What Is Social Media

Social Media Ad Revenues to Double By 2016

Good news for those who believe social media advertising revenues will be crushed by mobile: A researcher is estimating that the category will double by 2016 to become a $9.2 billion business, in the U.S. at least.

BIA/Kelsey projects a 19.2% annual growth rate for the next four years for social media ads. The researcher believes that so-called native ads like Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets will lead the growth. Such native social advertising will grow from $1.5 billion in 2012 to $3.9 billion in 2016 for a 26% annual growth rate. BIA/Kelsey predicts that Facebook, Twitter and others including StumbleUpon and Tumblr will be able to command higher prices for the formats.

Even the oft-derided social display ads — the ads you see on Facebook’s right-hand column or the banners on YouTube — will also grow from $3 billion in 2012 to $5.4 billion in 2016, which amounts to a compound growth rate of 15.2%.

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Untangling the Confusion Between Social Media and Social Marketing

The world of social media is dense with jargon that defies consistent usage across the business. This sets the stage for confusion and mismanaged expectations especially when people bandy about the terms social media and social marketing as though they are interchangeable.  They’re not and by understanding the difference you can begin to knit together the right mix of “media” to “marketing” in the social realm.

Let’s start at the most conceptual level and work our way down to the practical, real world application.

At its most essential essence, it’s useful to think of social media as a communications platform similar to your home or mobile phone network. Social media is your community communications network where you can connect “many to many” like we do in Facebook or LinkedIn. By contrast, social marketing is focused on riding the social network’s communications traffic to deliver a marketing message. The devil is in the delivery details and this is where much of today’s marketing angst lies.

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Prevent Social Media Catastrophes

As countless corporate victims of social media malpractice can attest, without effective security tools in place and the education to back them up, you’re playing Russian Roulette with your brand. And if reminiscing over these past Twitter meltdowns gets your heart racing, your company probably doesn’t have a proper social media security system in place.

Damage Control

You can delete a Tweet, that’s not the issue. If you’ve witnessed any corporate disasters on Twitter, you know  that the delete button does little damage control to save a company’s reputation after a careless or offensive Tweet has been sent out to countless followers. For those who witnessed recent celebrity breakdowns on Twitter, you’ll know that once it’s out there, it can live on forever.

By the time the destructive Tweet is discovered and deleted by a frantic public relations or marketing department, it has spread like wildfire across Twitter and onto other social networks, possibly catching media attention along the way. Once it’s out, it’s out and social media managers need to immediately address the issue.

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Social Media Marketing Tactics that Work – Join the Search Engine Land Team Next Week in Las Vegas

January is just around the corner! Do you have your social media marketing KPIs lined up for the new year? Are you looking for innovative new ways to boost your fan base, site traffic and convert your followers into paying customers?

Learn the latest tactics and best-practices for Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Whether you’re managing your brand’s communities, driving traffic with content or buying paid ads, SMX Social Media Marketing is meant just for you. Have a look at the agenda, jam-packed with proven techniques and tools.

SMX Social Media Marketing is programmed by the editorial teams of Search Engine Land Marketing Land, who have been organizing internet marketing events for over a decade. Joining them is a faculty of over forty leading social media specialists who will share the strategies that make them successful.

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Putting Social Media to Work: An HBR.org Insight Center

There’s been a lot of talk about social media’s vast promise for business, but where are the deliverables? Sure, virtually all businesses are on Facebook and Twitter, and everyone knows that in theory, at least, social-media tools can give companies direct access to customers and an opportunity to learn about their likes, dislikes, and desires. A number of corporations have become adept at using social media to geotarget customers, customize messages, and even communicate with individual consumers. And no marketing or reputational campaign would be complete these days without likes and tweets.

But what about social media’s supposed power to change the way businesses innovate? Create strategy? Interact with employees?

That kind of progress may not be obvious, but evidence of social media’s real promise is cropping up in all kinds of businesses, from knowledge companies to manufacturers to retailers. As corporate leaders develop a deeper understanding of social media’s power, online interactions are becoming a rich resource. Some organizations are setting up listening posts to track customer sentiment. Others are creating collaborative environments for employees. Still others are learning how social media can boost sales.

