Social Media and Communities

The purpose of brand marketing is to generate sales. Whether we specialize in traditional or digital media--whether our focus is paid advertising or earned publicity--the sole reason for our existence is to get consumers to buy. Yet this idea gives us pause. We tend to associate immediate sales impact with ephemeral price promotions that we know produce short-lived sales bursts and precious little in the way of true brand growth. We know from decades of research that price promotions function essentially as giveaways to existing customers and play a very minor role in the acquisition of new customers. Meanwhile, given the nature of brand marketing, we're rarely able to demonstrate the full impact our efforts have.

Posted May 21, 2013

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is making news again: this time with the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr. All Things D, among a bevy of other publications, reported late last week that anonymous sources said Mayer had met with Tumblr CEO David Karp and was interested in bringing the popular blogging service into the Yahoo! fold. Then, Monday morning the companies announced the deal was final via a press release.

Posted May 20, 2013

Pheed, a social media platform that has been called an alternative to sites like Twitter and Facebook, has just released its Android app, now available on Google Play.

Posted May 16, 2013

I quick scroll through the feed and the news of a nationwide internet outage is unfolding on social media. The nation's third largest telecom provider, CenturyLink, is experiencing outages from Las Vegas to Florida and across my region in Tennessee and North Carolina. On Twitter and Facebook the complaints are piling up about loss of internet and email, and downed websites. So what should a company do in the face of a massive problem? How do you use the myriad of tools online to effectively communicate with customers and resolve issues?

Posted May 16, 2013

By the time you read this column, Facebook's redesigned Timeline and News Feed will be old news. But as I was casting around for column ideas, I instant messaged my friend Mike--otherwise known as @tech_envy--and asked him what he thought I should write about. I was stuck for ideas. He wanted to talk integration. Specifically, he wanted to talk about the changes to Facebook's look, which would put new emphasis on your activity.

Posted May 16, 2013

Kenshoo Social, a social marketing platform, published a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, "The Key to Successful Social Advertising," that evaluates how marketers are using social advertising, with the goal of educating marketers on how to develop social media strategy and activate the most effective tactics.

Posted May 14, 2013

New business analytics technologies available from Jive Software, Inc. enable businesses to measure the reach, reaction, and influence of their work, and use predictive analysis to anticipate customer behavior, including loyalty, likelihood to buy, and predict customer churn.

Posted May 09, 2013

LinkedIn says it wants to make it easier for you to stay on top of the news and insights you need. The social network is debuting a refreshed look on LinkedIn Today and introducing channels to make it easier to discover and share professional news and insights.

Posted May 09, 2013

Social TV is making headlines as broadcasters endeavor to monetize their audiences whose attention is now spread simultaneously across multiple platforms. It is now common knowledge that most TV viewers, while watching their favorite shows, are actively engaged in social media conversations about the shows. Broadcasters have largely seen this phenomenon as an opportunity to grow the audience of their TV programs and accompanying websites, thereby increasing the value of those properties. However many broadcasters have been seeking ways to harness their social media audiences to create new incremental revenue streams. This may sound futuristic but, in many ways, the emerging business model actually harkens back to the earliest days of broadcast media.

Posted May 09, 2013

TIE Kinetix, a software-as-a-service company that facilitates every step of the e-commerce lifecycle, announced the launch of its Social Media Syndication Solution as an addition to its Content Syndication Platform. The new element is designed to help companies accurately and effectively deliver marketing messages on a dynamic basis through the partner community via Twitter, while closing the marketing loop at the partner level.

Posted May 08, 2013

Topsy, the real-time social analytics company, announced that users can now act immediately on insights they uncover in their analysis. Topsy Pro's new functionality allows users to reply, retweet, or favorite key Tweets surfaced in an analysis.

Posted May 08, 2013

When company executives think about managing the online reputations of their organizations, they are typically concerned with what people are writing about them on websites, blogs, and social media platforms. But they must now recognize their reputations can be damaged in the electronic media space by something "worth a thousand words": a picture. Without saying a word, disgruntled consumers can paint a negative picture of a company's trademarked brand.

