This Week in Small Business: Learn from Game of Thrones and an Oklahoma sandwich shop

We’ve scoured the news and blogs throughout the week to bring you this lineup of useful articles. You’ll find tips you can leverage today and information that will keep you ahead of the curve.

Marketing and sales

Social Media Marketing

Have you tried to do a Twitter chat? Brad Friedman says it’s like hosting a party to grow your small business…without the liquor tab, I suppose.

If your Pinterest marketing efforts need a kick in the pants, don’t miss these 50 fun ideas.

By combining Facebook Ads with email addresses, automation, and predictive analytics, marketers can develop a strong social strategy. Ohad Hecht shows us how it’s done.

On the other hand, the London School of Marketing has released a new whitepaper claiming that Facebook advertising is now a “lost cause” for marketers.

Content Marketing

Top Rank CEO Lee Odden gives us an “A-to-Z” list of content marketing tools we can use.

Content Marketing programs can eventually fall into a boring rut. Tracey Parsons suggest four ways to reignite your passion.

Email Marketing

game of thronesAlthough email marketing is somewhat less gory, there are lessons to be learned from Game of Thrones.

Growth hacking

If you would rather concentrate on growth hacking rather than regular marketing strategies, here are 35 tools to arm yourself with.

Tips and tricks of the trade: 13 growth hacks you should be able to use right now…or very soon.

Video, SEO, Mobile and more

Tiffany Monhollon gives us four signs that we need to be doing a better job tracking marketing ROI. See if #4 rings a bell…

Focusing too much on keyword rankings for SEO could lead you down a very bad path. Here are five ways your business could be harmed.

Video continues to grow in marketing importance, but which platform is best for you – Wistia, YouTube or Vimeo?

Fail fast and kids can smell fake are among the insights outlined in the highlights of a large marketing conference. While on the subject, in case you missed the March Search Marketing Expo West conference in San Jose, here are some takeaways from three speakers.

Take your mobile marketing to a new level with deep linking; it will be necessary for ongoing success.

The speed at which television is evolving makes it difficult for anyone to fully understand. Noted entrepreneur John Rampton takes a look at how its evolution will impact SEO and marketing.

Leadership, management and productivity

Google and Amazon are in the middle of some tech version of a Sumo wrestling match. Does the battle benefit small business?

The weather outside isn’t so frightful anymore, so it’s time to pull together our summer reading list. Here are 10 marketing books to consider.

You’ve claimed your business in Google maps…right? Have you done the same for the Apple Map app?

Review this list of the top HR blunders small businesses make and internalize the advice on how to avoid them.

A survey found that small businesses have an advantage over their big box competitors in security issues, and consumers are noticing.

Small business staffing is critical. Here are the pros and cons of hiring an agency to handle all of it versus managing the process in-house.

Google has warned us about a significant algorithm update (April 21) that will lean heavily toward mobile. Is your website ready? If you, you could drop out of search results.

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll get something out of this Chris Drucker infographic on the productive home office. You’ll also learn from these examples of video marketing especially if you follow these four pillars of video marketing.

Do you have a tax refund coming your way? Here are some ideas for that money that can help you boost your business. But if your money needs to come in the form of a loan, here are the reasons small business owners are turning to online lenders.

Want some positive press? Sometimes just doing the right thing is all you need to do as this small Oklahoma City sandwich shop discovered.

Would real lunch breaks and a better break room improve customer service? This article suggests that might be the case.

In many small businesses HR is DIY. Here are five mistakes to avoid.

When you’re putting together the team to handle your social media marketing, here are the qualities you need to look for.

Government, politics and the economy

Small business owners in Inverness, Florida were planning a protest in front of their local SunTrust bank after it closed some small business accounts as part of the federal government’s Operation Choke Point.

Something’s gotta give: One-third of small business owners are spending more than 80 hours a year on complying with their tax obligations.

A new survey shows that 90 percent of small business owners believe that the federal tax code needs reform and just about the same percentage want it to be a priority for Congress and the White House.

When the NFIB last took the pulse of small business owners, it found that fewer were upbeat in March. On the other hand, a rebound in March retail sales could change the mood going forward.

This Washington Post article takes an early look at what a Hillary Clinton White House could mean for business.

The economics of our important European trading partners are somewhat troubling. The problems in the Eurozone aren’t over and Britain is looking at deflation.

In your marketing campaign, is ROI measurement more of a hassle or a help? Dan Newman takes on the question.

It’s not much revenue for the government, but it can be a big deal to small business and small farm owners. This Washington Post article looks at the estate (death) tax.

Obamacare Extensions and delays are running their course and an estimated 70 percent of small businesses in California will see their health insurance costs change in 2016. Michael Stahl offers one health insurance strategy that could save small business owners money.

Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation

Education is always a big topic for politicians, now it’s becoming a major focus for startups.

The biggest economic worry facing the country may be weakness of young firms and the apparent erosion of entrepreneurship, says this opinion piece in the Washington Post.

On the big screen she has played more than her share of superheros and in the business world, she has worked hard to make her business a success. Here is Jessica Alba’s step-by-step guide to startup doubts.

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