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5 Ways Twitter Can Make You an Industry Expert

…and 5 ways it can screw it up for you.

By Kelvin Newman

The fuss about twitter has died down a little over the last couple of weeks and people either seem to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or an indication of everything that’s rubbish about web 2.0. Personally I’m more of the former than the latter.

I think it’s a really interesting tool and offers some excellent opportunities for people who would like to expand the reach of their personal brand and are willing to experiment. But it’s risky too and easy to cock up.

The Good

Whither Facebook?

Duncan Riley at TechCrunch today explores the options for still-indepedent Facebook. With talk of Yahoo eyeing a $1B price tag on Bebo, it looks like Facebook is in a good position to get far more—but from whom? In the comments, Michael Arrington predicts an IPO for Facebook next year.

Meanwhile, Hitwise released statistics on social networks today. MySpace still leads the pack with 79.7% of visits last month. Bebo was doing respectably among the rest, with 1.28%. Facebook received 11.47% of visits during April. (The remaining 7.55% was spread among Imeem, BlackPlanet.com, Tagged, Yahoo! 360, Xanga, hi5 and Gaiaonline.com.)

Rumor Mill – Yahoo in $1b Talks with Reluctant Bebo?

Yahoo has a billion dollars and its burning a hole in the corporate pocket. After failing to convince Facebook to sell for a $1 billion, Yahoo has turned its affections to another popular social network, Bebo.

Bebo is very popular in the UK, so you can see why the press over there is jumping on the rumors.

Yahoo! is rumoured to be weighing a $1 billion (£500m) bid for Bebo, the privately owned social networking site, after shuffling its management team to better place itself for acquisitions….Given Bebo’s strength in Britain, an approach by Yahoo! would be likely to involve Toby Coppel, the Yahoo! executive who previously led the company’s global mergers and acquisitions team and was recently appointed managing director of the group’s operations in Europe.

Which Social Network Is Right for Your Marketing?

You should select the right social network for your marketing based on what outcome you’re looking for in a campaign. eMarketer can help with the results of the iProspect Search Marketer Social Networking Survey conducted by JupiterResearch.

Almost half of the search marketers surveyed had “proactively placed content” on social networking sites including del.icio.us, YouTube, MySpace and LinkedIn.

social networking sites used

How did they feel their efforts fared? Their responses were segemented by the site they used.

social network responses

How can you select the right social network based on outcome? According to these marketers, the best sites:

  • For driving traffic to a site were del.icio.us, Yahoo Answers and MySpace (with craigslist doing respectably, YouTube and LinkedIn further behind and Amazon dead last).

Rumor Mill – MySpace Buying Flektor?

After giving photo slide show newcomer, Flektor, the thumbs-up on May 11th, TechCrunch is now reporting rumors that MySpace has snapped up the company. Despite only just acquiring Photobucket, Michael Arrington suggests Flektor will add much value to MySpace.

The acquisition also makes sense from a strategic standpoint. MySpace has massive distribution as the largest site on the Internet. Photobucket brings storage to the table, and the Flektor team looks to be able to create awesome tools for users to create content. The three services actually fit together nicely.

I have to admit, I tried MySpace once, but didn’t inhale. I was put off by the fact that it was just too darn ugly – which is probably the visual equivalent of “you call that music, in my day…”

The Next Hot Marketing Ploy? Find a Way to Get Sued!

Forget search marketing, viral marketing or even social marketing, there’s a faster way to get your company in the spotlight – get sued by a bigger company.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at all the publicity that social network Imeem is now getting, thanks to a law suit slapped on them by Warner Music.

The suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims that “Imeem is no innocent infringer. It invites Imeem’s millions of users to flock to its website to copy, adapt, distribute and perform unlicensed sound recordings and music videos.” A statement from Imeem was not yet available.

Censorship Issues Continue for Digg

It’s been almost two weeks since the latest Digg fiacso. Quick review: stories with HD-DVD encryption codes being censored, Diggers strike back by creating, posting and digging new stories with the codes, Digg’s Kevin Rose conceded.

However, it appears that Digg’s censorship issues are far from over. Rising stories are disappearing after being buried not by the community of Diggers, but by Digg employees (or, possibly, a specific algorithm targeting sites from specific URLs or types of sites). Neil Patel and Andy Hagans have seen this happening to stories that they’ve followed, as have others.