All About Brand Advocates and Social Marketing
This Week in Social Media

Twitter Adds Embeddable Tweets: 8 Creative Ways to Leverage Them – Social Media Examiner

Embedded tweets allow you to take a tweet or a conversation and post it on your website or in a blog post. You can use this feature to share your Twitter conversation with a larger audience. Read this post to learn how to leverage this new feature in 8 creative ways.

Facebook Adds Yahoo Patent Lawsuit to IPO Filing – Mashable

Facebook updated its $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) filing this week to include the details about its patent battle with Yahoo. This is the third time Facebook has amended its S-1 form. The list of lawsuits against the company seems to grow as the company gets closer to becoming a publicly traded company, which is expected to happen by May.

Google to Launch Third-Party Commenting Platform to Rival Facebook – The Next Web

Google is about to launch a new commenting system that will tie into the search giant’s Google+ platform, web services and web search, a source close to the product’s development confirmed with The Next Web. The Google comment system, which will almost certainly rival that of Facebook, will have deep links to Google’s network of services and websites, indexing comments in Google Search, and most significantly, the system will be available for use on third party sites.

Twitter Rewind: Big Highlights From 2012 to 2006 – Mashable

Six-year-old Twitter is a remarkably different animal than it was when co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the service’s first tweet in March 2006: “just setting up my twttr,” he wrote. To keep the social media powerhouse intact as more people, celebrities and world leaders find their roles in the birdcage, Twitter has evolved its aesthetics, functionality and business model. In this post, Mashable gathered the best moments in Twitter’s eventful existence to help you reminisce.

New Study: Men Seek Online Product Reviews and Tell Their Friends About Their Findings – eMarketer

A new study by Men’s Health magazine and GfK Roper found that men not only compare prices online and read consumer reviews, but they also tell their friends when they learn something positive about a brand or product online. These online shopping activities are significantly higher for product categories like tech, auto, food/cooking, and more.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann Talks New Profile, New Social Tools, Addresses Controversy – Fast Company

Pinterest, the addictive image collection and sharing site, will soon release a new profile page, possibly as soon as this week, and expand the types of items people can collect to include video.  CEO and cofounder Ben Silbermann said that the company is also working on ways to make attribution of shared media “easier and easier.”

What Marketers Should Know About Brand Advocates – eMarketer

Brand advocates are consumers who actively promote the brands, products and services they love and provide marketers with a volunteer army of supporters who disseminate recommendations to friends and family. Social media influencer and advocacy company Zuberance found, in a January 2012 study, that US internet users are making more recommendations than ever before, across a variety of industries. On average, the US internet users studied by Zuberance made 9 recommendations per year.

CNN Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Mashable – NY Times

CNN and the social news Web site Mashable are in advanced talks that may lead to an acquisition of the site, three people briefed on the talks said. If the deal was completed, Mashable would become the latest Internet media start-up company to be swallowed by a more diverse media company, in much the same way that TechCrunch was acquired by AOL in 2010.

Twitter Plots Big Changes to Brand Pages – AdAge

Big changes are coming to Twitter’s “brand pages,” the landing pages it offers to some marketers that also spend ad dollars on the network. Launched in December, the pages show the brand’s Twitter feed and images, but Twitter plans to add experiences, including e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes, according to three executives familiar with the matter.

Marketers Mobilize “Brand Armies.” B2B Companies Get Strong Results With Net Promoter Systems – BtoB Magazine

It has long been a rule of thumb that a customer who has a good experience with a brand will tell seven people. But now, through the magic of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, a customer can tell a positive brand story to hundreds, thousands or even millions of people with just a few keystrokes. CDW, Parallels Holdings and other b2b marketers are taking advantage of this opportunity by empowering their most satisfied customers to post to Facebook and other social media.

Brand Advocates – consumers and business buyers who frequently recommend brands and products without being paid – are highly trusted and influential. Their recommendations drive trillions of dollars of purchase decisions for everything from cars to computers, fish tacos to fitness memberships, software to smart phones. Now, a new study sponsored by Zuberance has revealed three surprising findings about Brand Advocates.