Posted May 06, 2013

The journalist's toolkit has changed dramatically, according to news industry analyst, Ken Doctor. He considers an early 20th Century doctor and the meager tools of diagnosis he had in his traveling black bag. "The journalistic equivalent is the pencil and pad," Doctor says, jotting down facts in chicken-scratch shorthand that only he could read (if lucky), and traveling here and there to gather the facts from the most reliable sources. Now that journalist has the whole world at his fingertips. Even in an age of endless web information, it goes beyond Google searches and Wikipedia entries; today's journalists are also scouring social media, namely Twitter, for breaking news ideas.

Posted May 03, 2013

The marathon bombing changed a lot of things for the people who call Boston home. It certainly changed things for me. It made me love the city I live in just a little bit more. It gave me a new respect for the law enforcement officials who protect the place I call home. It changed how I feel when I walk down Boylston Street toward the Boston Public Library and Copley Square. And it gave me a heightened appreciation for technology, specifically social media.

Posted May 02, 2013

The HR Policy Association announced the launch of, a website that provides personal, free, and timely answers about job searches and the workplace from active company recruiters. The HR Policy Association was created to help prepare students and first time job seekers for the professional world.

Posted Apr 30, 2013

Adobe Systems Incorporated announced a new predictive publishing capability for Adobe Social, which predicts social engagement on individual pieces of content and automatically suggests ideal timing to improve how that content will perform. The initial version offers Facebook integration, and additional social platforms will be added later. Adobe Social, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, enables marketers to scale social marketing across organizations, and listen and respond to customer conversations.

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Talenthouse, in partnership with adidas eyewear and Nokia announced the launch of an engagement platform that enables the global creative community to make money every when their work is shared across popular social networks. The money is being provided by brands, who in return get their message integrated into all the conversations that happen around the original content.

Posted Apr 24, 2013

The music app that so many knew was coming from Twitter is finally here. Just about a week after wearehunted confirmed that it had been acquired by the micro-blogging service, Twitter #music was released on April 18, and Twitter explained the new service in a blog post.

Posted Apr 18, 2013

The problem with identity creep is that it goes beyond individuals. While your business may not be pulled over by customs anytime soon, you may be surprised to find that people who search for your company are asking who you are, where you are, and what you've done. The confusion that follows can cost you contacts, leads, and sales.

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Rovi Corporation and Facebook announced that Facebook will be incorporating Rovi Video, a database that includes in-depth information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities, into the Facebook platform. The integration will offer app developers a standardized base of entertainment data for creating meaningful consumer apps and interaction with entertainment-related content. It will also help Facebook make better entertainment suggestions to users.

Posted Apr 16, 2013

Facebook was probably hoping it had satisfied the rumors of a Facebook phone when it introduced Facebook Home, but early reviews would suggest that users aren't exactly satisfied. After hitting the Google Play store on April 12, Facebook Home has a mere 2.5 star rating -- with nearly half of the people who have downloaded the app giving it just one star.

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Is Twitter getting into the music business? That is the question that the digital rumor mill is trying to answer. We Are Hunted, a music discovery site, confirmed an acquisition deal with Twitter-which reportedly took place in 2012. Combined with the invite-only, it would seem that the microblogging site is preparing to get into the music game in a big way.

Posted Apr 12, 2013

In a blog post, LinkedIn announced it has acquired Pulse for a reported $90 million. The company wrote, "We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform - where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content." And apparently, the Pulse acquisition is the next step to achieving that goal.

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Building reader engagement is at the top of every web publisher's to-do list. Getting your users to comment and partake in online discussions is one of the best ways to keep them coming back to your site. But when you open your content to commenters, you also open it to trolls, and many very successful websites with engaged users are still struggling to find ways to foster discussion and drown out the troublemakers.

Posted Apr 08, 2013

This time around the rumor mill wasn't so far off from the truth. During an April 4 event, Facebook debuted Home, a custom homescreen for Android phones. Not quite the phone many had predicted, but not totally unrelated. Users of one of these phones will see a Cover Feed when they wake up the device, and all of their friends updates -- links, photos, etc. -- will be right there on the homescreen. And instead of having to open an app to use Instagram or Facebook messenger, users will be able to do all of those things straight from the homescreen of a phone with Home downloaded on it.

Posted Apr 04, 2013