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Social Media Roundup - January 2012

30 predictions for social media in 2012
One thing we know for sure: more people and more businesses will be using social media in 2012. Read what some leading social media experts predict for this year. Among the highlights: (1) thanks to social media, marketing is increasingly being done in real time; (2) social media will move front and center in many businesses' strategy this year; and (3) new applications will emerge to help cope with information overload.

7 reasons blogs should be important to your business
Bloggers are no longer just lone enthusiasts or hobbyists. Individuals start nearly 3 million new blogs every month. New research shows the power and reach of the blogosphere - and the importance blogs have to brands and businesses of all kinds. A recent article highlights 7 reasons to understand and learn to work with blogs. Three results that stand out: (1) bloggers are young, educated, and experienced; (2) bloggers help brands; and (3) a growing number of consumers trust blogs.

Facebook has 8 million members (and other stats)
Some highlights from the latest roundup of social media statistics: (1) social media is now the Internet's most popular activity; (2) social media away at traditional media (people say they read newspapers less because of it); and (3) Facebook may have the numbers (799,061,380 as of this writing), but Twitter shapes the news agenda.

On Twitter, what comes after "Oops"?
It seems to be particularly easy to make mistakes with Twitter. This blog discusses the three most common types of errors made by corporate Twitter users. The first is the "wrong pipe" error, e.g., an American Red Cross employee tweeted about getting intoxicated on beer - on the Red Cross's Twitter account. Number 2: the "tone deaf" tweet, where someone posts a tweet that is insensitive or otherwise inappropriate on the corporate account, e.g., the infamous Kenneth Cole tweet about how the demonstrations in Egypt were the result of excitement about the company's spring shoe line. Third is the "TMI" tweet, e.g., a corporate employee tweeting something highly uncomplimentary about the city he was visiting. Fortunately, the blog article highlights good strategies for cleaning up after these train wrecks.

Facebook ads now easier to use, more targetable
Changes Facebook made last year to its advertising platform are paying off: estimates from eMarketer show the company's revenue growing from $1.86 billion in 2010 to $3.8 billion in 2011, a rise of 104 percent. Improvements included a self-service ad creation application; the new Sponsored Stories (which allows advertisers to surface posts and news from the timeline as ads); and the ability to target local ad campaigns right down to Zip Codes.

YouTube adds features businesses can use
A new home page, a new YouTube channel page, and beefed-up analytics are three recent changes unveiled by Google-owned YouTube. The subscription feed on the new Home Page offers video creators the potential of being seen and shared by more targeted viewers. The new Channel Page provides an to add tags and keywords, set a featured video, and create links back to their other digital properties. YouTube analytics adds features that allow tracking of user retention and playback locations, providing channel owners with a way to track engagement and learn where traffic is coming from.

Mobile apps and Facebook
Almost 40 percent of Facebook use is now by apps, making Facebook one of the most mobile-centric platforms. As more people adopt smartphones and tablets, Facebook's importance for mobile marketing will only grow. Smart business users of Facebook will learn the strategies that are right for mobile users.

Podcasting for business 101
Have you thought about doing a podcast? New have brought podcasting within the ability of just about anybody yearning to use the popular platform to get their message across. Podcasts are a great way to share your expertise and communicate with your best customers. Here's what you need to know to get started.

Tap the power of Facebook
Integrating your website with Facebook is an easy way to exploit the power of the social media giant for your business. Here are 10 ways to use Facebook's social resources on your own website. Two examples: (1) Like Buttons, which allow visitors to your website and blog to to tell their friends on Facebook that they like something they saw there (which attracts new visitors); and (2) the Like Box, which shows who likes your Facebook Fan Page and allows users a one-click way to Like it directly from your website.

Google+ 101 continues to grow
Google+ is still growing fast. Google is adding more and more functionality every month, and quickly integrating it with all their other products and services, including Gmail, Maps, and Documents. Now that business pages have arrived, this is a good time to get involved with Google+. This video is a good introduction to Google+ and how to use it.

Top 10 Facebooks apps for building fan engagement, community
Facebook apps offer a great way to add interest and fresh content to a Fan Page. Among the apps highlighted here are YouTube for Pages, allowing tight integration of the popular video platform with a Fan Page. Examples include: Fan of the Week for Pages, which gives a shout-out to your most active fan in a given week; ContactMe solves the problem of how a fan can contact the Page owner without it to the world; and the Constant Contact app adds newsletter signup to the Page.

Is Twitter right for you? Take the test!
Still on the fence about Twitter? The popular microblogging platform is not for everyone - but it can be an effective and a rich source of information about what customers are thinking, talking about, and searching for. This humorous infographic from Flowtown contains some good advice about whether Twitter is right for you or your business.

Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to."), based in Shelburne Falls, Mass. He helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Contact him at 413-489-1818 or daniel@daniellieberman.org.

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