This study provides further evidence about the power and influence of Brand Advocates.The message in the data is clear for B2C and B2B marketers: find and activate your Advocates now to generate more recommendations, referrals, and revenues.

Download the full report here.

Don’t miss our March 21 webinar: Founder/CEO of Zuberance, Rob Fuggetta, will present the findings from “Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates” and share the implications for marketers. Click here to register.

(Click here to view the Infographic in your browser.)

Facebook Said to Plan Its IPO Filing for as Early as Next Week – Businessweek

Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social-networking service, is aiming to file for its initial public offering as early as next week, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The company is discussing a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, said two people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. Timing for the filing is still being discussed and may change, they said.

Foursquare Adds Menu Details to Restaurant Pages - eConsultancy

Foursquare has added another new feature to its desktop service – restaurant menus. At the moment the menus are available on the desktop and mobile sites, but the company says it will launch them soon on Foursquare’s apps.

Facebook Timeline: Here’s How Users Would Change It - Mashable

Opinions surrounding Facebook’s re-imagined profile are mixed. While many do like the new features, a number of vocal users have expressed their unhappiness with the changes. Because of this, Mashable asked their community to discuss how they would change Facebook Timeline to better fit their online lives. Here’s what they shared.

How Many Bad Reviews Does it Take to Deter Shoppers? - eConsultancy

Between one and three bad online reviews would be enough to deter the majority (67%) of shoppers from purchasing a product or service, according to a Lightspeed Research study.

Comscore Study Confirms What We Already Knew: You’re Wasting Money on Ads No One Sees – AdAge

One of the not-so-secret realities of the display-ad world is that a decent chunk of online ads are never viewed by web visitors. They either appear below the dreaded fold, or a user scrolls past them before they load. It’s one of the main reasons that the ANA, 4A’s and Interactive Advertising Bureau have partnered on their Making Measurement Make Sense plan: to create the “viewable impression” metric.

Facebook to Start Placing Ads in User News Feeds in January – AdAge

Facebook will feature its “Sponsored Story” ad units in users’ news feeds starting next month, giving marketers a more prominent foothold in the social network. The move is seen as an important step toward Facebook’s goal of delivering ads to its huge mobile-user base, and perhaps ultimately to third-party websites. “We really see Facebook becoming the operating system of the Internet for ad delivery in the future,” says ad executive Dave Williams.

Most Top Brands Have Google+ Pages, But Few Have Many Followers – Mashable

At this point, most of the top brands have Google+ brand pages, but only a fraction of them are getting many visitors, according to two research firms.

Foursquare Gros to 15 million Users, More Than Tripling its Community in the Last 12 Months – Econsultancy

This marks a year of strong growth for Foursquare, during which it secured $50m of venture capital funding  that put a value of around $600m on the company. A blog post by co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadural said the cash would allow Foursquare to “move more quickly”, and the new membership stats suggest it has worked.

Twitter Joins Facebook, Google, Launches ‘Brand Pages’ for Marketers – AdAge

Twitter’s existing brand pages have been under the radar, especially compared with the buildup around Google+ brand pages, which were launched last month. But Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain said that he’s spent the better part of the past year meeting with chief marketing officers, and brand pages were a recurring and frequent request.

Instagram Becomes the Largest Mobile Social Network – Socialfresh

Instagram added 2 million new users last month. Everyone seems to love the fast growing app (only available on iPhone for now).

Foursquare’s Revamped Website Could Challenge Yelp – Mashable

Foursquare announced recently it roll out a redesigned website that could challenge local review sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat. The company’s website has historically followed the functions and layout of its checkin-service mobile apps, but now will feature its own discovery features.

YouTube Tests Redesign Highlighting Google+ Videos, Subscriptions, and More – The Next Web

Besides the generally updated look, one of the more important changes here is the focus this redesign will put on shared content from Google+. This move should take Google one step closer towards extending the social platform more heavily into each of its products.

Like Twitter, Google+ Now Has Trending Topics - Techcrunch

Google quietly added a trending topics section to Google+ recently which now shows up when you perform a search on the social network. The new “Trends” section appears on the right-hand side of the page, and currently lists the top 10 items under heavy discussion like “Natalie Wood” and “Breaking Dawn,” for example.

