social media reviewsThe vast majority of Americans are actively using social media. Has your business acted on this fact?

Are you looking for a way to keep pace with the quickly evolving field of social media marketing?

If so, Social Media Examiner has some exciting news…

But first, consider this story.

Imagine your business competing for your state’s “Best Brand” title against huge names such as Target, Dairy Queen and Wheaties.

Now imagine simply leveraging the power of social media and taking the grand prize! Wouldn’t that just blow your mind?

Well that’s exactly what happened to Creative Memories!

This Minnesota-based scrapbook supplies company beat 64 other brands to take the “Best Brand in Minnesota” title! And they simply relied on social media to make it happen.

creative memories scrapbooking

Creative Memories won Minnesota's Best Brand by leveraging their existing fans via social media.

Recognizing the Opportunity

Creative Memories’ community manager Kristen Jacobs discovered a single tweet as she was monitoring Twitter for mentions of her company.

It turned out the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal was hosting a brand challenge. And one of America’s biggest retailers—Target—was in the running! Target had nearly 5 million Facebook fans at the time.

Jacobs’ immediate response was to post the article on their Twitter and Facebook pages, calling on their 60,000 fans to vote for them.

creative memories twitter

Creative Memories learned first on Twitter about the Minnesota Brand Challenge competition.

Creative Memories’ fans not only responded, but also voted for them repeatedly through six rounds of the competition against nationally acclaimed brands until Creative Memories emerged the winner of “Minnesota’s Best Brand.”

“We learned that we may not be as recognized, have as many customers or make as much money as the brands we were up against, but we do have something none of them have. And that’s the ability to use social media to mobilize a passionate fan base to action when needed,” said Jacobs.

Now you might be wondering, “How did the community manager know what to do, or how to respond?”

That’s a great question. But think about this: “What would have happened if she hadn’t responded or hadn’t known what to do?”

To be successful in social media, you need to know what to do when an opportunity knocks.

More than ever, it’s critical to keep up with social media changes, to stay competitive and to learn the tactics and strategies that produce the best results and the greatest return for your business.

Has your business tapped the massive opportunities presented by social media marketing?

Recent Statistics on Social Media Adoption

Here are a few reasons why you should invest heavily in social media:

Mass adoption of social media: Nearly 80% of all active U.S. Internet users regularly visit social media sites (Nielsen). And while consumers spend 25% of their Internet time on social sites, Facebook has become the most visited website in the world. Your customers are there.

Social media benefits businesses: Among marketers who include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business (eMarketer).

Social media improves branding: In a survey of more than 700 marketers, 88% of respondents found that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs (Wildfire Interactive).

These stats are just a sample of the power of social media.

Are you “all in” with your social media activities? Want to fast-track your success?

Social Media Examiner Announces Social Media Success Summit 2012

Social media has changed radically in the last 12 months,” acknowledges Michael Stelzner, (CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner). “Google+ entered the stage, Facebook introduced Timeline for pages, YouTube unveiled their new layout, Twitter got a complete revamp and then there’s Pinterest. It’s a completely different world and there’s a need to discover new strategies and new ways to market your business with these platforms.”

social media success summit 2012To equip you with the latest strategies for marketing with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest, Michael Stelzner and the people you trust from Social Media Examiner have recruited 27 of the world’s most respected social media experts to share their newest tips and advice at Social Media Success Summit 2012.

If you’re not familiar with these events, they’re large online conferences (so you don’t need to travel).

Typically, thousands gather at Social Media Examiner Success Summits to discover new social media tactics, network with peers and discover how other successful businesses are using social media.

What People Say About Social Media Success Summit

Last year, 3,000 people attended the online summit.

Some of the organizations represented were Coca Cola, Visa, Microsoft, 3M, Honda, Kraft Foods, SAP, Wells Fargo, Disney, AutoDesk, LexisNexis, Four Seasons Hotels, Fuddruckers, EMC and thousands of small businesses.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Thoroughly wowed by the format and content. I will most definitely attend future summits,” Kim Kiefer

“Guaranteed to improve the way you approach social media. I’ll be back next year!” Derrick Sweet

“Phenomenal topics and knowledgeable speakers. The ability to ‘catch up’ on sessions thanks to recordings was a selling point for me due to scheduling,” Erin Caples

“This is the most comprehensive training I have yet seen on social media. The lineup of presenters was most impressive and the whole summit exceeded my expectations,” Suzanne Kiraly

Meet Your Presenters

Among the 27 social media experts who will be presenting at this summit are:

  • Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group
  • Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business
  • Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day
  • Brian Solis, author of Engage
  • Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motor Company
  • Frank Eliason, author of @YourService
  • Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch
  • Jay Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution\
  • Jason Falls, co-author No Bullshit Social Media
  • Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter
  • C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules
  • Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media
  • Jesse Stay, author of Google+ for Dummies
  • Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
  • And experts from Dell, Ford, LinkedIn, Citigroup, Citrix and many others.

Why Attend Social Media Success Summit?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Learn the latest and best social media business-building tactics.
  • Learn about tracking and measuring social media return on investment.
  • Learn how to sell with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Learn how content marketing fits in with social media.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to network via LinkedIn with thousands of people who are expected to attend.
  • You’ll interact live with experts from big B2B and B2C brands such as Ford, Dell, LinkedIn, Citigroup and Citrix.
  • Keep learning even after the summit is over—With the session recordings and the transcripts, you can keep studying the material for up to one year from the date of your ticket purchase.

