social media viewpointsAre you prepared to put your customers in charge of your brand… literally?

What would happen if you gave your customers the keys to your corporate social media channels? This article reviews the rewards and the risks marketers face as they decide how much brand control they’re willing to give up.

Marketers are just coming to terms with how to deal with customers having free rein to either praise or bash their companies, but I think there may be a new trend on the horizon—the customer brand ambassador.

You have customers who love your brand and rave about it. But their reach only extends so far. Why not give them a platform to amplify their reach and spread the word? Think about it… It really could be a beautiful partnership.

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social media viewpointsSocial media is transforming the way journalists break news.  Consider Robert Hernandez. He was searching for video on YouTube of the Bahrain protests.

He used filters to find videos from Bahrain and then sorted to find the most recent uploads. The top result had just been uploaded and had yet to be viewed. He watched it.

The shaky video was taken by someone in a crowd holding a cell phone. It shows a protester who gets shot and killed.

Record. Upload. View.

Without a news crew standing nearby, this death may have gone unnoticed and unrecorded, but through the power of a cell phone, the Internet and YouTube, this tragic event was captured forever.

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social media viewpointsAre you wondering if it makes sense to advertise on your favorite social network? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have different demographic profiles and use cases that may provide good advertising opportunities.

All three platforms are also developing new and innovative ways to target advertising messages, based on the overwhelming amount of data they possess about their users. Marketers should explore the paid opportunities social networks offer with as much thought and effort as they experiment with the “earned” and “owned” aspects that these networks provide.

Depending on your business objective, one platform will likely prove more useful than others. In this article, I will explore the functionality each provides and how you can integrate the paid activity for maximum impact and return.

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social media viewpointsSince location-based check-in app Foursquare was launched at South by Southwest in 2009, the app has seen exponential growth, reaching over 7.5 million users this year.

Other apps have been popping up as well, as geolocation takes center stage in the mobile arena and users flock to apps that create games from typical situations and offer rewards for users.

Two years later, check-ins are old news and the still-young area of geolocation is evolving to keep users interested. Apart from gamification through leaderboards and badges (or stickers, or pins), the motivation for users to participate in location-based networks is severely lacking.

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