A Portrait Of Who Uses Social Networks In The US (And How Social Media Affects Our Lives)

social-media-puzzle-featured Did you know that out of all social networking users 92% partake in Facebook, 29% participate on MySpace, 18% are on LinkedIn and Twitter is the least utilized network with just 13% usage? Or that males on LinkedIn nearly double the number of females, yet female usage of Twitter almost doubles male usage? Today Pew Internet & American Life Project, a project of the Pew Research Center, launched a detailed report on how social networking affects our lives that contains these results and more surprising information.  The report includes a wealth of information from whether or not socia [...]


By The Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites

facebook-logo-featured Earlier this month, I wrote about how the promise of Facebook traffic has enticed millions of sites to use Facebook Like buttons and other Facebook social plugins. But does following Facebook's socialist agenda really pay off? How about some numbers, courtesy of Facebook? Facebook provided me with the figures below from when I was working on my earlier article, Has Facebook Become The Master Key To Unlocking The Web? Since the figures are from Facebook, you do have to take them with a grain of salt. However, there are plenty of third party sources that also report how making use of Faceb [...]


The Big List: 168 Marketing Trends, Predictions & Resolutions For 2011

You've had a week to put 2010 in the past and start unpacking 2011. If you're the type to do so, you've probably already made your own marketing resolutions for the new year, or thought about the trends and predictions that might make a difference as the year goes along. You have? Good. So has just about everyone else you know in the search and online marketing industry, and dozens of people you've probably never heard of, too. Fear not, we've got all their collected thoughts about marketing in 2011 wrapped up in this year's Big List of Trends, Predictions and Resolutions. And I mean "big" [...]


How Did The Beatles Sell 2 Million Songs On iTunes? Mostly Facebook (Not Search)

Although at least one recent study says search beats social media when it comes to product discovery, those rules don't apply to The Beatles. When you're known worldwide and have set the standard for commercial and critical musical success, social media is where it's at in 2010. Billboard magazine reports that The Beatles sold more than two million individual songs worldwide and in excess of 450,000 albums in its first week on Apple's iTunes Music Store. (The Beatles' catalog was added to iTunes on November 16th.) According to Experian Hitwise, it was social media -- not search -- that d [...]


Survey: Older Americans Flocking To Social Media

Teenagers have been grappling with a tough question lately: What do I do when mom tries to friend me on Facebook? Well, you ain't seen nothing yet, whippersnappers. There's a new dilemma you better start thinking about: What do you do when grandma sends a friend request? That's more and more likely according to a new report out today from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on social media usage among ... ahem ... old folks. (Not much older than me, frankly.) The numbers are pretty amazing. Pew finds that social media usage among folks 65 years and older doubled between 2009 and [...]


Mobile Social Strategy With Platforms You Already Know

You actually don't have to be a mobile expert to do mobile marketing. Believe it or not, you actually don't even need mobile-specific technology to do mobile marketing. You just need to be creative and use existing mobile platforms—especially social networks—to distribute your mobile marketing message. One of the coolest things about mobile social networking is the open nature of the networks themselves. Most of the social networks that have a mobile component use APIs to pull in vital information from other profiles and push out updates across multiple networks (like pulling yo [...]


Facebook Advertising: An In-House Guide To Getting Started

If your in-house programs for Google, Yahoo and Bing are running like well-oiled machines, it’s time to start poking around for new online marketing channels to test. An option many online marketers report increasing success with is Facebook ads. Facebook advertising doesn’t work quite like a search engine does, so read on for a primer to getting started. Setting campaign goals Many in-house marketers are running Facebook ads to promote their Facebook social media marketing efforts by promoting a page, group, or other Facebook feature. There’s nothing wrong with setting a goal rel [...]


Tools For Businesses On Foursquare

Businesses or consultants who work in the social media space know that one of the difficulties is keeping up with all of the new tools and websites and deciding whether it's worth investing time and energy into using them. In this column, I'm going to take a look at Foursquare and some of the tools that local businesses can use to their advantage. For those people who aren't familiar with Foursquare, it a location-based social media tool that allows people to "check in" and broadcast their location to their friends or to the world. The service was built by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadu [...]


Digg To Shut Down Its Toolbar, Unban Domains

SEOs (and probably a lot of others, too) are celebrating with today's news that Digg will shutter its toolbar and unban all previously banned domains. Digg's new CEO, Kevin Rose, says the changes will happen with the upcoming relaunch of Digg.com. The DiggBar launched almost exactly a year ago, and was immediately met with criticism from publishers who didn't like their content being framed, and from search marketers who pointed out that it robbed sites of credit for inbound links. Digg later changed how the DiggBar works in response to these criticisms, but in his announcement today, Rose [...]


The iPad As Platform For SEM & Social Media Marketing

Apple clearly recognizes the importance of the mobile web, but did they get trigger happy and launch the iPad too soon? The launch of the new Apple device has lit up the internet with all sorts of criticisms, praises, questions and opinions. A question remains for those of us in the search marketing and social media world—how will these tablets incorporate the use of social media? The Apple iPad and other tablets like the HP Slate and the Amazon Kindle are finally providing affordable mobile connectivity to the internet for those who may have not seen a need for an internet-capable ph [...]


