Girl Jumping in Field Group buying is all the rage these days, and I'll admit, I've cashed in on an awesome deal or two using the group deal site, Groupon , myself.  But as with any new online trend, this one has many small businesses asking themselves if it's an opportunity they should take advantage of.

Our top inbound marketing article of the week weighs in on this debate, explaining the concept of group buying websites and discussing whether or not small businesses should jump in. 

1. Group Buying: Should Small Businesses Jump In?

Author: Barb Dybwad on Mashable

One of the most popular group buying web services, Groupon, was recently valued at over $1 billion.  It's obvious this and similar services are gaining momentum as a growing trend, but is it still too soon for your small business to get involved?

Barb's article likens small businesses' participation in the group buying trend to participation in services like Foursquare .  While there is still no real need to participate, those businesses that do decide to test the waters will no doubt boost their brand image as a forward-thinking, innovative early adopter.  While small businesses should think of group buying sites and other similar services as an opportunity and not an obligation, when done right, the results can prove to be a great win-win promotion.

Marketing Takeaway: It's not likely group buying services will be a short-lived fad. If it's a good fit for your businesses' products/services, why not be one of the first in your industry to try it out?

2. Top 10 Ways to Become a Real Social Media Expert

Author: Brian Solis on BrianSolis.com

When it comes to learning about the social media best practices in business and marketing applications, companies often look for easy-to-understand case studies and how-to guides.  While it's important to understand what has and hasn't worked for other companies, Solis encourages his readers not to rely heavily on universal social media guidance and examples, since they likely won't apply to the specific challenges and situations they'll face in their own market spaces.  

Instead of using these universal examples as templates for your own initiatives, Solis advises they should be used only for inspiration.  While he applauds the information available on the internet as great for inspiring creativity and direction, he emphasizes the need to become your own expert in social media as it applies to your unique business objectives and contexts.

Marketing Takeaway: "Sometimes it's easier to think outside the box, when there isn't a box to begin with..." (Couldn't have said it better myself, Solis.)

3. 25 Simple Ways to Earn Trust

Author: Jason Falls on Social Media Explorer

Jason's article explores the topic of trust, specifically in terms of how it relates to conversational marketing , whose goal is to motivate audiences to do something through engaging in conversation.  Because Jason believes one of they keys to successful conversational marketing is earning enough trust from an audience so they'll share the information you've provided, he explores what it is that makes people trust, offering a helpful simple list of several ways you can earn it.

Some of the ways you can earn trust include being polite; illustrating your knowledge; sharing ideas, content and praise; knowing when to shut up; admit when you're wrong (and don't gloat when you're right); be open-minded; and do all of these things consistently.

Marketing Takeaway: Be a trustworthy marketer. After all, earning constituents' trust is an important part of any successful business.

4. 8 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews With Bloggers

Author: Srinivas Rao on DailyBlogTips

One great option for blog content is publishing interviews of bloggers and/or other thought leaders in your industry. As an experienced interviewer, Srinivas has perfected the art of interviewing people in order to achieve the most interesting and best results. In this article, he compiles some of his best learned tips for conducting effective interviews:

  1. Everybody is approachable.
  2. Listen more than you talk.
  3. Ask questions based on the answers you receive.
  4. Treat it as a conversation.
  5. Provide value to your listeners (or readers).
  6. Understand that everybody has value to add.
  7. Research the person you are interviewing.
  8. Maintain/nurture relationships.

Marketing Takeaway: Interviews can be very valuable to your readers.  Generate effective interviews through thorough preparation.

5. 3 Search Types All SEOs Should Know

Author: Shari Thurow on Search Engine Land

Understanding how prospects search for (and ultimately find) your products and services can be extremely beneficial from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, helping you identify appropriate keywords and phrases to optimize your website's SEO effort s.

Shari's article focuses on recognizing, defining and explaining different search types, or the various ways people search.  In addition to the three primary types of search (navigational, informational and transactional), she identifies three additional search types: ad hoc search, known-item search and named page search.

Marketing Takeaway: Make sure your website is accommodating your searchers' different behaviors by understanding the various ways people search. 

Photo by Antara

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Originally published Jun 7, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated June 10 2021

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