potential customers online, for less than $200. This also gives small business owners several exciting new options for growing their businesses.

Is Your Business Under (Online) Review?

More than ever, sites are popping up that let customers review everything from restaurants to daycares. And while many small businesses cringe at the thought of receiving a bad review, here's a few reasons why even a negative opinion from a customer can be a good thing!

Marketing From the Customer's Point of View

How often do you hear that it's all about the little things? Every time I go to a store such as Wal-Mart, I always wonder about the cart before I get one. Who had this before me? Did they leave anything in the cart? Is it really clean?

Social Media Conversations Are Leaky

This weekend I was reminded of how quickly ideas can generate buzz and discussion on social media sites when a blog post I wrote immediately sparked conversation on my blog as well as two other social sites.

Putting the Cart Before the (Social Media) Horse

I have lost count on how many times I have heard business owners say "I know I need to be blogging/on Facebook/MySpace/Twitter, but what I don't know is how to get started?' When I ask how they KNOW that they need to be using these tools, I am answered with either a blank stare, or a 'well everyone else is using them!'

I Want a Viral Video!

Don't you? Have you ever heard a client say they wanted a viral video? Have you ever told someone to make you a viral video? There's just one problem; you can't make a viral video.

Knowing the Rules of the (Social Media) Road

At the first Small Business Marketing Unleashed, one of the case studies I explored was how Stormhoek involved bloggers in the marketing of their wine. Stormhoek now has its sights on Twitter users as marketing partners, and small businesses looking to explore social media should pay attention to their efforts.

Does Your Blog Have a Twitter Landing Page?

One of the best bit of social media advice I ever received came from Chris Brogan when he said that when you want to decide if a social media tool is for you, observe how someone that is really good at the tool uses it. Right now Twitter is hotter than Memphis in August, and one of the true power users of Twitterville is Laura Fitton, who is known on Twitter as Pistachio.

So How Do You Find People on Twitter?

One of the benefits to spending time on Twitter is that it's a great way to network. But if you are new to Twitter, it can seem difficult to find people that are in your industry or that share your interests. Here's some tips to help get you started meeting new friends on Twitter!

Worst Example of a Company Twittering?

The problem that many companies face when they delve into the social media waters is that they really don't understand these new-fangled tools. And that means they are probably going to use them in the wrong ways, and for the wrong reasons.

So How DO You Pitch a Blogger?

One of the highlights for me, as a blogger, during last week's Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston, came when Jennifer Laycock instructed the attendees on the proper way to 'pitch' a blogger. As a blogger that has received hundreds if not thousands of horrible pitches over the last 3 years, it was music to my ears!

When you monitor the blogosphere, what do you see?

If you've read my posts here or were able to hear me speak at Small Business Marketing Unleashed in Houston, you know what a believer I am in businesses monitoring the blogosphere. It's a must for businesses to know what bloggers are saying about them, because then they can respond. But how do you know the correct way to respond? It depends on what you find.

You Can't Let the Fear Win

"I just don't know what I would say." I must have heard this a dozen times at Small Business Marketing Unleashed from attendees that were trying to explain why they aren't blogging or aren't on Twitter. But almost everyone that I talked to was interested in learning more about blogging and Twitter, yet the fear of not knowing what to say was holding them back.

Examples of Great Company Blogs

All week we've talked about the elements that make a great company blog. Now let's conclude the What Makes a Great Company Blog series by looking at some of the best company blogs.

What Makes a Great Company Blog: Sidebars

The sidebars of your blog are a great chance for you to not only give readers information they need, but to also shine the spotlight on them! In Part Four of my 'What Makes a Great Company Blog' series, I'll look at how superior blogs utilize their sidebars to attract and grow their audience.

What Makes a Great Company Blog: Comments

If great content is the #1 trait of a great company blog, properly handling comments is #1-A. Great content pulls in readers and if you can use that content to encourage comments and then reply to the ones left in a proper manner, you'll convert readers into a community.

What Makes a Great Company Blog: Posting Schedule

In Part Two of my Elements of a Great Company Blog series, I'll look at how to create a posting schedule and why it's so important in growing your blog's readership.

What Makes a Great Company Blog?

