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Gartner: Fake Social Media Ratings, Reviews to Hit 10 to 15 Percent by 2014. Feel comfortable buying Facebook Likes or Twitter followers?

Gartner: Fake Social Media Ratings, Reviews to Hit 10 to 15 Percent by 2014

The practice is becoming more and more accepted, and fake social media ratings and reviews could hit 10 to 15 percent by 2014, according to research company Gartner. In its recent report, "The Consequences of Fake Fans, 'Likes' and Reviews on Social Networks", the company says that trust in social media remains low, but could rise from single digits to as high as 33 percent by 2014. Who to Trust It may sound obvious, but people tend to trust those most like them and also people they know in real life.

That partly explains why many people don't trust what they read when it comes to reviews, for example. A May 2012 online survey of 2,000 people from found that companies with 50 or more reviews see nearly a 5 percent boost in conversions. Regulators are Taking Notice In 2011, the FTC levied a US$ 250,000 fine against Legacy Learning Systems for hiring marketers to post fake reviews on several websites. CMOs Tapping Into Social Data for Consumer Insights. The vast majority of CMOs (89.4%) say social data (related to customer use of social media) has affected at least some of their business decisions, and 21.3% say such data affects at least 1 in 5 decisions they make, according to a new report by Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club.

CMOs Tapping Into Social Data for Consumer Insights

Moreover, CMOs agree that social data* reflects business and consumer trends, and that it's at least somewhat effective in indicating the following: Discernible trends that may impact the business: 83.3%Consumer demographics and/or psychographics: 80.7%Consumer sentiment toward product lines: 79.7%Influence of individuals or groups on the purchase decision: 77.9%Consumer sentiment toward a brand or company: 72.8% Below, additional findings from the study titled "Chief customer advocate: How social data elevates CMOs," by Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club. Sharing Social Insights In addition, CMOs say their marketing teams share access to social data with other departments or teams, including the following:

The Social Integration Is On (and Intelligence Follows) Dilip Venkatachari | August 1, 2012 | 1 Comment inShare15 How the new Facebook Exchange will exponentially increase the amount of customer data generated from all digital advertising.

The Social Integration Is On (and Intelligence Follows)

Social media continues to move at digital speed. In fact, what brands used to call their social media strategy is quickly approaching irrelevance. Integration is here. Several recent changes have forced the acceleration here. First, the basics. So by its nature, all social media networks will embrace exchanges. Now what does a brand do with that? For example, suppose a financial services company introduces a new credit card. As you can see, it's more than an API window we're dealing with. Optimizing Social Media Across the Customer Lifecycle. Lee Odden | July 16, 2012 | 2 Comments inShare163 Study how your brand can continuously optimize content and social media participation to attract, engage, and inspire your customers. Most forms of marketing and advertising focus on attracting and engaging customers through a sales cycle to create awareness and interest, guiding the customer to consideration and ultimately to purchase.

That's reasonable since there's a clear investment and return. While a lot of social media-savvy companies are leveraging social channels to engage with communities and for customer service, most implementations of corporate social media marketing are no different than any other sales-focused marketing effort. However, is the sales cycle still the most relevant way to think of online marketing tactics like social media, search, and content marketing? Consumers are empowered to publish now more than ever and increasingly expect social interactions from their friends, co-workers, and favorite brands.

4 Ways to Discover More About Your Audience With Social Media. Your audience is the lifeblood of your business, and knowing who they are and what they want is a key to success.

4 Ways to Discover More About Your Audience With Social Media

What you might not know is that there’s a treasure trove of knowledge about your ideal audience hidden in the sea of followers and fans you’ve already attracted. Here are four ways you can learn more about your audience by looking at their social media life. #1: How Do They Describe Themselves? Look at their bios on their social networks. How do they describe themselves? By analyzing your followers’ bios, you can get a deeper look into the things that they value most highly about themselves. For example, if they devote a lot of space to their location, you can assume that they have local ties that are important to them. Hack Ogden's bio is packed to the brim with local-focused terms. And if they spend more time talking about their projects or achievements, you might want to look into adding gamification elements to your site. #2: When Are They Most Socially Active?

4 Ways to Measure Social Media Success With Free Tools. Do you know if your social media promotions or campaigns were successful?

