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The use of Social Media has become so common that it has been integrated into our Social Norm. Even the way we speak has changed and the English language is conforming to words such as unfriending, retweeting, and a wide range of other terminology that may surprise the unknowing anti-cyber space spectator.

We have come to accept that our mom and dad’s are using the same form of entertainment as us; and have watched the evolution of spaces, cluttered in glitter and auto-played tunes such as MySpace – to days of blue and white with an array of accessibilities and faces with the “you have no reason to leave” Facebook look.

In this new aged society that is ever populating itself online, us friendly humans have made a declaration of saving each other’s cattle in Farmville, conforming to 140 characters of “What should I have for breakfast? I am thinking eggs and bacon or some jelly on toast…no maybe some cereal or perhaps an English muffin ..Help!” and watching videos of a cat playing a keyboard.

For us salivating socialite’s we yearn for two way conversations – a way to be acknowledged of our online identity. Gone are the days of hiding under an alias and asking “a/s/l?” We have opened ourselves up to the notion that sharing is caring and are even making our offline worlds collide with our online ones.

It is an amazing transformation of communication that has aligned the world just so, that we can tolerate our neighbor, friend a person based on their personality and not on a picture and allow the Internet to invade our personal stash of information. Social Media has shown that kindness can be shared amongst a stranger in a tweet, possibly the same one which whom we would never speak to on the street. Celebrities will now interact with us common folk and other Media’s rush to earn their dollar while information on Social Network’s are given away free.

No longer do we fret over a friend updating their status while we eat, or fear that connecting with another human online soul will make us out to be a creepy old man wearing boxers in his mother’s basement. We are from all walks of life and have birthed a nation of conversationalists, which has taken a global effort, perhaps the only global collaboration we may see in our lifetime.

So I raise my mouse to yours and celebrate our ever-growing project of human interaction, to erasing unheard messages, liking shared wisdom and answering what I should have for breakfast. This is an intertwined love affair with Social Media, for no matter where we roam; we will have access to our online home.

Cheers to all you social savvy inventors who contribute to social networks of the Webisphere, you have taken the me out of Social Media and turned it upside down; and have arisen what I like to call, Social WEdia.

Soshable | Social Media Blog
I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of social media predictions for 2010 by now. And while my posting is a little late, I hope I’m note treading too fine a line by waiting until 2010 hits before I make my predictions.

Before I get into what I think will be worth watching this year, let’s see how well I fared with the results from the predictions I made for 2009. Those included:

  1. Twitter will continue to achieve legitimacy. Check. There’s no question that Twitter became mainstream in 2009. I won’t rehash all of the examples, but suffice it to say that when your local news outlets are suggesting you follow them on Twitter, it’s mainstream.
  2. Online video will come into its own. Check. YouTube has started to show some signs of revenue generation, and Hulu was advertised during the Super Bowl. Video became more and more important in 2009.
  3. Customers insist on custoMEr service. Check. More interaction on Facebook pages, Twitter, Get Satisfaction and similar sites has customers looking for solutions wherever they can find it, not just via 800 numbers.

Okay, so where does that leave us for 2010? What new trends or changes from last year can we expect?

There’s Power in (Smaller) Numbers

Although this new technology has allowed us to connect more quickly and more transparently across the globe, the collective cacophony is simply too much. It’s impossible to actively see what all of your followers are saying on Twitter after you’ve topped 300 or so.
In 2010, I believe we’ll begin to see a contraction of networked relationships. We saw a forced version of this last year with Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice, but the proliferation of “friends” on various platforms will have people rethinking the true reason they’re involved in these places to begin with. So as users reassess who and why they’re connecting, what will hold the most interest for them?
People still trust people like themselves; but the ones they know best are the ones they’re most likely to trust. Therefore, it will be the people in their close networks – particularly from a geographic perspective – that will remain the closest. Brands will also realize that they can’t be all things to all people, and will focus on those influencers who are the best fit for them.
Note I didn’t say “those influencers with the most followers or the highest readership.” Long ago, I noted the difference between the theories of Malcolm Gladwell and Duncan Watts, the latter of whom notes that it’s the network, not the individual influencer, that makes a difference in how ideas are spread. Expect to see a focus on fewer and stronger relationships in our own networks and in influencer/media relations.

All Social Media is Local
This next trend is one that is relative to the above. The former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously said “All politics is local,” meaning that ultimately, people care most about what’s going on in communities around them. Social media is no different.