Study Shows That Early Adopters of Social Media Have Captured Real Economic Value – Michael Brito’s Blog

Business consulting firm, Bain & Company, released a report in September and concluded that early adopters of social media (Dell, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, JetBlue and American Express) have captured real economic value from their budget investments. The report also give some concrete advice for companies that are unsure about their investments and the value that social media can bring.

Zuckerberg: Facebook ‘Made a Bunch of Mistakes’ on Privacy – Mashable

Facebook has agreed to a settlement with the FTC over charges that the social network had deceived its users about privacy. The FTC had accused Facebook in an eight-count complaint of not living up to its own promises. Among them: sharing users’ personal information with third parties without their knowledge or consent, changing privacy practices without informing users, and claiming to have a program to verify the security of apps when it didn’t.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Myspace: Five Lessons Learned From the Front - Tech Fortune

Myspace may be the most high-profile failure to turnaround a major Internet media property. Now, ex-CEO Michael Jones reveals what went wrong — and why.

Adobe’s Message to ANA: Digital Can Be Measured – AdAge

While most presenters at the Association of National Advertisers annual meeting in Phoenix took the opportunity to tout their brands to the hundreds of marketers and vendors, Adobe SVP-Global Marketing Ann Lewnes aimed her pitch directly at one man — the guy hosting the show, ANA CEO, Bob Liodice. “The goal of this presentation is to convert Bob Liodice” Ann said.

The Secret of Virgin America’s Happy Customers – iMedia Connection

For her opening keynote at iMedia’s Breakthrough Summit, Porter Gale, former vice president of Virgin America, emphasized the power digital had in Virgin America’s success. Gale took attendees through the never-before-shared making of the company that transformed the traditionally stressful, stale peanuts hassle of air travel into an experience so pleasant that one consumer said it was akin to “flying in an iPod.”

Webinar Recording: Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates – ZuberRants

Check out the recording from the recent Zuberance webinar on “Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates,” where marketing experts shared best practices on leveraging your fans, followers, and customers to recommend your brand and products to their networks. The speakers presented social marketing success stories from top brands like Microsoft, Rubio’s, Blurb, and Ooma.

9 Ways Top Brands Can Use Social Media For Better Customer Service - Mashable

During the first day of the Social Media for Customer Care Summit in New York, a gathering of some of the largest brands in the world focused on how social service can be leveraged more effectively. Nearly every brand was struggling with the same three big questions, which became discussion topics and hashtags in their own right: #integration, #scaling, and #crisis.

Are Location-Based Ads on Foursquare’s Radar? - Adweek

A new option from Foursquare would, with a user’s permission, automatically report the user’s location near a designated spot or let the user know when friends are nearby. Foursquare Radar would relieve users of the need to call up the application and check in when they arrive at a destination. It could also provide a “geo-fencing” solution for businesses to reach out to potential customers in the area.

70% of Companies Ignore Customer Complaints on Twitter - Convince & Convert

Despite increasing numbers of customers using Twitter to publicly complain about brands, the vast majority of companies respond in the exact same way….with the quiet of contempt. New research from Maritz and Evolve24 of 1,298 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those tweet gripes were replied to by the companies in question.

New Study: Consumers Go Online to Verify Product Recommendations – ZuberRants

A recent study by Cone Communications found that many consumers go online to seek additional information about products they’re considering purchasing as well as to verify recommendations they’ve received from their peers. This study truly highlights why it’s important that brands continuously drive their most enthusiastic customers to where prospects are seeking online product information.

LinkedIn’s New Features- a Lot Like Facebook & Twitter with More Opportunities for Marketers - Social Media Today

Thanks to the recent updates, admins of company profiles on LinkedIn can post real, honest-to-goodness status updates and actually include a link! This is very exciting for now all updates you make to your company status will appear on your follower’s LinkedIn home page. Your followers will have the option to Like, Share or Comment on your status update and in turn this “engagement” will also be seen by all of your followers’ respective networks, providing your company, your brand with a whole new and expanded audience.