4 Ways to Measure Social Media Success With Free Tools

For many businesses, it can be easy to label a social campaign a huge hit or a blatant blunder, but which elements made the campaign successful? There are an array of powerful and free tools that can be used to help you understand the successes and failures of your social media promotion or campaign. Let’s dive into four easy ways you can use free products to break down the different elements of a social promotion. #1: Track Actions Visitors Take One way to better understand your social campaign as a whole is to understand how your users find out about it. Event Tracking, as mentioned in my previous post on integrating social media on your website, has the ability to report the behavior of website visitors by tracking certain actions they take. For example, Event Tracking can be used to track the number of times a video on your site is played, a file is downloaded or a certain link is clicked. The Results The Better Tweet. Making sense of social media. Demystifying social media - McKinsey Quarterly - Marketing & Sales - Digital Marketing.

Executives certainly know what social media is.

Demystifying social media - McKinsey Quarterly - Marketing & Sales - Digital Marketing

After all, if Facebook users constituted a country, it would be the world’s third largest, behind China and India. Executives can even claim to know what makes social media so potent: its ability to amplify word-of-mouth effects. Yet the vast majority of executives have no idea how to harness social media’s power. Companies diligently establish Twitter feeds and branded Facebook pages, but few have a deep understanding of exactly how social media interacts with consumers to expand product and brand recognition, drive sales and profitability, and engender loyalty. We believe there are two interrelated reasons why social media remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle for many executives, particularly nonmarketers. What we hope to do here is to demystify social media.

In short, today’s chief executive can no longer treat social media as a side activity run solely by managers in marketing or public relations. The social consumer decision journey. Why Social Media Doesn't Work (and What You Can Do About It) Time to face reality: Marketing and advertising are a lot harder to do today than ever before. Half of consumers don't trust print ads or television commercials, and fewer still trust what they hear on the radio. And consumer trust level is even worse for direct mail and outdoor advertising. What's the No. 1 trusted source of advertising? Word-of-mouth! That's a huge game changer.

It's no small wonder that marketers have fixated on social media as the solution. Engagement DB, which studied the world's 100 most valuable brands, found that the level of those brands' engagement with their consumers via social media correlates with revenue. No wonder Nike's chief marketing officer, Davide Grasso, once noted, "Facebook is the equivalent for us to what TV was for marketers back in the 1960s. Others also took the hint and made social media a priority for their marketing teams. The reason for the lack of results is familiar. What's Different Today? Today, marketers still have to be engaging. 1. How to Automate Your Social Activities. Are you looking to simplify management of your social activities?

How to Automate Your Social Activities

If so, then Ifttt is for you. Don’t be put off by Ifttt’s crazy name. This is one handy tool that you should definitely know about. Ifttt stands for “If this, then that,” which is a very basic way of explaining the site’s whole premise. With very little effort on your part, Ifttt will connect your online accounts and services to create triggered events. Ifttt lets us common people work with scary Internet codes like APIs without ever knowing it. So for example, you might set an RSS feed of local news to trigger an event any time your hometown is mentioned. Each recipe can be searched, shared and used by anyone on Ifttt. Personally, I believe Ifttt is incredibly useful if you use it right.

Here are some examples of how Ifttt does do the drudgework for you and saves you time and energy. Share Everywhere If you manage multiple social media accounts, you’ll appreciate the ease of linking them together. Manage Social Media. 7 Social Media Trends for Consumers New Research. Are you wondering what the changing social trends are for consumers? If so, look no further. In Nielsen and McKinsey’s Social Media Report, consumers were surveyed to discover how they use social networks. Here are seven key findings from that report. #1: More Time Invested in Mobile The survey found that consumers are increasingly looking to their smartphones and tablets to access social media. While the PC is still the most widely used device when it comes to social media consumption, the study found that time spent on mobile apps and mobile websites accounted for a 63% increase (compared to 2011) in total time spent.

Additionally, 43% of users said they use smartphones to access social media, while 16% connect using a tablet. Mobile and particularly apps are where people are spending their social networking time. Key Takeaway: When it comes to consuming social content, it’s all about mobile. If you haven’t done so already, here are some ideas to get you started: #4: Twitter Drives Social TV. 5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research. Do you know where your customers and prospects spend time online?