When you follow the recent rise of location-based services like Foursquare or Tripit, it’s clear that people want to connect with others by location, as well as share experiences and seek recommendations by those who are well informed. And whether that means connecting in the communities in which they live or those to which they travel, people will begin to use more of these kinds of services. As an adjunct to location-based social networks, expect location-based search to blossom as well.

Related: see Matt Singley’s post on Why Foursquare is the next Social Network.

Silent E
If you’re of a certain generation in America, you may recall The Adventures of Letterman, a varsity-sweater wearing superhero who rescued victims of alphabet assault-and-battery by the Spellbinder. As Letterman appeared, the voice-over noted that he was “Stronger that a silent E…”

In this case, the E is for email. Yes, email, that seemingly forgotten poor stepchild of social media, that gateway to the online space, that workhorse of digital media. Email is alive and well and living in everyone’s inbox. According to ShareThis, 46% of people share content by email – larger than any other social platform. And StrongMail’s Social Influence Benchmark Report shows nearly 37% share by email, with 21% sharing by embedded badges.

When you add to this the fact that many in the mainstream still don’t know what an RSS feed is or how to use an RSS reader (or that they simply don’t use one), it’s clear that email subscriptions still rule the roost. Not to mention that email is ubiquitous. It’s just generally accepted that everyone has an email address. Despite the hype of social media and social networks as the latest way to connect, every single platform has a common denominator: you need an email address to register.

Expect to see a renewed effort on email marketing, with a nod toward integrating with social media applications and campaigns. With a good content strategy, email is simply the vehicle best suited to share the content.

Related: Users Still Sharing by E-Mail (eMarketer)

Other Trends
While I won’t go into as much detail in these, keep your eyes on the mobile space, on fuller integration of PR and marketing, and more focus on quality content in 2010. Overall, the space will begin to show some signs of maturation, and will begin a future trend of being integrated as a part of day-to-day business in many organizations.

Oh, last year I also predicted that social media gurus would continue to self-promote. I see no need to change that this year. ;-)
How about you – any predictions or trends that you’d care to share? Drop a comment in below.

You might want to check out these related posts as well:
Brian Solis says that Mobile is the Next Frontier for Brand Engagement.
Pete Cashmore predicts 10 Web trends to watch in 2010.

eMarketer Weighs in on 2010 Trends and compiles a 2010 Roundup of Predictions
Chris Brogan looks notes that 2010 Will See Consolidations and Fold-ups
Forrester predicts 2010: The Year Marketing Dies
Read Write Web tell us about 10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2010
MediaPost says that 2010 Is the Year Social Media Gets Serious

Photo credit: Stefan

The Social Media Marketing Blog

Guest post by Ben Hanna, VP of Marketing for Business.com, the Web’s leading portal for business owners. 

According to a new study involving more than 1,700 small business leaders, companies marketing to small businesses would be well advised to focus on social media tactics requiring little IT investment, such as webinars, podcasts and establishing a presence on top social networking sites, before pursuing more IT resource intensive initiatives such as creating a company-managed online community. The study, conducted by Business.com, finds that that four of the top five most effective social media tactics for engaging small business decision makers do not require significant IT investment or involvement. The exception – company blogs – should be backed by both a strategic content strategy and the resources necessary to create this content on an ongoing basis before it allocating IT resources to blog creation or management.

The small business social media study examined the social networks and other social media resources small business owners and managers turn to for business-relevant information. In contrast to the common perception of social media as inherently “social” or interactive, study participants using social media for business were much more likely to use resources which don’t require interaction, such as webinars and podcasts (67%) or reading product reviews (63%), than they were to participate in online discussions (29%). The top five social media resources used by small business leaders are:

  1. Webinars / Podcasts – small business leaders consider webinars and podcasts to great resources for professional development, industry research and learning about potentially-relevant products and services, saving them the time and expense of attending in-person training.
  2. Ratings & Reviews – provide useful input into the business buying process, particularly those ratings or reviews provided by other small businesses using the product or service.
  3. Company / Brand Pages on Social Networking Sitessocial network participation is now mainstream for U.S. adults, with 46% using sites such as Facebook and 25% participating weekly. Small business leaders are increasingly turning to these sites to find the latest information about important vendors, products and services.
  4. Company Blogs – small business leaders praise company blogs – at least, those that are “well written, current and with good thought leadership articles” – as great sources of information about business-relevant products, services and the underlying character of a company.
  5. Social Media Search – while some of the business-relevant information on social media sites can be found through general search engines, a great deal cannot. Realizing this, over half of small business leaders using social media search for business-relevant information directly on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Business.com Answers, SlideShare and many more.