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‘Social’ Media: ‘Sharing’ our Narcissism

Every few months, is it? At least. Maybe every few weeks.

Somebody comes around talking narcissism and the Net, right?

The three articles referenced above — Miller, Bercovici, Pressfield — were floated out onto the glassy pond of our digital self-regard within six days of each other. Between November 2 and 8. Bercovici (bur-KOH-vuh-see), whose work at Forbes I always find incisive, was prompted to write about what he terms “virtuebragging.” It’s related to “humblebragging,” do you know that one?

Humblebragging might manifest as a tweet along the lines of: Nothing but rain here at Balmoral! HRM keeps apologizing to us! #poordear

In formulating virtuebragging, Bercovici offers us: This is me pulling out moldy sheet rock! Don’t you like my hip waders? Hurricane Sandy relief. And there’s the I voted! crowd. Many of whom Instagram-ed their ballots. That, as he notes, is illegal in some states.

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How to Calculate the Value of Your Social Media Followers

If you’re using social media for marketing and you’re not measuring your dollars-and-cents ROI, you’re doing it wrong. As my favorite rap quote says, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.”

Marketers wouldn’t dream of spending budget on banner or PPC ads without a measured and positive return on their investment; but for some reason, many of us still play dumb when it comes to the hard data about the performance of our social media marketing investments. And even if you’re not spending budget on Facebook or Twitter, remember: Time is money, and you’re probably spending a significant amount of time.

All too often, social media marketing advice comes from greasy, snake oil hucksters selling platitudes like “engage in the conversation,” or worse, “be awesome.” While advice like this is hard to disagree with, it’s not useful or concrete. Instead, we marketers should be measuring our social media marketing campaigns to determine what is making our businesses money — and what isn’t. In other words, ignore the unicorns-and-rainbows superstitions.

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8 Business Starter Tips for Social Media Success

Social media today has quite a powerful influence in our world. It can topple regimes, make and break careers, and even help elect a president However, diving into social media, especially for first-timers, can prove to be a daunting (even scary) task. New business owners (especially those that are not very tech-savvy) can find it quite a challenge to not only put their business on the social media map but to also keep up with the inevitable flood of conversations that will happen (and they will happen) around your business, both good and bad.

Setting up a Facebook page, Twitter account, or a Pinterest board for your new business should not be just an afterthought. You need to make sure you are on the right platform to engage your existing customers while converting new ones. So how do you do social media the right way? Here are eight (8) tips to get your started.

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Helping People Over 30 Get Social Media

There are a billion people on Facebook now, including most of the people reading this on BostInno. But that means there are 6 billion not on it, and that’s a problem sometimes. One of the things I’ve learned returning to an enterprise tech company in the ‘burbs is that lots of people are still struggling to “get” social media, which means lots of us are still struggling to help them get it.

The problem isn’t really what you need to learn to take advantage of the medium. The hard part is the behaviors you need to “un-learn” to be a good social citizen, and the one people seem to struggle with the most is overcoming the primal urge to continue to “push” the content they want heard at the whole world via e-mail.

I’m old enough to remember when e-mail first took hold. It was awesome. The “Memo” went the way of the dodo, and with it the typewriter, letterhead, white-out, and the need to communicate with anyone face-to-face. E-mail was clean, and efficient. It scaled. I mastered e-mail. I came to love it.

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How You Can Use Social Media to Spur Holiday Shopping

If you had any doubts that social media is playing a growing role in consumers’ shopping habits, a new study from Research Now should help dispel them. The survey, conducted by ConsumerSearch.com, looked at what influences consumers to buy when they’re shopping for holiday gifts.

Some 62 percent of respondents report that they regularly use social media to get gift ideas. However, while you might think of social media as simply sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, it also included online reviews and wish lists shared by friends and family. Of all the social options, online reviews were the most popular social source, used by 41 percent of people seeking gift ideas.

That doesn’t mean you should give up on other marketing methods. The study found traditional methods of getting gift ideas were still slightly more popular than social media, with 64 percent reporting they look to ads, company websites and emails from businesses to get ideas for gifts.

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