Brand Building and the Impact of Social Media

When asked about brand building strategies, marketers in a recent Forrester survey said that search and social media were neck-and-neck. Search won by a nose thanks to business to business marketers who rated social media lower than business to consumer marketers. But overall, it’s clear that social media is having a big impact.

Digging a little deeper we see that online video is hot with the B2B crowd (who knew) while mobile is the weapon of choice for B2C.

Social media is changing the way we sell everything from accordions to wildebeests, but marketing man can not live by Facebook alone.

Going Beyond the ‘Like’: Facebook Action Links and Google’s Faux Pas

When social sharing was fresh and new “likeing” something made sense. I like this picture, so I want to share it. I like this cereal so I want to praise it. I like this story about a devastating earthquake in Japan. Hmm. . . maybe one size doesn’t fit all.

A few months ago, I saw an article about an online news outlet that was experimenting with an option other than “like”. (Please post the link in the comments if you know of it, I couldn’t find it.) The idea was to offer a sharing option for content that was interesting but not “likeable,” such as news reports on disasters, deaths and other misfortunes. Imagine a “read this” button or a “thought-provoking” or “intriguing.”

Facebook Rolls Out ‘Offers’ To All-ish

Facebook is famous for dangling the carrot then pulling it away when you try to grab hold. The newest carrot is the ‘Offers’ program, a self-service option for creating Groupon style deals on your Facebook page. Excellent for the small business owner.

In March, Facebook announced the program with much fanfare, then noted that it was only available to clients who had managed advertising accounts (the big dogs). So, the rest of us waited patiently.

A few hours ago, Facebook added several new posts to their marketing page promoting Offers! Yes, the same program they promoted months ago, but this time it’s open to all — ish.

Offers are available in beta to a limited number of local business Pages. We plan to launch offers more broadly soon. If you’d like to post offers but your Page doesn’t have the option to yet, let the Pages team know.

Ad Agency Reviews: It’s Time for a [Another] Change

The ad business has always been stressful and cutthroat. I know this because I grew up watching Darren Stevens on Bewitched burning the midnight oil desperately searching for that brilliant tagline. Then, on the verge of losing his job, his wacky witch wife would make a mistake which would end up leading to the best ad campaign ever created.

Oh, if only we were all married to witches or to Don Draper. He makes the ad business look cool.

In the real world, without magic and martinis, it’s become even harder to land that big client mostly because the rules have changed. AdAge says the agency review process has gotten “totally out of control.” They participated in a panel discussion with top agency search consultants and what they heard was a lot of frustration and few solutions.

Study Shows Facebook Related Privacy Problems are on the Rise

An IRS officer learns that a taxpayer he’s investigating is a comedian who posts a video on a social network to promote previous and upcoming performances. . .

Sounds like the start of a “guy walks into a bar joke” but that line comes from the 2009 IRS agent training manual. It goes on to suggest that the agent use this knowledge to track down how much the comedian was paid or use his future dates to arrange delivery of a summons.

This is just one of the eye-openers you’ll find in the new Consumer Reports: State of the Net Report. Instead of simply surveying Facebook users, Consumer Reports interviewed developers, lawyers, security experts and non-profit groups that dig out all kinds of hidden information. What they found is that Facebook is become less and less secure. I’m sure you already knew that, but I’ll bet there are a few ideas here you’ve never thought about.

LinkedIn Launches Sponsored Discussion Board for Women

LinkedIn is one of those sites that I should use more than I do. It’s loaded with information relevant to folks in all sorts of businesses and it’s certainly the best place to network within an industry.

This past week, LinkedIn got my attention when they launched the Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi. That last part if very important and very obvious when you hit the landing page.

Citi is in the financial services business and they know that women make more than 80% of the financial decisions in a household. That’s why they also run a website called Women & Co. which features lifestyle articles and advice about everything even remotely money related. The main difference is that Women & Co. is very family oriented as opposed to the new LinkedIn group which is all about work.

Survey Says Social Customer Service is Popular but Messy

There’s nothing like the spirit of competition to make a company jump on a new bandwagon. This time around it’s social media as a customer service channel.

Today we’re looking at the results of a survey by two companies, thinkJar and Sword Ciboodle. First off, we must stop to appreciate how totally cool those names are. Doesn’t everyone want to work for a company named Sword Ciboodle? Amazing.

Okay, now that I’m done fawning, let’s get to the facts. The study is called We Are Social: The State of Social Customer Service and the main takeaway is that companies are diving into social customer service before they know how deep the pool is or if they even know how to swim.