social media viewpointsHow will social media impact marketers and businesses in 2011? We sought expert opinions from a wide range of pros you’re likely familiar with.

Since we started Social Media Examiner in October 2009, we’ve published more than 280 articles. These original posts were written by dozens of social media professionals.

We decided to tap their knowledge and expertise to see what’s likely coming next year. Here are their predictions for where social media is headed in the next 12 months.

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social media viewpointsDoes the phrase direct marketer conjure up sleazy images? If you thought yes, you’re not alone.

Both social media marketing and direct response marketing place a focused pitch on the right list (prospects) and understanding what they want in order to engage them with relevant information that will get them to buy from you.

So why are social media and direct response considered mutually exclusive?

Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, put a stake into the hearts of social media “purists” when he said, “Those making the most money with social media marketing today are doing so by turning it into direct-response 2.0.”

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Today is Christmas. This is perhaps the most celebrated holiday in the entire world.

Gift giving is core to the message of Christmas. For unto this world a child was born, a gift for all mankind who believe. If you celebrate this holiday, I want to wish you and yours a blessed Christmas.

Now to my question…

I’ve had a lot of time to think lately. Why?

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social media viewpointsAt the Facebook f8 conference earlier this year, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Open Graph as “the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web” and with that announcement, the disparate strands of the world wide web became more tightly woven.

At the time, and to my surprise, mention of Facebook Credits was minimal at best—but as more information becomes available, it’s my prediction that Facebook Credits will be the NEXT major step Facebook takes toward unifying the online experience from simple, social interactions to true social commerce (or when tied to Facebook commerce, labeled as fCommerce).

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social media viewpointsAll businesses are being forced to go social. Are you facing internal conflict behind the firewall?

This is not a post about social media marketing. I’m not here to give you hints on how to increase your friends, fans and followers.

Nor will I say that it’s time for your business to “join the conversation” and I promise not to overuse the word transparency either.

I believe that most brands (large and small) get it.

Friends, fans and followers are important, yes. And brands increase their social equity by engaging in two-way dialogue with their constituency, yes. And transparency is key to these external engagements, yes.

But there’s an underlying challenge that’s not being addressed as it should be.

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social media how toFor marketers, social media is becoming increasingly complicated. The number of channels continues to grow and the pressure to show how all this effort will impact the bottom line only grows stronger.

The pains of managing social media are obvious – now let’s look at 10 different cures to make those pains disappear.

#1: I can’t keep track of what’s going on!

Between answering questions on LinkedIn Answers and updating your Ning profile, you missed the fact that one of your customers just wrote a scathing comment on your Facebook page.

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social media toolsGeolocation is one of the hottest trends in social networking today. Users enjoy connecting with friends at nearby locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the opportunity to tie their brick-and-mortar locations to their online marketing.

In addition to the main local social networking applications—Foursquare and GowallaGoogle, Facebook and Twitter have added geolocation features to their services to tap into this trend.

As users provide more information about their location, serious privacy implications are beginning to surface. For instance, a Webroot study released in July 2010 found that more than half of survey respondents who used geolocation services were worried their privacy was at risk.

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social media viewpointsWhat’s smarter? Putting all your eggs into your own blog basket or placing a few real fine blog posts on another person’s blog?  If you’ve pondered these thoughts, keep reading…

Guest blogging has been around for a long time, but it’s an especially hot topic now. With the concept becoming even hotter daily, it’s quite natural that myths emerge.

This post looks at three myths around guest blogging that have been actively discussed recently.

Myth #1: Guest Blogging Is a Waste of Time

“Why would I spend so much time arranging, discussing and writing a post to get just one or two links from the very bottom of my article?”

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social media viewpointsThe average American is hit with an average of 4,000 promotions every single day. And most people ignore almost all of the ads.

Consumers have developed extremely sophisticated filters. As a marketer, you’re fighting that filter every day.

What if you could take the filter out of play altogether? You can. Here’s how:

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