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Tools of the trade: Social media marketing communications
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Tools of the trade: Social media marketing communications

There's no shortage of online advice about how to do social media right, but there are some resources that we think stand head and shoulders above others. One that we highly recommend is, the home of Ragan Communications, which has been a leading publisher of corporate communications, public relations, and newsletters for more than three decades. Ragan has pretty much been the PR practitioner's bible. Over those 30 years, they've also expanded their focus to encompass the changing media landscape, offering great advice at social media. What we like is that their advice is solidly rooted in and integrated with fundamental marketing communications and PR. Here are some examples of why we think they should earn a place on your "key tools" bookmark list.

A recent article that we found excellent: How can you stand out amid the social media din? The article notes that every minute, nearly 2.5 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook, 1,400 blog posts are published and 277,000 tweets posted! How can you possibly stand out with all that noise?  They offer and expand on 8 recommendations that we'll summarize here:  

1. Tell a story.
2. Develop and implement a solid content strategy.
3. Know your audience better than they know themselves
4. Engage employees as advocates
5. Include employees in content creation
6. Stop trying to be the most popular
7. Go for quality over quantity
8. Practice empathy and gratitude

It's worth clicking through to read the full article. Here are a few other recent articles we found noteworthy:

Infographic: Marketing trends you can't afford to ignore
'Mobile' and 'live streaming' seem to be on all marketers' lips these days, and for good reason. Organizations that aren't keeping up with prevailing practices risk losing their audiences.

A marketing guide to Snapchat
If you’re wondering whether the visual social app is right for your campaign efforts, consider these aspects of the platform and how young consumers are using it.

But don't limit yourself to just the social media articles section of the site - they offer great insight and advice on a variety of marketing communication topics, from public speaking and writing tips to public relations and internal communications. Here are a few samples:  

10 common—and crucial—copyright questions for communicators
Grabbing an image, piece of text or other element for your website or blog without permission is not OK, even if you give credit to its creator. An attorney explains the essentials of 'fair use.'

9 writing rules you should be breaking
You're at your computer screen, stymied by the disapproving shades of Editors Past. Here's how to overcome writing-block ghosts and verbose vice presidents to get that piece written.

Email etiquette: 10 dos and don'ts
You likely spend a substantial amount of each workday writing emails, but make sure don't sacrifice politeness for the sake of a quick response.

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