The Top Social Media Tool for 2011 is…

social media research

If you heard about a marketing strategy that could substantially lower your marketing expenses and return 600% or more of your investment, would you be interested in learning more about it?

When Social Media Examiner surveyed 1,900 marketers in 2010, half said they wanted to learn more about this strategy.

Of those just starting out in social media marketing, 65% wanted to learn more about it. And 81% of all the marketers surveyed said they would definitely increase their use of this strategy.

No, it’s not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Sure, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were among the top four social media tools among this group of marketers.

But what was first?

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8 Social Media Trends Impacting Businesses

social media researchAs businesses continue to integrate social media and become more confident and comfortable with social media tools and platforms, we’re starting to see a change in social media usage.  A new study reveals what’s changing with social media.

SmartBrief recently partnered with Summus Limited to survey more than 6,000 of its readers across a variety of industries.

They benchmarked and measured the state of social media usage among businesspeople. The data identified eight prevalent trends that give great insight into the social media behaviors, beliefs and challenges of the majority of businesses today.

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This Week in Social Media: The News You Need to Know

social media researchAre you struggling to keep up with what’s happening in social media? We’re happy to introduce a new weekly column where we review the hot social media news items of the week.

To help you keep up-to-date with social media news, here are some of the links that caught our attention this week.

Click through the links to get the full story and then be sure to come back and share your comments below.

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Blog Your Way to Corporate Success

social media book reviews“But whether it be dream or truth, to do well is what matters. If it be truth, for truth’s sake. If not, then to gain friends for the time when we awaken.”

Sounds like something from one of Shakespeare’s plays, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca, a 17th-century Spanish playwright.

You may wonder where I found such an obscure quote. It was a comment by someone named Vigrx on my blog post titled “Using Social Media to Market Your Business.” He or she was promoting the site vigrxdeals.org. The fact that the quote had absolutely nothing to do with social media was a sure sign that it was spam.

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What Old McDonald Can Teach You About Social Media

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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Are You Looking to Track Social Media Metrics?

social media book reviewsWhen Intuit wanted to analyze market sentiment about TurboTax, they used Radian6 to collect approximately 40,000 blog posts about Intuit and its competitors between January 1st and April 15th of 2008.

“None of [the team working on this project] felt artificial intelligence was going to come to their aid any day soon,” says Jim Sterne in his book, Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment.

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How to Grow Your Business With Live Video Broadcasts

social media book reviewsThree 30-something guys are surfing The Long Tail and demolishing the boundaries of traditional television broadcasting along the way.

Adam Quirk, Erik Nelson, and Aaron Valdez are the sole employees of Wreck & Salvage LLC. In addition to making customized videos for clients, they create a monthly, hour-long online video show called Tricorn.

But you won’t find them out on the town, shooting original videos of breaking news stories. They do that occasionally, but they are primarily “remixers” who take snips of existing videos and splice them together to create a mashup. And they broadcast many of these mashups on their show, streamed live on Livestream.

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Socialnomics: It’s a People-Driven Economy

social media book reviewsAn Illinois senator who was virtually unknown in 2004 defeated Hillary Clinton in 2008 to win the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination.

And he used social media to do it.

His YouTube videos got 110 million views, estimated to be 14.5 million hours of viewing. Mass media advertising to reach that many viewers would have cost $47 million.

A famous rapper made a promotional video that gave him even more free publicity.

At the time of the election, he had five million fans on Facebook — over four million more than his opponent. On MySpace, the numbers were approximately 800,000 and 200,000, respectively. On Twitter, he had over 100,000 followers and his opponent had about 5,000.

And he rode that social media train all the way to the White House.

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Study Shows Time Pays With Social Media Marketing

social media researchHave you asked this question: Is the time I invest with social media really worth it?  Whether you’re new or an old hat with social media, chances are you’ve wondered if the time commitment is really worth the return on investment (ROI).

Make no mistake about it:  a true investment of time and resources is necessary to see significant social media marketing success.

But the real question is, “Just HOW MUCH time is needed to see solid success?”

This question was recently answered in the new study, 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, authored by Michael Stelzner.  Based on the report findings, ROI is top of mind for most marketers using social media.

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