Want to save some money? If you reserve your spot now, you’ll save 50%. Click here for details.

What do you think? Would you be interested in learning what the world’s top social media experts are doing that makes them so successful? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • Thanks patricia for the absolute case study. Being a mid size organization, we always think and work on social media strategy but being honest, found it quiet hard to convert social media traffic into loyal and genuine leads, however, we are a non profit hospital and we do not use social media to gain business but to spread the awareness of our mission on which we work. But though, social media has really helped us in getting started on international horizon. With the help of social media platform especially facebook, twitter and pinterest, we have significantly established our presence on the international map but i must admit , this has been very tough. I mean without proper and constant social media strategy implementation no business can reveal the potential of social media. Thanks again!

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  • predsicker

    Thanks Al-Ameen. Sounds like you’re on the right path! By attending this summit you will sharpen your social media skills and  learn new how to convert social media traffic into enthusiastic patient communities and genuine leads. Success stories from past summit attendees such as Mayo Clinic are proof that social media marketing works for hospitals brands just like yours.

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  • Social media is far too often tackled and written about from a US standpoint. The situation in the UK is quite different inn many ways and adoption is nowhere near as widespread.. I think it is important to know from what country’s standpoint all the commentators are writing/.. It doesn’t always follow what works in the US will work everywhere, although sometimes I wish at least some of it would. The UK is a much more pragmatic country i feel, with a much greater sense of privacy too. I can see Americans liking social networking. There are some really nasty socia media experiences getting big publicity over here in the UK, one writer recently commented that -‘recycle your private/personal info in social networking, and find yourself at the end of a fraud’

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  • Vision

    It sounds as if Creative Memories’ audience was in place and passionate prior to this competition, they were just given something to rally around. I think the real social media story here is how did Creative Memories create such a passionate audience before this opportunity/competition arose?

  • Great article Patricia. I agree (partly!) with Robert when he says that social media adoption here in the UK is perhaps different from the US – but I think we will surely follow the growth you’re seeing. To overlook the power of social media marketing channels is missing a great opportunity to build relationships with potential clients, and stay connected with current clients, in real time. And that coupled with smart marketing through your own web real estate – your website – is a winning combo!

  • predsicker

    I hear you Robert. And you’re right – social media doesn’t work the same everywhere. 

    I think every individual brand (whether here in the U.S. or in the U.K.) should use their knowledge of social media to develop something that works for them. Even private and pragmatic societies can be reached 🙂 The power of social media is undeniable, but the implementation of it will vary from place to place. I mean who would have thought that social media would be the driving force behind the Arab Spring. So I think it boils down to customizing your message to fit your audience.

  • predsicker

    Hi Vision, the real story here is how a YOU can leverage new social media strategies to create the same kind of results for your business that Creative Memories did 🙂

  • predsicker

    Thanks for your thoughts Tanya. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

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  • Great Article! I really enjoyed all of the content that you have provided. Thanks!

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  • Very Nice

  • I note that no one has picked up my point about the downsides. It truly amazes me how these are downplayed or even ignored altogether, especially by the ‘experts’ who should know better. Remember, people have lost their lives or had their child molested as a result of Facebook.

  • Robert – Every media platform in the world has downsides.  TV for example could be argued to have delivered smut and nasty content.  Radio could be argued to deliver music inappropriate for kids.  And on and on.  If we only focused on the perils we would never make progress.

  • I agree, no one is saying focus on them (downsides), what i’m saying is that they are usually completely ignored or VERY soft pedalled, I can give you countless examples of businesses which have suffered, and it is public knowledge that one or two at least have suffered big time, including a major airline. The whole thing is a free for all and potentially an unregulated nightmare at worst and I think these thinks need to be said. That is not to say that used with care and discretion it has undoubtedly got potential.

  • One of my continuing frustrations is that (i work in the travel space) hotels and travel businesses aren’t even getting the basics of on line marketing, channel management, customer service and distribution right, far less venture into pastures new. Many businesses I talk to say that they think social media can change the business, win more revenue &c – when even their own website is substandard or not even properly built or optimised.. I think we need to watch that social media doesn’t promise more than it can currently deliver, and that businesses get their priorities right, One new customer asked if i was a social media expert, i politely said no – then i asked why he was asking, he said he had heard it could grow his business revenues by 25% – then i looked at his website – – – – –

  • predsicker

    Thanks Maria!

  • SocialMediaDesigns

    I really appreciate the use of statistics, they make a clear statement that says you have solid numbers to support your point. You can’t get around facts!

    Thanks for the informative article.

  • Oops! Facts are off. The tweet from Natalie Zheng is what alerted Kristen Jacobs, Creative Memories Web Content & Community Manager, of the competition.

  • See the full case study by Casey Hibbard here:

  • I wonder what will happen to Social media in the coming years.

  • predsicker

    Taking care of it right now. Thanks!

  • predsicker

    Thanks so much!

  • Social Media is becoming more and more important in a businesses marketing strategy. As long as you have got a good brand with an easy to use website which integrates with the social media platforms then businesses should grow. But if you haven’t got the foundations in place then it will not happen.
    A lot of companies at the moment still haven’t got the grasp of social media and are not using it to it’s full potential and with more platforms emerging such as Google+, Pinterest and many others it really is going to become overwhelming for a small business. As with any marketing strategy, it will take time for it to grow and develop.

  •  When we have so much to know only in the first quarter of 2012, excited to know what we might get to do over the coming months.

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