The 3 Worst Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business (And What You Should Do Instead)

By Brad Smith, from Social Media Today

New media has changed the way we interact and communicate.

To understand and adapt to these changes, “social media experts” popped up to help organization’s evolve their marketing communications accordingly.

But while their intentions might be good, their results aren’t. Because having more Twitter followers and a high Klout score won’t necessarily help you get more website traffic, bring in more qualified leads or increase sales.

The tools and technology may have changed. But the underlying marketing principles still apply.

Here are 3 of the worst ways to use social media to grow your business, and what you should do instead.

Read the rest of the article here.


Social Media Prism - Germany V2.0Image courtesy of Ethority


Social networks influence health behavior

By Allison Floyd from Fierce Healthcare

Organizations can use social networks to prevent disease and promote general health, according to research conducted at the University of Southern California. USC researchers say that intervention made through social media on such topics as discouraging smoking, promoting physical activity to curb obesity and preventing the spread of STDs is likely to succeed because it passes information by word-of-mouth.


Researchers still are investigating how and why social media is so effective in the realm of public health. Thomas W. Valente, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC said that social networks can help collect data and share information from a business and marketing perspective. “The science of how networks can be used to accelerate behavior change and improve organizational performance is still in its infancy,” Valente said. “Research is clearly needed to compare different network interventions to determine which are optimal under what circumstances.”

Read more: Social networks influence health behavior –

Silos: The Biggest Barrier To True Brand & Consumer Engagement?

Posted by Steve Olenski on Social Media Today

Call it multi-channel marketing. Call it an integrated marketing strategy. Whatever name you apply to it, brands and companies are still struggling to give consumers what they want… a consistent and seamless message across all marketing channels.

A study conducted by Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, revealed that companies, at least in the US, need to step up their game when it comes to multi-channel marketing.

Mim Burt, research director at Gartner…

“Executing on cross-channel consistency will prove challenging, as retailers continue to grapple with siloed business process and a plethora of disparate applications. Most challenging are the product-centric organizational structures that are no longer suitable for today’s customer-centric approach, which should take full account of customers shopping across current and emerging touchpoints.”

Before I get to more from the study, I want you to pay close to attention to one word that Ms. Burt used and see if you can spot that same word in the comments form Mark Fodor, the CEO of multi-channel commerce solution provider CrossView who’s own study revealed similar results:

“The opportunity for merchants to become more cross-channel is there, but they need to learn how to communicate with their customers across channels and not fall into silos.”

While not used in the same tense, the word is “silo.” Both Ms. Burt and Mr. Fodor make reference to the fact that silos are a very dangerous thing for businesses. For it is these same silos that prevent departments within a given organization from engaging with one another. Think about it, how many B2B or B2C folks or brand managers or product managers and on down the line are hamstrung by “silo-ed” departments, with one department not knowing what the other is doing yet each trying to increase sales and engage with the same customer?

I shared Mr. Fodor’s comments and findings from an aptly titled post Marketers Still Not Integrating Their Marketing Strategy. That was one post of many I’ve written on creating an integrated marketing strategy and the need to do so, especially when you consider it is precisely what consumers want.

Read more.

How Pinterest is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media for Business

February 7, 2012 1 comment


Move over Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Anothersocial media site is stepping up as a valuable marketingtool for businesses.

Pinterest, an online bulletin board for your favorite images, launched in 2010 and is already experiencing wild growth. The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December, up from 1.6 million in September. And it’s driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined, according to a recent reportfrom Cambridge, Mass.-based content-sharing site Shareaholic.

Why should small businesses care? To answer that, you first have to understand how consumers are using the site. Pinterest allows you to organize images — maybe pretty sunrises or wines you’ve tasted — into boards for specific categories. When you “pin” something new, your followers will see it. They can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards. Like Facebook content, your Pinterest pins can go viral.

Brides-to-be can pin pictures of different wedding dresses to review, and people shopping for a new car can pin images of their options. When I joined Pinterest I started a board to show the Major League Baseball stadiums I’ve visited. The possibilities are unlimited.

Read more here. 

What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media

January 30, 2012 3 comments

By S. CRAIG WATKINS January 30, 2012 – 7:00am from DML Central

The debates about schools and social media are a subject of great public and policy interests.  In reality, the debate has been shaped by one key fact: the almost universal decision by school administrators to block social media.  Because social media is such a big part of many students social lives, cultural identities, and informal learning networks schools actually find themselves grappling with social media everyday but often from a defensive posture—reacting to student disputes that play out over social media or policing rather than engaging student’s social media behaviors.

Education administrators block social media because they believe it threatens the personal and emotional safety of their students.  Or they believe social media is a distraction that diminishes student engagement and the quality of the learning experience.  Schools also block social media to prevent students from accessing inappropriate content.  I have often wondered what are schools really blocking when they block social media. Working in a high school this year has given me added perspective.

In one class my graduate assistant and I are working with a teacher in a Technology Applications class.  Our goal is to reinvent the classroom and, more important, the learning that takes place.  We structured the learning to be autonomous, self-directed, creative, collaborative, and networked. We decided to let the student teams pick which digital media project they wanted to pursue.  Some students elected to team together to produce a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that target teens.  These students liked the idea of using digital media to tell compelling stories about the challenges of teen life.  Other students wanted to produce short narratives.  They were excited about creating worlds, characters, and narrative dilemmas that allowed their artistic identities to flourish.

In one of our first activities we selected a sample of teen produced PSAs and narrative shorts for the students to study.  We asked them to view and critique the different styles, aesthetics, narrative strategies, and technical approaches to digital media storytelling.  The teacher posted the links to the videos online and provided the instructions.  Suddenly one student raised her hand.  She could not access some of the videos.  Another student raised her hand.  She was having the same problem.  At least two of the videos that we asked them to critique were posted to YouTube.  The teacher and I had overlooked the fact that YouTube was blocked.  A few students used proxy servers to access the videos, a typical workaround in this school.  As we struggled to figure out a way to proceed with the learning activity it was clear we needed to recalibrate the design of the class.

Read more: What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media

10 Questions That Create Success

January 27, 2012 2 comments

Want help focusing on what really matters? Ask yourself these on a daily basis.

Thanks to Geoffrey James from @Sales_Source for a helpful article on success, and priorities.  

Think that success means making lots of money?  Think again.

Pictures of dead presidents have never made anybody happy. And how can you be successful if you’re not happy? And buying things with that all money isn’t much better. A new car, for instance, might tickle your fancy for a day or two–but pride of ownership is temporary.

Real success comes from the quality of your relationships and the emotions that you experience each day. That’s where these 10 questions come in.

Ask them at the end of each day and I absolutely guarantee that you’ll become more successful. Here they are:

1. Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?

2. Have I done something today that improved the world?

3. Have I conditioned my body to be more strong flexible and resilient?

4. Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?

5. Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?

6. Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?5. Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?

7. Have I accomplished something worthwhile?

8. Have I helped someone less fortunate?

9. Have I collected some wonderful memories?

10. Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?9. Have I collected some wonderful memories?

Here’s the thing.  The questions you ask yourself on a daily basis determine your focus, and your focus determines your results.

These questions force you to focus on what’s really important. Take heed of them and rest of your life—especially your work—will quickly fall into place.

How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps)

(by Jessica Hagy, Contributor to Forbes, Using visuals to tell stories, jokes, and truths.)

How to be interesting (in 10 stupid-simple steps):

1.Go exploring.

Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where are all the boring people hang out.

2. Share what you discover.

And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures.
Using visuals to tell stories, jokes, and truths.

3. Do something. Anything. 

Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.

Read the rest of the steps here.

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