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While it seems that some people are obsessed with social media metrics, those metrics can be useful for gauging the success of your Twitter marketing efforts. The problem is that  there so many metrics that you can look at.

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140 characters may seem morsel-sized but billions of them have managed to put Twitter on everyone’s radar from celebrities to marketers. What began as an experimental side project in 2006 has quickly ascended the ranks to become one of the world’s best known and most utilized social networks. Not to mention the world’s first micro-blog and real-time news feed.

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Social media marketing is the new frontier, and new frontiers scare people. They especially scare marketers and executives who have virtually no way of measuring the benefit of crossing into the new frontier. I know we all say that social media marketing is highly targeted, virtually cost-free, and will bring huge returns to those who invest in it, but it has been historically hard to measure the actual ROI on a social media marketing investment.

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The word “virus” comes from Latin and indicates poison or other harmful substances. Many viruses are harmful to the human body, making us sick and in some cases killing us. “Virus” is also a term we use to indicate a malicious piece of software that has invaded our computers, making them run inefficiently or installing malware that can steal our personal information and give it to criminals who want to steal our identity. Interestingly, “virus” is also the term we use to indicate an internet meme or particularly cool and catchy piece of the web that gets passed along through email and social networks—like a virus.

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Although Robert Frost found that taking the road less traveled made all the difference, your social media marketing campaign should help everybody find that same road and it should lead directly to you. Any good marketing campaign defines points of entry and channels of acquisition, and your social media campaign should be no less complicated.

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In 1985, Sally Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Places in the Heart.” During her acceptance speech, she uttered the now famous lines, “You like me, right now, you like me!” Often quoted as, “You like me, you really like me!”, this has become an oft parodied line at award shows as well as on TV and in the movies. Today, the word “like” has taken on a whole new meaning. Not only can people “like” you (enjoy being in your company), but they can “like” what you say and do in social media. And the same is true for brands and companies.

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If you fell asleep in 2005 and just woke up, I have some news for you: social media has taken over the world. People connect with each other all over the world in real-time and in ways that were never possible before. Social media has become a huge factor in political campaigns, political revolutions, dating, and marketing.

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The origins of Twitter reach back much further than its 2006 founding. In fact, they reach back further than the invention of the internet or the personal computer, all the way back to late 19th century England where speakers began to use a small corner of Hyde Park, London, for public debate. It was called Speakers’ Corner, and anyone and everyone could haul a soapbox to that corner of the park, stand atop it, and speak about their views and opinions to anyone who was passing by. Interesting speakers drew crowds. Boring speakers talked to the pigeons. And the tradition continues today.

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Gigya, what we’ve referred to as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of social plugins, continues to offer new features for making websites social that align with client needs and the latest trends and innovations. Early to the social scene in 2006, the platform was a trailblazer in a sea of individual plug-ins and remains so today leading the social CRM pack with a lion’s share of impressive clients to show for it.

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HootSuite is no stranger to those who keenly follow and use social media each day. Its intuitive social media dashboard offers users the ability to monitor and post to a plethora of social networks while tracking over 30 analytics along the way. Better yet, the platform’s unrivaled team collaboration features have won the affection of many enterprises seeking to align their social strategy with the help of multiple employees.

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