5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research

Marketers have long relied on market research to determine where to spend their advertising dollars on television, radio and print advertisements. In the last few years, research organizations have begun providing intelligence on how consumers behave on social networks. The following article is based on new social media research studies. These findings will help you better strategize your company’s social efforts to match your customers’ behaviors. #1: Know Where Your Customers Spend Their Time Three recent research studies show active Internet users spend anywhere from 16% to nearly 25% of their online time on social networks. In comScore’s 2012 U.S. If trends continue, social networks will soon surpass Internet portals like AOL and Yahoo! Nielsen recently released the State of the Media: U.S. Note the significant differences between this Nielsen study and comScore's. PQ Media found the average U.S. Key Lesson: Case Study.

3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy. Do you have a social media strategy for your business yet?

3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy

If you don’t, you could be missing out on game-changing results. According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 78% of marketers saw increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media. The businesses that do social media marketing well will see even bigger wins in 2012, as the gap between who “gets it” and who doesn’t grows wider by the minute. The good news? You don’t need to be everything to everyone anymore. As Michael Stelzner predicted, “The old mantra of ‘be everywhere’ will quickly be replaced with ‘be where it matters to our business.’ Below is a three-step plan designed to help you develop an effective, streamlined road map for social media success.

Step #1: Assessment Start with a single question: “Why social media?” Put Your Audience First First things first: You need to clarify your audience’s needs, wants and challenges—not to mention where they’re spending time online. Who is your team? How to Turn Social Feedback into Valuable Business Data. Joshua March is co-founder and CEO of Conversocial, a provider of integrated social CRM and marketing software for Facebook and Twitter.

How to Turn Social Feedback into Valuable Business Data

He resides in London. You've set up your company's Facebook Page and Twitter account, pulled together a social media team to start generating engagement, and now you've got a decent audience involved in conversations about your brand. Great, but where's the real value? It seems most companies understand that they need to take advantage of social feedback; however, many aren't doing anything about it. In fact, 85% of marketers think that customer insight is the best potential advantage of using social media, but only 6% of businesses are actually using social media to collect customer feedback, according to a late 2010 survey. Why is social insight so valuable?

My company looked at the different messages retailers receive on Facebook and Twitter. The real challenge is to identify and learn from different, valuable lessons based on just one message. 1. 2. 13 Tools to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing. Are you looking for tools to simplify your social media activities? Many businesses feel overwhelmed when implementing their social media marketing. Sometimes the solution is to focus on the right social media tools for your business.

We asked social media experts for their most valuable tool for small businesses using social media. Here are 13 tools to help you execute your social media strategy effectively. #1: Crowdbooster Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield Crowdbooster is my tool of choice to manage social media activities on Facebook and Twitter. This tool does many things to help me save time and streamline activities. For example, it auto-posts on both my Facebook page and Twitter, tracks my new fans and followers, and gives me stats on how many times my content has been shared and retweeted. It also tells me who my most engaged fans are, which allows me to reach out to fans individually if I choose. What I like most about the tool is their posting time recommendations feature. . #2: Buffer. 9 Common and Costly B2B Social Media Marketing Mistakes.

Yes, B2B companies should be using social media. In fact, it is easy to make the argument that B2B companies are better suited for social media marketing than B2C companies. Think about it: with a relationship-based sales cycle, core subject matter expertise and a legacy of content creation, most B2B companies are a great fit to leverage social media as part of an inbound marketing strategy. In a world in which 60% of the sales cycle is over before a lead ever talks to a salesperson , it has never been more important for marketing to be involved early in the buying process.

Social media, when used for B2B lead generation and education, can help attract, educate, and qualify leads. Regardless of your ninja level of experience with using social media for B2B, many mistakes are commonly made during the journey to becoming a superstar marketer. 1. 2. Social media can have many applications for a business, including customer service, public relations, and recruiting. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Want to Avoid Getting Banned on Social Media? Learn the Rules. How to Plan Your Social Integration Strategy. 7 Terrific Ways to Use Social Media for Instant Feedback. 9 Tips for Integrating Social Media on Your Website. Why Social Media Needs to Get More Personal. 35 Great Social Media Infographics. 47 Outrageous Viral Marketing Examples over the Last Decade. How to Use Social Media For Better Customer Acquisition. Creating Synergy Between Social Media and Email Marketing. Using Data to Build and Strengthen Community Connections.

How Darwin's Social Funnel Transforms CXM Into Sales.