As more companies and businesses enter the blogging waters, it's becoming easier to identify the characteristics of an outstanding company blog. Next week at the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston, I'll be presenting on the topic of Blogging for Business. Part of my presentation will cover the elements of a great company blog, and I thought it would be a good idea to cover those areas here as well.

10 Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog Traffic

Want more traffic to your blog? Of course you do. But how do you get it? It's a question that many bloggers struggle with, but thankfully there are several fairly easy ways you can start today to grow your blog's traffic.

Are You Monitoring Twitter?

If you aren't, you should be! With close to one million users (according to TwitDir), businesses are beginning to realize that it's just as important to monitor what Twitter users are saying about them, as it is to monitor the blogosphere.

How to Write Your First Blog Post

Recently a friend asked me a question that any business that begins blogging will have to answer; What should your first post be about? That first post is terribly important, because it sets the tone for the blog, not just for the readers, but for the writers as well.

Is Your Marketing an Experience?

Last week I attended South by Southwest, and while the festival itself was the main attraction, the events and parties that sprung up every night were examples of great and cheap marketing that many small businesses could learn from.

"Your Company + Sucks" is Your Worst Enemy, or Best Friend

As the dynamic CK points out, "Your Company" + SUCKS is the new Google barometer for how well you are satisfying your customers. And sometimes, it's not very pretty.

Make Your Blogging Lists and Check Them Twice

Have you taken the time to sit down and put your blog's goals on paper? Do you know why you are blogging and what you want to accomplish from your efforts? Excellent. But don't fool yourself into thinking that all you need is a plan, that's just your starting point.

Are You Using Social Media to Improve Your Customer Service?

If you aren't, you should be. Here's a great example of how one of the country's biggest companies is using a very personal touch to provide excellent customer service, and create evangelists for their brand.

Should You Really Care What Bloggers Are Saying About Your Business?

Believe it or not, you don't have to be a blogger to respond to and engage bloggers. All it takes is a willingness to monitor the blogosphere and respond when appropriate. Doing so can help you convert skeptics and naysayers into fans.blog

The Art of Creating a Post That Draws Traffic and Links to Your Blog

Most, if not every blogger, wants to write posts that are popular with their readers, and other bloggers. And while there are no foolproof ways to guarantee that others will be interested in what you write, there are several things you can do to greatly improve your chances that others will talk about, and link to your posts.

How to Write Blog Posts That Will Grow Your Readership, and Your Business

When a business starts blogging, there is usually a huge temptation to use this newly-minted blog as a tool to directly promotion the business and its products and services. Unfortunately, this is the quickest way to guarantee that your blog will be totally useless and irrelevant to visitors. So what should your blog focus on? Providing value to your readers, of course!

How I Increased My Blog's Subscriber Count By Over 1000% In Less Than a Year

One of the most common questions I hear from bloggers and businesses that blog, is 'How can I grow my blog's traffic?' This is a valid question, but bloggers shouldn't forget to focus on their blog's subscribers as well. Over the last year, I have seen first-hand what can happen when you focus on growing your blog's subscriber count.

Are You Hiding on Your Blog?

Whether you are a consultant, a small business, or a Fortune 500 company, a blog can be a great tool to promote yourself. But the mistake that many blogs make is placing too much emphasis on promoting what they offer, and not enough focus on the people doing the selling.

Someone is Probably Blogging About Your Business RIGHT NOW!

Normally the first step a business takes in exploring the blogosphere is to start blogging themselves. But instead of diving in with a new blog, is it better to first understand what bloggers are currently saying about your business?

So Does Blogging Really Work? Here's the Proof.

For a few years now, companies have heard that blogs are great tools to better reach and understand their customers.  But at some point, the rubber needs to meet the road, and actual bottom-line results need to be examined.  So are any companies actually seeing growth coming from their blogging efforts?  You better believe they are!...

How to Get More Comments on Your Blog, By Leaving It

Yesterday I wrote about some of the things you can do on your blog to encourage your readers to comment on your posts. But that's only half the battle, the real key to getting more comments on your blog, is to leave it!

Want More Comments on Your Blog?

Have you ever read a blog and noticed that every post had several comments? It's almost as if the post was just the beginning of a fascinating discussion that carried over to the comments. But how can you create such a vibrate community on your blog?



About the Author

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.

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