social media viewpointsMarketers know the most effective advertising is word of mouth marketing. The smartest marketers know word of mouth works best when it’s credible.

Unfortunately, trust is on the decline.   The percentage of people who view their friends as credible sources of information about a brand has fallen from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2010, according to Edelman’s 2010 Trust Barometer study.

That’s an alarming statistic for marketers wanting to tap into the power of word of mouth through social media marketing.  This article will provide three simple steps you can take to ethically market with social media.

What’s The Problem

Some marketers have cited this decline in credibility as a result of “friends” becoming defined more loosely because of social media. Sure, we’re Facebook friends with someone and we’re Twitter followers of someone, but are we really friends with them? Do we trust the word of mouth recommendations of people we’re Facebook friends with and Twitter followers of?

Continue Reading

social media viewpointsCan ANY company or organization afford NOT to be involved in social media? It’s a fair question and one may argue that it’s a CRITICAL question!

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and others that have just joined the game—and the list goes on and on ad nauseam!

“We already have a website and we get email. Isn’t that enough?”

The words invading our vocabulary are legion… and silly at times: blogs, fans, tweets, diggs, etc. Is this trip really necessary?

PERHAPS NOT. Let’s start by exploring why NOT to participate in social media:

Continue Reading

social media viewpointsNobody can pump up a new product launch quite like Apple. Take a semi-rabid fan base, a celebrity CEO and products that just sparkle, and you have all the makings of something big.

In its first month alone, the iPad had already racked up a million units sold. There’s so much online chatter about it, as of this writing a Google search on the name alone generates 107 million search results. The hype and the sales are soaring.

But what does this mean for social media and the way people use the Internet? Are there just a million new Apple toy owners out there or is this the beginning of a broader, more meaningful shift?

Continue Reading

Are you too Twitter-obsessed in your social media approach?

Twitter’s role as a Magic 8 Ball for our shared culture is unrivaled, and it has almost single-handedly ushered in the era of real-time search and social customer relationship management.

But Twitter is the online equivalent of HBO – important more because of who uses it and the media’s infatuation with it, rather than the actual size and impact of its audience.

Don’t get me wrong. I advocate participating in Twitter, and I’ve certainly grown my own audience via that channel.  Twitter indeed should be part of almost every company’s social media tool kit.

However, Twitter alone does not constitute social media, and you’d think it does given all the disproportionate attention being paid to it at conferences and in trade publications.  Let me provide seven reasons why you shouldn’t focus solely on Twitter…

Continue Reading

Real-time search is bringing social media to search engines. And that means a whole new dynamic for businesses using the social web.

With Twitter and Facebook updates appearing in Google search results, many businesses are trying to figure if this is good or bad—and what to do next.  Ziff Davis featured this blog post a while back.  It got me thinking about the implications of the real-time web and how businesses can navigate through these rough waters.

Continue Reading

Everyone seems to be using Facebook to connect with old friends, but do you realize what this huge network could mean for your business? In the past 3 years, Facebook has surged past MySpace to become our preferred online hangout.  And businesses are beginning to catch on.

Interesting research shows just how influential Facebook has become in our daily lives. Combined with several critical adjustments to how Facebook publishes “news” and intersects with other sites, the state of Facebook is mind-blowing. And that’s a big deal for your business.

Here are 11 vital reasons your business needs to be involved with Facebook:

Continue Reading