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24 Professional Events & Organizations for Social Media Strategists. The Social Media Strategist Series is supported by StrongMail, which helps marketers forge meaningful, profitable and long-lasting connections with customers through e-mail marketing and social media.

24 Professional Events & Organizations for Social Media Strategists

Learn more here. As social media takes on an increasingly important role in business, many events and groups are popping up to meet the growing demand for shared knowledge and best practices around the subject. There are a ton of events out there that cater to digital professionals — in fact, we share a guide to the top 100+ upcoming social media and tech events each week. Here, though, you'll find a list of conferences, meetups and organizations perfect for social media marketers and strategists. Add your own favorites in the comments. Conferences. How to Gain Competitive Insight With Social Media. Are you looking for that competitive edge? 10 Interesting Social Media & Blogging Stats. Social Media Is Free: Social Media Marketing Is Not. I’ve heard this constantly from self-professed social media marketing “gurus”: social media is free!

Social Media Is Free: Social Media Marketing Is Not

You should take advantage of it to promote your company! Why drop mail when you could market without spending a dime? It’s seductive thinking, of course. With budget scrutiny perpetually on the rise, it’s natural to want to curtail expenses, especially if there is no net effect on the returns you could generate. The urge to fire your PR agency, stop dealing with direct response rates and just tweet like crazy can be difficult resist … but don’t do anything hasty.

Many of the costs associated with social media marketing are not immediately evident. The primary issue is content: you need to be able to publish blog posts, tweets and status updates. 5 Key Tips for a Successful Social Media Content Strategy. Frank Marquardt is director of Content Strategy at The Barbarian Group, a digital services and creation company with an almost radical devotion to Internet culture and nice red Swedish Fish™.

5 Key Tips for a Successful Social Media Content Strategy

Good, smart, fun and relevant content should be at the core of any social media strategy. Great content should reflect your brand and give people a reason to stay engaged. That’s why it’s critical to build a content strategy into your social media campaign. Without a framework for what you say and a plan for how and when you say it, you risk leaving your audiences, at best, confused. At worst, they’ll ignore you. These five content strategy techniques will build better relationships and earn your brand better results on the social web. 1.

How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011? UPDATE: If you would like to view my Social Media Consulting Rate Sheet to see what I charge for my services, please click here.

How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011?

Click here to get the 2012 Price Update to this post. Last February I wrote a post about the prices companies could expect to pay for basic social media services. It ended up being the most viewed post here in 2010, by more than a 3 to 1 margin. The 5 Critical Errors Most People Make When they Start Using Social Media for Business.

Marketing Magic: How Kraft Built a Thriving Social Community Around Cream Cheese. Asking kitchen-savvy women to not only invent their own dishes, but also shoot, edit and upload videos to a contest website seems like a recipe for disaster.

Marketing Magic: How Kraft Built a Thriving Social Community Around Cream Cheese

But when Kraft invited women to do just that in its latest online promotional campaign for Philadelphia Cream Cheese, it got about 5,600 more responses than the 400 it set as its goal. With Paula Deen at its helm, what was intended to be a one-year campaign blossomed into a thriving social network of more than 30,000 women. "When it was all laid on the table, I couldn't believe the opportunity. I had to pass on an 'attagirl' or a boost to more women out there," explained Paula Deen at a recent promotional luncheon. HOW TO: Get the Most From a Small Business Social Media Presence. Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, public speaker and author of Never Get a "Real" Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke.

HOW TO: Get the Most From a Small Business Social Media Presence

The content for this post was sourced from the Young Entrepreneur Council, a group of successful Gen Y business owners. You can submit your questions to this group on 8 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Measuring. Do you think social media measurement is only about return on investment (ROI)?

8 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Measuring

Are you struggling to find measurements that are meaningful to your organization? Do you feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack of metrics? Here are 8 useful metrics that you may not be measuring, but should be. #1: Conversion Rates. B2B Social Media Resources. People ask me about business-to-business social media questions all the time.

B2B Social Media Resources

I usually have great answers, and then they ask me about case studies. At moments like that, I just dip into my collection of case studies on Delicious. How Social Media Marketers Can Convert Attention Into Action. Brian Solis is the author of Engage, and a leading authority in digital branding and marketing.

How Social Media Marketers Can Convert Attention Into Action

Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook. According to a recent report, while upwards of 70% of businesses are said to operate under a formalized social media strategy, many plans don't include measurable goals. Gimmicks, viral videos, and creative campaigns aside, social media marketers must learn to introduce "clicks to action" and outcomes that steer consumer experiences toward desirable results. Engagement through conversation is a start, but reaching people where their attention is focused and compelling them to take an action is powerful.

Clearly defined objectives and milestones, combined with a little conversion science, will increase the value of engagement and drive desired outcomes. Conversion Science: Actions Speak Louder Than "Likes" Social Media Metrics. If you want good social media metrics to track, be sure to pick the right ones. A quick disclaimer: it depends what you’re hoping to accomplish as to which metrics you might want to track. I’ll give you my take, and what we tend to work from at New Marketing Labs, and then you’re welcome to point out different opinions in the comments section. Why Building a Community is So Hard for Business Bloggers. One of the challenges that business bloggers tend to have is with community building.