B2B social media marketing initiatives require Marketing and IT to work closely together to prioritize projects, allocate resources, manage execution and maintain new systems and features. One key implication from this study for companies marketing to small businesses is that Marketing can, and should, actively pursue B2B social media initiatives which require little IT investment before taking on more resource-intensive projects.

For example, rather than placing a company-managed online community the core of the emerging social media strategy – a community where, according to this research, it will be very challenging to build participation by small business leaders – establish a company presence on one or more social networking sites and focus initial community development efforts on those sites. By focusing first on external, IT ‘lite’ social media opportunities, companies marketing to small businesses are more likely to reach a far larger portion of their target audience in the short run, begin developing a following and learn key lessons that inform what social media features and functionality are actually necessary on the company web site.

For more details, the complete research report, “Engaging Small Business Decision Makers Through Social Media,” can be downloaded from the Business.com web site at http://www.business.com/info/engaging-small-business-through-social-media.

Photo credit: p_kirn

Ben Hanna most recently led the Business.com 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study, and is a specialist in B2B online social media and marketing solutions. 

The Social Media Marketing Blog

When you start hearing about social media taking up more budget rather than having to struggle for dollars and attention, it’s clear that the practice is gaining in legitimacy. 

 

Remember the days of having to gently introduce the concept, or of having to prove that in fact it’s something that’s a coming trend? We had to deal with skeptics – the same type of people, who maybe less than 10 years ago, doubted that the Internet was going to catch on. And we’ve had to deal with a struggling economy and limited funding. 

 

Things are a little different now. In fact, you might say that things are actually looking up. I think part of it may be that the tough economy forced marketers to be more savvy and frugal about their efforts, and social media became a natural receptacle for the underfunded. As such, it’s grown in stature and maturity, and with the rise of the awareness of social networks in the general public, it’s only going to get larger.

 

Here are a couple of charts from “The CMO Survey” undertaken by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association, as reported by eMarketer:

Social Media Marketing Spending by US B2B and B2C Marketers, August 2009 & February 2010 (% of total)     Percent of Marketing Budget Spent on Social Media According to US Marketers, August 2009 & February 2010 (% of total)  

 

When you compare the spending on social media marketing from August 2009 to February 2010, overall there’s an increase of 60% in the budgets (from 3.5% to 5.6%). Similarly, the planning for the next one to five years shows a similar level of consideration as well: in August 2009, social media spending was thought to be 6.1% for the next year and 13.7% for the next five years; and now, it’s more like 9.9% in the next year and 17.7% in the next five years.

 

And since this was a survey of CMOs, it’s a good indication that these budget predictions may get some traction, rather than just being a  fond wish of pundits. It’s a relief to see something that doesn’t resemble a death spiral in this economy.

 

 

Photo credit: emrank (Flickr)

The Social Media Marketing Blog
We often hear of social media being equated with tools and platforms. But it’s really much more than that.

If you’re adopting these technologies and behaviors at your company, it’s not about the shiny new toys. It’s fundamentally about culture change. And that type of transformational change – which may include updating business practices – must come from the top. But more than a top-down dictum, it’s got to be part of leadership.

I’ve previously discussed leadership here – in particular the leadership from Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally, who really gets social media. He promotes a culture of transparency and openness that is completely aligned with the way we’re trying to engage with consumers online and think about how we do business. Consistency of purpose and of message is key.

The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” feature recently did a two-part interview with Alan that captures some of the thinking behind what makes this major culture change at Ford such a success. I thought it was valuable to share these videos with you, since there are broader business lessons here that any marketing, communications or social media professional should understand.

Alan Mulally on catching mistakes

Transcript available here.

Alan Mulally on the “liberating clarity” of his mission

Transcript available here.

This kind of thinking and laser-like focus on our plan is one of the things that continues to set Ford apart. In social media as well as in the industry.

Related:
Anne Deeter Gallaher: Ford CEO Shares Executive Leadership Lesson in 140 Characters
Paul Gillin’s New Media Demands New Leadership
Charlene Li’s Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead
Marshall Goldsmith’s Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It

   

Larger Flickr image of ONE Ford available here.



The Social Media Marketing Blog

A new report from eMarketer shows how combining the strengths of email and social media can lead to better results.

