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We all know about social media 'gurus': the hired guns with thin track records who claim that they know all of the secrets to social media success and can boost your business on Facebook and Twitter for a sum.
In most cases, the social media 'guru' is thought of as an opportunistic type who overpromises and underdelivers. But a friend in the United States who works as a strategic marketing consultant relayed a story to me that hints there may be social media gurus who are really social media 'scammers.'
Newspapers? Dying? Social media? Rising. That's the conventional wisdom, at least, and marketers seem to be buying into it.
While spending on social media marketing is still relatively small, it's increasing rapidly. At the same time, anyone selling newspaper ads has probably given some thought to a new profession.
But is the conventional wisdom wrong, either wholly or partially? Should marketers be less upbeat about social media marketing, and more upbeat about what newspapers can offer? At least one consultant thinks so.
Now that it's a possibility, allowing consumers to purchase goods directly through social media seems like a no brainer for retailers. But it doesn't come free of cost.
As a new study from Omniture shows, marketers choose Facebook as their preferred method of interacting with consumers in social media. And new tools are letting merchants sell goods directly through the site. Unfortunately, this method works best for companies that are already popular on the social net. And may not come cheap.
When JetBlue wanted to celebrate its 10th anniversary, it decided to sell a limited number of tickets for $10. That's a tall order, so for help with the difficult task of convincing consumers to buy $10 airline tickets, it turned to TBG, a London-based digital agency that specializes in Facebook marketing.
The result: JetBlue saw a "massive" response from TBG's Facebook ad buy, revealing the secret of social media success.
That secret: giving away stuff for free or at a significant discount is a great way to 'engage' consumers on social networks.
Many businesses are increasingly comfortable with social media, and many more have decided that social media is far too important not to experiment with.
But the growing level of maturity in the world of social media doesn't mean that mistakes are uncommon. To the contrary: many businesses make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are 10 of the most common.
Can social media influence purchasing decisions? Lots of time and money has been invested in a clear bet that the answer is 'yes'.
Some cite anecdotal reports regarding commercial activity on sites like Twitter, for instance, as evidence that popular social media services are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. But is social media the boon to the influence of purchasing decisions that many believe it is?
What is a 'social media expert'? What qualifications does one reasonably need before being paid to assist businesses with social media campaigns?
Despite the fact that there are plenty of self-proclaimed 'social media experts' out there, these are two questions for which we don't have good answers.
Social media has given brands a new medium in which consumers can be engaged. Most agree: there's something really important about this, even if we disagree on just what that is.
At the same time, social media has given consumers a powerful new tool for interacting with brands. It's now possible to provide feedback, issue praise and voice complaints in a manner that can have a real impact very quickly.
It has been interesting watching and taking part in discussions about our recent Online PR Industry Benchmarking Report. Over 300 UK marketers and PR professionals working for both in-house company teams and for agencies were surveyed.
Here are a few key report findings and opinions from those working at the coal face who blogged or commented...