Why Building a Community is So Hard for Business Bloggers

Few comments, lack of social proof, and low traffic can be major morale busters. Business blogs start off on a high note, but over the months when little to no activity or traffic is realized, they get abandoned by their owners. I don't blame them - who wants to maintain a blog that's a virtual ghost town? Established Businesses The interesting thing about all of this is that businesses come with their own, perfectly tailored community: their clients and customers! Online Database of Social Media Research. How to Create Social Media Business Guidelines. Social media policies and guidelines provide your business a framework to carry out your social media strategy and implement your social media tactics. They can also have a direct impact on the success of your social media endeavors. In this article, I’ll introduce you to social media guidelines for all your employees and your social media management team, and for crisis management and specific platforms.

I’ll also take a look at important considerations for big and small businesses. Advantages of Social Media Guidelines Here are four major benefits: Seven Important Social Media Trends For The Next Year. Social media changes from month to month. Trends come and go quicker than the seasons change. The latest trendy site could be next year’s Myspace and the hottest new site probably hasn’t even been conceived yet or is at the couple of guys in a garage stage.

Having said that there are some trends that I think will continue over the coming year and with that in mind I wanted to share them here. Rather than focusing in on the finer detail I have compiled the list below in broader terms with all the main players represented. All in all it should be an exiting year ahead in social media and these should be seven of the main trends… Group Buying This really has been the huge power house of online commerce in the last year. Going Beyond Social Media Reach. We’re a little too focused on collecting humans like marbles. Our fans. Followers. Subscribers. Impressions. Once upon a time, numbers like gross circulation mattered a bit more, because the available channels and paths for information were somewhat limited. 10 Emerging Social Platforms and How Businesses Can Use Them. At the Social Marketers Summit in Prague today, I spoke on 10 of the most intriguing, but lesser known, location-based, Q&A, press and microblogging social platforms out there and how more businesses can start using them.

The PowerPoint presentation is embedded below, and the following information expands upon it, acting as a guide to how businesses can get their hands dirty with these platforms. If your business is already active on the platforms mentioned, let us know how you are using them in the comments below. How to Measure Social Media’s Impact on Customer Retention. How to tell if your Company is Advanced: 10 Criteria Of Social Business Maturity. Excited about your new Facebook page but don’t know what’s next? HOW TO: Respond when Social Media Attacks Your Brand. This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

For all the praise that brand advertisers have for social media, they must be aware that it's very much a double-edged sword. And for all the free marketing, advertising and brand promotion via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other platforms used to help build an identity and relationship with your customers, it can just as quickly turn on you and your brand. Social media disasters occur for a number of reasons, the first being that your company probably messed up. Are You Using Social Media as Social Proof? How Big Brands Employ Social Media Marketing - An Andy Sernovitz Interview. I recently interviewed Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Social Media Business Council, an organization that includes many of the world’s largest brands such as Cisco, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble and Wells Fargo, just to mention a few. Andy is also author of the book Word of Mouth Marketing and founder of GasPedal, a group that advises big brands such as TiVo, Dell, Sprint and Kimberly-Clark.

During this interview, you’ll gain insight into how large corporations are employing social media and you’ll also gain Andy’s insight into word-of-mouth marketing. 9 Ways to Sell Social Media to Executives. Conversations are happening online with or without you. 7 Steps to Measuring Your Brand's Social Media Health. Gap Offers 25% Discount for Foursquare Checkins. Gap is cutting 25% from the prices for all the clothes in its retail stores for customers who check in on Foursquare in connection with an event the chain is calling “The BlackMagic Event.”

The Foursquare deal is only valid today, so you’d better grab your smartphone and head to the store soon if you want some cheaper-than-usual family clothes. The same discount is available to Twitter and Facebook users, but Facebook users have to print out a coupon and Twitter users have to offer up a discount code at the cashier. If you go the Foursquare route, you just have to check in at the store, though we’re not sure how the cashier knows about it; maybe he or she has to look up your user name, or maybe you actually have to show them your phone? The Foursquare/Fashion connection isn’t totally fresh; Ann Taylor offered 25% off to Foursquare mayors and 15% off to each customer on his or her fifth checkin. [via The Next Web ] Checkins + Group Buying = Location-Based Swarm Deals. This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups.

The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. Name: GroupTabs Quick Pitch: GroupTabs members check in for group deals at bars and restaurants. Genius Idea: Group buying, deal-a-day sites and location-based services are two of the hottest trends on the block in 2010; they're both attracting major attention from investors and advertisers alike. How Facebook Changes Marketing And Sales - Spying On Competition Using Social Media. Introducing Social Media Examiner TV. Why Foursquare Drives Business: What You Need to Know. Top 16 Unusual Foursquare Badges. The Most Popular Brands on Foursquare. 12 Social Media Monitoring Tools Reviewed. Why You Need to Monitor and Measure Your Brand on Social Media. Get People to "Like" Your Facebook Page.

10 Tips for Corporate Blogging. Event Marketing With Social Media. 7 Social Marketing Strategy Mistakes That Cripple Your Reputation. The Real Life Social Network v2. When YOU Are the Brand. The Myth of Beautiful Website Design. 5 Things I Learned In My First (Almost) Two Years Of (Almost) Fu.

7 Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare. Top 5 Social Media Myths Debunked. Social Media Stats. 4 Ways Measure Social Media and Its Impact on Your Brand. How Real Estate Pros are Using Social Media for Real Results. Beyond the Checkin: Where Location-Based Social Networks Should.