Google+ Traffic Falls 60% From Post-Launch Highs - Mashable

Traffic to Google+ spiked 1,200% in the first few days following its public launch Sept. 20, but has since plummeted by 60%, according to a report from a data analytics company.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Google+ Now Lets You Share Your Circles With Others – The Next Web

Obviously if you’ve created a master circle of funny people or tech bloggers, they’re perfect to share with a friend. If you’ve created a circle of ex-girlfriends, perhaps you won’t want to share that. This is very similar to Twitter’s list feature, and of course Facebook’s latest list upgrades.

Crack the Facebook Marketing Code: How to Overcome EdgeRank – ZuberRants

EdgeRank + Facebook updates = a big time marketing headache. What’s a social media strategist to do? Instead of spending time figuring out how to crack the EdgeRank algorithm, why not focus on a more scalable and valuable approach to Facebook marketing: getting your super fans to spread content for you.

Facebook Launches “People Talking About This” Metric, Premium Ad Unit & More – Search Engine Land

Facebook is launching a new “People Talking About This” metric for fan pages this week, designed to show conversations happening about a brand or page owner across the web. It’s part of an upgraded Page Insights tool. Also released is a new Page Insights API tool.

Social Business isn’t a theory, buzz word, or “The Next Big Thing.” It’s an evoultion!Michael Brito

Social Business is simply a natural business evolution. It’s why companies like Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG and others have been in business and profitable for several decades, and in some cases, over 100 years.  They help companies change behavior, improve processes and expand into new markets because the dynamic nature of business is consistently changing.

Facebook Users Beware: Facebook’s New Feature Could Embarass You – Mashable

If you didn’t watch Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook announcements last week — and of course the vast majority of Facebook users did not — you may be in for a surprise. Aside from the dramatically redesigned Facebook Timeline profile pages, which roll out in the coming weeks (and which I’ve grown to love), Facebook’s new system to auto-share what you do around the web may catch many Facebook addicts off guard.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

What the Google Purchase of Zagat Means – Chicago Tribune

Word that Google has acquired Zagat, the prestigious restaurant-rating organization, no doubt sent a current of excitement through the entire dining community, ending with an unpleasant jolt to Yelp headquarters. Use Google to search for any restaurant, and what pops up? The restaurant’s home page, of course, usually followed by Yelp’s collection of community reviews of the place. Sometimes, Yelp reviews pop up ahead of the restaurant’s own page. Expect that to change now that Zagat’s online ratings, previously available only to subscribers, become available to all and sundry under the powerful Google umbrella.

When Bloggers Don’t Follow the Script, to ConAgra’s Chagrin – NY Times

In August, food bloggers and mom bloggers in New York were invited to dine at an underground restaurant in a West Village brownstone run, apparently, by George Duran, the chef who hosts the “Ultimate Cake Off” on TLC. The surprise: rather than being prepared by the chef, the lasagna they were served was Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna by Marie Callender’s, a frozen line from ConAgra Foods. But it was the marketers, not the diners, who were in for the biggest surprise.

Top 10 Quotes from Dreamforce 2011 – ZuberRants

Memorable quotes from keynotes and sessions at Salesforces’s Dreamforce 2011 in San Francisco from industry leaders and analysts.

Marketers View Social Media as Most Important For Upcoming Shopping Season – SocialTimes

More brands are electing the use of social media for an increase in name recognition this holiday season. In keeping with the Bizo survey, brands are aiming their marketing efforts toward social shopping into the fall season; and then without stopping, they are going all the way to the holiday season.

Facebook Begins Testing Friend Filters in Newsfeed – Mashable

Facebook has begun testing a slew of changes to the News Feed, including friend list filters and Smart Lists that automatically categorize your friends. The changes seem to be aimed at making the content within the News Feed more relevant. These changes, as far as we can ascertain from screenshots sent to us, show that Facebook is dividing the News Feed into lists, much like Google+ has done with Circles. “Feed filters make it easy to see a selected set of friend’s updates in one place and share exclusive with them,” Facebook’s guide to the new feature states.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

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