You’ll recall around these parts the discussion of “Silent E.” Now this report teases that out a little more. It’s about how two complementary marketing practices can be used more wisely to engage customers in less of a disjointed way. This makes complete sense, as consumers need consistency in their interactions with brands and programs need to jump from one platform to the next almost seamlessly, while offering different benefits or levels of engagement on each.

Here are a few statistics on how social media and email will be integrated by marketers and why they think it’s important.

 

Business Executives Worldwide Who Plan to Integrate Social Media into Their E-Mail Marketing Campaigns in 2010 (% of respondents)   Social Media

 

You can find the full report, Maximizing the Email/Social Media Connection, on eMarketer’s site.

As Reese’s used to say, “two great tastes that taste great together.”

 

Personally, I think it’s about time. ow about you? Any plans within your organization to integrate social media & email?

 

Posted via web from The Full Monty

The Social Media Marketing Blog
Post image for iPad Apps and Social Media

In case you didn’t already know, I’m the owner of an iPad. Like a lot of other people I didn’t get it when it first was announced: like everyone else, I thought it was meant to be a laptop replacement. It’s not. While you can use the iPad to get things done, be a content producer, and a publisher (look for more details in an upcoming post), it really wasn’t meant for that (see iPad was made for everyone but us). It’s a consumption device. Having spent a few weeks with mine, I have a few thoughts about what makes a good iPad app and what you can do to get more out of yours should you build one.

In my opinion the ability to synchronize to a website or cloud based data, is a key component…

For those of you who don’t have an iPad, a brief primer: applications that were written for the iPad use the full screen and work better than apps written just for the iPhone. All iPhone apps will run on an iPad, but, unless they have an iPad component, they run miniaturized and (quite simply) suck. The experience is like going back to an amber monochromatic dumb terminal. It’s wholly unsatisfying. The Facebook app is this way, so I just run the normal Facebook website on my iPad.

Being a consumer device, one the things I use it for is reading the news. Some of the apps I use are the NPR app, USA Today app, BBC app, and New York Times Editors Choice app. You can see screen shots for each of the apps below.

From a social media perspective, there are a few things you want from an app. First and foremost is the ability to ability to interact with the outside world, especially through social media sites. At a bare minimum, you want the ability to email links out of the app. All of the apps have this ability, however that’s the only option the New York Times offers. IMHO if that’s all you are going to offer, you’re missing out. By contrast, all of the other apps offer you the ability to post links to Facebook and Twitter. Now you could make the argument that Twitter adoption among the mainstream population is fairly low, but iPad users probably have a higher Twitter adoption rate than the general population, so including it is a good idea. You can see screen shots from the individual stories for each of the apps below.

For greater interaction allow users to share information links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instapaper …

Another trait you should strive to achieve is offline or cloud synchronization. Despite the fact that RSS isn’t used by the general population (see the big fat RSS lie), I still find it very useful. I like to use the Newsrack app because it allows me to read the feeds I am subscribed to and it synchronizes with Google reader, so it doesn’t matter where I read things. Newsrack also lets me send things to Instapaper. The Instapaper app is another great tool that synchronizes across my iPad, iPhone, and Instapaper website. So when I’m at the gym, I can catch up on my reading while I’m on the treadmill.

In my opinion, the ability to synchronize to a website or cloud based data is a key component. I like to cook, and another app I like and use regularly is the Epicurious app. Within the app I can add a star to my favorite recipes. When I use the Epicurious website, I can add recipes to my recipe box. They may have different names and perform differently behind the scenes, but the user intent is the same: flag something important to remember later. IMHO my recipe box or favorites should be shared across the website, iPad, and iPhone. The Epicurious app also lets you mail recipes to yourself. The mail comes complete with a list of ingredients and instructions and is quite handy. However, it would also be nice to Tweet or share to Facebook from the app as well. The amount of Facebook fans and participation that Foodtv and Sur La Table have is impressive. And look at how someone like The Spice House uses Twitter: there is consumer engagement, traffic, and ultimately customers to be gained there.

So if you’re thinking of designing an application for the iPad or thinking about updating your existing iPhone app, here are my recommendations :

  • At the bare minimum, allow people to email links to themselves
  • For greater interaction, allow users to share information links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instapaper
  • Consider the core functions that your customers or users will want. Then look for ways to synchronize these actions across multiple platforms, including the website, iPad, iPhone, blackberry, smart phone, android phone

Creative Commons License photo credit: myuibe

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iPad Apps and Social Media


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Michael Gray – Graywolf’s SEO Blog

The third reason we really like [eNom] is because the data, right. Almost 10% of the entire web hits our servers. At least 10 million domains. In a world like the web, where everybody is everywhere, trying to figure out what people are doing, particularly in the longtail this is a really exciting source of data.

