Social Marketing

Etsy. The name alone conjures up images of grey woolen scarves made by loving hands around the family dining table. In fact, the vision is not far off. Hundreds of thousands of artists have flocked to set up ‘shop’ from the comfort of their own home, peddling their artistic or vintage wares in ways unimaginable at local craft fairs.

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LinkedIn has long been known as the place to network and find a job. In the past few years it has broken that mold and turned into a community of top professionals looking to share insights and build stronger businesses. 

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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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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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Finally Facebook has become a platform for asking those important life-changing existential questions—why are we here? What is the infinite nature of the universe? Is Justin Bieber's new haircut too short?

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The articles in this series, titled “Social Success Stories”, explore social media successes by platforms and organizations.

Dell & Social Media: A Social Success Story

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Social media guru Jeremiah Owyang has done extensive research on how companies organize and manage their social CRM and how these companies have adapted to the rapidly evolving social media landscape. In his research, he addresses how companies structure and manage their social CRM initiatives, how they integrate their sites with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and how companies staff their social CRM teams. He discusses where to allocate your funds to enable growth both through advertising and by building an army of external brand advocates. In this article, we will discuss the major learnings from Owyang’s research.

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