Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: Strategic Marketing Best Practices

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are, without doubt, the Big 3 of social media. They are important avenues for building brand engagement and influence. If your company has a presence on all of  them, you’re on the road to creating a name for yourself on social networks.

5 marketing strategies to rock Twitter, Facebook, and YouTubeBut these 3 platforms are very different from one other. Do you know how to effectively approach each one to achieve the best results?

Social media software firm Awareness has researched best practices for these dominant networks. 5 Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, a new white paper from the company, looks at the 3 social media platforms and examines 5 strategies marketers can use to grow brand awareness, foster brand advocacy, and generate leads and sales.

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Using Instagram for Marketing

Instagram is a free iOS and Android photo sharing app launched in October 2010. It allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and Using Instagram for Marketingthen share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own. Instagram’s distinctive feature is its photo filter, a digital layer that gives snapshots the appearance of professional editing. Some filters enhance the colors, while others dull the light to a soft glow for an aged, vintage appearance.

Instagram users take and share pictures on their smartphones and “follow” other users’ photostreams, a model similar to Pinterest’s. The app has revolutionized mobile photo editing and has great potential for social media branding and outreach.

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15 Informative 2012 Marketing Infographics

15 Informative 2012 Marketing InfographicsWe live in the age of data. The information collected by the world’s databases grows by an astounding 40% annually. How we collect, harness, and use this content shapes our lives — our work, our relationships, everything. 

One way to make the fire hose of information more understandable is to use visual representations, which is why infographics have taken the Internet by storm over the past few years. I’ve posted quite a few of them in my blog because, if done well, infographics illustrate data in a way that makes it clear and actionable.

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Using Google+ for Business [Infographic]

How business can use Google+I have to admit that I’ve had misgivings about Google+ since it launched last September. How many other social media initiatives has Google rolled out, only to have them die on the vine because of poor execution, lousy interfaces, and decreasing attention from Google developers? Wave and Buzz come to mind, among others. And it’s yet another silo for social media marketers to maintain — Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks all require hands-on management to achieve marketing goals, and adding Google+ as an additional marketing/branding channel also requires lots of care and feeding. After all, social networks are not alike and they can’t all be used the same way — each one needs a unique plan and approach.
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Top 12 Social Media Insights for Nonprofits in 2012

Social networksBlackbaud, NTEN, and Common Knowledge have released their fourth annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, a yearly analysis of how nonprofits are using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This year’s report highlights 12 key social media insights for nonprofits that are intended to help the sector become more effective at using social media to drive value and raise awareness for their causes.

Conducted between January 24th and February 21st this year, over 3500 nonprofit professionals completed an online survey around two main categories:

  • Commercial social networks: The use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+
  • House social networks: The use of social networks built and managed by nonprofits themselves

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The State of Social Media Marketing in 2012 [Study]

Marketers continue to question the value they get from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Many don’t know any more about how to measure engagement and what benefits it offers brands than when social media marketing first took off a few years ago. Even though current thinking dictates that social media outreach is essential to successful brand marketing, the vast majority of marketers have trouble quantifying its benefits and how it contributes to ROI. Adding to the confusion are the myriad ways of measuring social media and the availability of more social media monitoring tools than you can shake a proverbial stick at.

Social media in 2012One of the problems is scaling. In a traditional advertising campaign, marketers learn immediately whether or not they got it right because ROI can be directly correlated over time to the initiative. Once the static ad is placed (whether it’s a banner ad, a Google ad, or a TV ad that runs on a popular show), the campaign essentially runs itself, making it easy to quantify the effort/time required and the contribution it makes to a company’s income. On the other hand, social marketing requires a dedicated staff that works constantly to monitor, track, and react/respond to the fire hose of brand chatter that goes on twenty-four hours a day. This can present some organizational issues in terms of managing and quantifying the work, and it can be a slippery slope for marketing departments because their daily activities can easily morph into full-time publishing duties, leaving little room for strategizing and planning and making it more difficult to quantify results.

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30 Resources and Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Business

People like to collect things. Sports memorabilia, carnival glass, stuffed animals, you name it. Pinterest, the new social-media darling, took note of this behavior and created an easy-to-use site where people can share their interests in the form of pictures. I just started playing around with the platform, collecting images about social media and marketing and other topics.

How to use Pinterest to market your businessThe site is beautifully designed and truly engaging. It has been around since 2009, but it’s resonating with users now and experiencing explosive growth. comScore reports that Pinterest hit 10 million unique U.S. visitors faster than any site in history. The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook, but a recent study by Shareaholic shows that Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn — combined.

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Social Media Co-Opts the Super Bowl

With more than 100 million tuning in to watch each year, the Super Bowl has long been a mecca for advertisers. Brands have historically unveiled some of the best commercial spots of the year during the game, which they’ve kept under wraps for months. These ads are pricey; not only are production values high (read costly), but the average expense for broadcasting an ad this year is $3.5 million per 30 seconds.

Watching the Super Bowl used to mean hanging out with your friends, eating lots of fattening appetizers, and being glued to the widescreen TV to not only watch the game, but to watch the commercials, too. This time around, the element of surprise is gone — advertisers have been posting their ads on Facebook, YouTube, and their own websites, some for weeks. About half of the game commercials are estimated to be online now. Instead of holding the spots back this year, advertisers have been trying  generate excitement by making it easier for consumers to watch, share, and discuss the ads ahead of the broadcast. This has moved the next-day buzz and the discussion everyone usually has (which ads were great, which weren’t) to the weeks leading up to when the game is actually played.

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20 Social Media Blogs You Should Read in 2012

20 social media blogs you should be reading in 2012Social media is now an essential component of doing business. It’s important for marketers to keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape so they can align their strategies and achieve the results they’re looking for. Here’s a list (in alphabetical order) of some great social media blogs to read in 2012. They all have unique voices that cover a wide range of social-media-related topics, news, and trends. From tips to tactics to measurement, there’s something for everybody.

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Timing Your Social Media Marketing

Social media marketers always wonder when the best time is to post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and the myriad of other social platforms for optimumThe science of social media marketing timing customer engagement. Is it in the morning, since many people check their Facebook page before they go to work? Is midday better because users look at their Twitter stream while they’re eating lunch? Is evening best? Which days of the week generate the most engagement? And what about B2B versus B2C — are the dynamics different?

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