If the domain name data leakage from eNom & BulkRegister is “exciting” for him that means sharing it must be “not exiting” for their customers.

One more from the “competing against yourself” series. ;)

A few other recent examples: giving away your analytics data, giving away your most valuable keywords, and doing link research for competitors.


SEO Book.com – Learn. Rank. Dominate.

Social Media Polaroids ImageDid you hear that? It’s the sound of another week coming to a close. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “How will I ever get to read all of the social media tips, app reviews, and trend analyses I’ve missed?”

Well, this is the Internet — you could search and scroll your way around in the hopes of finding the resources you’re looking for. Or, you could simply take a peek below at our handy weekly guide to all that was new on the web in the last seven days.

This week’s roundup includes some social media sleuthing tips for that upcoming job interview, the innovative ways that lawyers use the social web to advance their careers, and some Apple-themed products for baby that will have you cooing uncontrollably.


Social Media


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  • Top 10 Stop Motion Videos on YouTube
    The painstaking art of stop motion video is widely honored on YouTube. Here are 10 of the best animations we’ve seen.
  • Top 10 YouTube News Bloopers
    Who doesn’t love a good blooper reel, especially when it comes from those suit-and-tie-serious news anchors? For a laugh, check out these 10 greats that were just too good not to find their way to the Internet.
  • 5 Things the Library of Congress is Archiving Online
    You may not think of all your social media noodlings as a historical document, but that’s what the Library of Congress aims to create with its archive of the web. Check out what their huge project of capturing our time entails.
  • 6 Websites for Remembering and Honoring Veterans
    Though Memorial Day has passed, it’s never a bad time to take a moment and reflect on the sacrifices of those who defend our country. These six sites are full of important stories and resources.
  • How Lawyers Are Using Social Media for Real Results
    While many attorneys and firms have been cautious around new media, some have reinvented their careers through blogging, tweeting, and sharing. Here are some examples.
  • 4 Social Media Efforts to Aid the Gulf Coast
    The Gulf oil spill tragedy has left many feeling powerless to help out, but pockets of non-profits are using social media tools for grassroots action. Here’s a look at their efforts.
  • HOW TO: Make a Great How-To Video
    Tom Laidlaw, the CEO of the how-to video site VideoJug.com, shares some top dos and don’ts for the instructional format.
  • 4 Tips for Producing Quality Web Videos
    With the explosion of web video content, it’s harder than ever to get your productions seen and heard. Here are a few tips that will help you distinguish your videos.
  • How Does Facebook View the World?
    Facebook may be the first large scale Internet company to survive a bold “shoot first and ask questions later” policy when it comes to innovation. Here’s a look at what they’ve done right, and what could be improved.

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Tech & Mobile


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  • 10 Must-Have Apps for the New iPad Owner
    With the long-awaited international launch of the iPad, thousands of folks will be app hunting in the coming weeks. We’ve highlighted 10 must-haves to start you off right.
  • 10 Free Android Apps to Boost Your Productivity
    Time may be money, but these absolutely free Android apps will help you save both by boosting your productivity.
  • 5 Matching iPhone and iPad Cases
    Are you a fashion-forward Apple addict? Then have we got the accessories for you. Clad your favorite phone and tablet in matching garb with these swanky cases.
  • 10 Adorable Apple-Themed Baby Accessories
    Prepare for cute overload! From outfits, to hats, to toy iPhones, these “iBaby” products will start your offspring on the path to Apple fandom while they’re still highly impressionable.
  • 3 Key Location Trends for Moms
    As location services become more mainstream, moms are taking advantage of related discounts, utility apps, and entertainment on-the-go. Here are 3 location trends to watch.
  • What the Future Holds for the Checkin
    Location-based services, while still somewhat abstract in their usefulness, offer a wealth of social engagement opportunities that have yet to be implemented. Here are a few examples.
  • 7 Awesome CSS3 Techniques You Can Start Using Right Now
    From slideshows to navigation menus, here are seven of our favorite practical CSS3 techniques that you can experiment with.

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Business


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For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


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Tags: business, facebook, Features Week In Review, List, Lists, Mobile 2.0, small business, social media, tech, twitter, youtube


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