Why Facebook PPC Is Crucial For Branding & How To Sell Your Boss

On Christmas Eve, December 24th, Facebook garnered 7.56% of United States internet traffic market share, whereas Google had 7.54%. Subsequently on Christmas Day, December 25th, Facebook’s piece of pie ballooned to a whopping 7.81% while Google dropped a bit to 7.51%. The day after Christmas, December 26, Google regained its stature as most visited site in the US with 7.33% share, while Facebook retained 7.12%. The ramifications of these stunning statistics, which truly reflect the massive girth of Facebook’s 350 million users, simply can’t be stressed enough to brand managers. To [...]


Social Media Power Profiles: Is Google In Your Mix?

Building up an authoritative status on social media profiles is a very important element that users spend hours doing daily. Usually it's with some of the most popular social communities like Digg, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, etc. How many social media enthusiasts and search marketers actually stop to consider their Google profiles though? When I discuss Google profiles I'm not talking about optimizing a current Google Profile page. I'm talking about increasing your trust and authority by delivering value and contributions. Google is increasingly creating and testing new channels of soc [...]


Is Social Media Ruining Search Results?

I preferred search engine results pages (SERPs) before other forms of social media became the rage. I think the commercial web search engines are giving social media items far more attention and validation than they deserve. Do you?


Build Your Brand With Powerful Blogger Outreach Tactics

These days it's rare to find a brand, blogger or CEO that does not monitor his or her reputation by Google Alert or other hair trigger mechanism. Training your feed’s content-creation team to exploit this new reality for systematic blogger outreach can yield terrific results over time with very little added cost. Read on to explore powerful techniques to serve your brand’s feed readers, earn influential friends, garner links, generate buzz and drive traffic to your website. Humans do what humans do In high school I heard from a mutual acquaintance that "Joyce," a young woman I admi [...]


How To Monetize Social Media: The Right Way

Websites like Sponsored Tweets and Ad.Ly were created with the hope that famous and popular social media users will be willing to start sponsored conversations online. And with clients such Kendra Wilkinson and Kim Kardashian ready to spread any advertiser's message for the right price, participating in social media has finally become profitable. Even Google has began to monetize YouTube for users, gradually accepting popular users and companies into their advertising AdSense program that runs Google ads over streaming videos. Users posting videos that Google runs ads with receive a profit for [...]


Social Ratings: Scaled Ratings Vs. Booleans

For years now, it has been a commonality for social media sites to rate content and commentary on a sliding scale. Sites like YouTube and Yelp allow users to rate and review content on a five-point scale, while sites like StumbleUpon and BuzzFeed want to just know if you like it or not. Scaled ratings Historically, stars have represented a scale of ratings on popular sites such as YouTube. People give five stars to videos they love and a single star to videos they dislike. YouTube has now revealed how rare it is to receive feedback from anything in the middle. In a recent blog post, they [...]


How To Create Brand Awareness On Facebook

To successfully promote a business through social media means walking the finest of fine lines. To market without intruding, to advertise without offending; these things are not easily done. This week, I was thinking about online marketing opportunities using Facebook. And nowhere is the line finer than on Facebook. On that platform, you need to entice your audience to become fans, use your apps and share your content. You need to achieve this on a platform that is all about friends and family—people are not on Facebook to blog, to chat to strangers or to publicize themselves—th [...]


Citibank Survey: Small Business Finds Social Media Ineffective

A Citibank/GFK Roper survey of 500 U.S. businesses with fewer than 100 employees has found very few small businesses in the U.S. have adopted social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter for business uses. The findings include: Three-quarters of the small business owners surveyed say they have not found sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn helpful for generating business leads or expanding business in the past year 86% said they have not used social networking sites for information or business advice 25% said they’re using more online advertising to generate busines [...]


How To Measure The Value Of A Fan Or Follower In Social Media

It's hard to justify the time spent on social media account management. But there are ways to measure the real value (monetary or otherwise) of fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. These top two social media websites offer free advertising, an open customer service and communication platform and a demographics database all wrapped up in one, so knowing the value of fans and followers can be a big help when deciding how much time should be allotted to social media efforts. Here are some of the ways to measure how much Facebook and Twitter users are really worth. Number of quality fans [...]


7 Ways To Act Like An Animal On Twitter

One of the most interesting aspects of social media is the fact that there really aren't any rules, anyone can use the platform however they want. When it comes to Twitter, a lot of organizations that aren't associated with cutting edge marketing tactics are using some creative, outside of the box thinking. In fact, some of them are acting like animals ... literally. First up is the Whale in the Natural History Museum of New York. If you've never been to the Natural History Museum, there actually is a large whale hanging from the ceiling there. The whale tweets about a lot of things [...]


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