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5 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2012

5 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2012
Jonathan Gardner is director of communications at ad company Vibrant Media. He has spent nearly two decades as an innovator at the nexus of media and technology, having worked in communications leadership roles and as a journalist around the world. The egg nog’s been drunk, the bells are done jingling, and the mistletoe has been taken down. It’s time to ring in the new year with resolutions that’ll make 2012 one to remember — online and off. All signs point to an exciting year, with the arrival of new (and inevitably covetable) Apple devices. The expanding digital industry is destined to affect what we discuss, buy and watch, who we friend, what we Like, and how we share — all year long. Plus, eMarketer projects a 14.4% increase in U.S. online ad spending, and Google says that video ads improve offline campaign results. 1. These days, we’re talking “word ownership” for online branding. 2. Relevance reigns in 2012. 3. 4. 5. An incredible 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media. Related:  Internet Marketing

30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 From the Pros How will social media impact businesses in 2012? We sought expert opinions from a wide range of pros you’re likely familiar with. We are grateful for the dozens of social media professionals who have written over 600 articles for us since we started Social Media Examiner in October 2009. To give you a glimpse of what we can expect in the next 12 months, we decided to tap their knowledge and expertise. Here are their predictions of where social media is headed in the next 12 months. #1: Businesses consolidate social media activities Michael Stelzner @mike_stelzner As the social media landscape becomes more crowded in 2012, businesses will pick their battles and dig in. The old mantra of “be everywhere” will quickly be replaced with “be where it matters to our business.” The major four players have all gone through massive changes in preparation for the battle for users. Have you picked your battle? Michael Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner. Jay Baer @JayBaer Now is the time.

The Power of a Comment Kristina B., Creative Commons Attribution. It wasn’t until I joined the blogosphere that I realized the power of a simple comment. Before I started blogging myself, I would read other people’s blogs and sometimes peruse the comments that other readers had left behind, but I would never stop to comment myself. On one hand, I felt like I didn’t have anything specific or meaningfully to contribute and on the other hand, I just didn’t understand the importance of comments. Comments are more than words on a page, particularly if it’s a page you have written yourself. Comments are symbolic, they represent the fact that a post you have written affected someone and meant something to the point that the person felt compelled to respond to you. This is why, more and more, I find myself stopping to not only read other bloggers but to comment on their posts. What do others in the blogosphere community think? Like this: Like Loading...

4 Tips to Keep Your Website Ahead of the Curve This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. Sure, having a website for your business serves a practical need: to draw net-surfing users to your product or service. However, it's also much more than slapping on a run of the mill two-column template and calling it a day. Nothing kills an online buzz like a poorly designed or drastically outdated website. 2012 is heralding a new wave of innovative web technologies and design, and a page that stays in step with these trends is bound to pique interest and lower your bounce rate. 1. Mail Chimp. A bold design can be obtained with very little money, especially for those who aren't necessarily experienced in coding. For those with a little more cash to burn on a proper contractor, 99 Designs relies on crowdsourcing to gather great designers for companies looking for a reliable and cutting edge renovation. 2. 3. 4.

The Power of Lists and Collected Resources for Social Media Marketing inShare38 To avoid being ignored, follow these tips on what you can do to tap into the social media power of lists and collections. If you've ever been included on a popular list of credible resources online, it feels pretty good, doesn't it? Great lists get socially shared, linked, and emailed, giving those included quite a bit of valuable exposure. Imagine finding a list of resources for a topic in which you absolutely dominate and yet neither you nor your company is to be found. Lists by nature exclude, so rather than complaining about why you should have been included, either focus on continuing to dominate the category or make an even better list. Plenty of business websites and blogs are making lists this time of year, reflecting on the past 12 months as well as predicting what 2012 has in store. Like them or not, credible, sorted lists and collections of resources are powerful content and social media marketing tools. Resource Collections People Lists Sourcing. Creation.

Social Media Is NOT Free – You’re Being Penny Wise And Social Media Foolish! Social Media Marketing is a specialty within the web, PR, direct and integrated marketing arenas. It is a professional niche that requires specific knowledge, skill and experience to make effective and efficient. If anyone tells you anything different, they are lying to you. If you were a professional mechanic, you certainly wouldn’t skip steps, do things using free or borrowed tools, would you? If you answered yes to any of the above examples, you are not a social media marketing professional, but a dabbler in the social space. We hear a ton of “excuses” from people every single day as I speak and consult on social media. - We use Tweetdeck because it’s free. - Do we have to pay for the pro Hootsuite account to use Bundle Post? - I have not signed up because it costs $50/$100 per month. Seriously? The right social media tools are a requirement if you are a professional. What is your time worth? The point is this… “Social Media Marketing is NOT free. Robert M. Like this: Like Loading...

Online Ad Spending to Surpass Print for First Time in 2012 [STUDY] For the first time in U.S. history, marketers are projected to spend more on online advertising than on advertising in print magazines and newspapers. According to a study released Thursday by eMarketer, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to a sum of $33.8 billion on print. That's impressive growth, especially since 2011 also witnessed a 23% jump in online ad spending, according to eMarketer's calculations. Online ad revenues should continue to grow over the next half-decade, albeit at a more modest rate, as shown in the chart below. The forecast for print is foreboding. Spending on TV promises to be largely unaffected by growing online ad budgets, although the gap between the two is set to narrow significantly. Image courtesy of iStockphoto, alikemalkarasu

How Social Media is Affecting the Way We Speak and Write — Online Collaboration Do you speak “social?” There is a lot of writing out there about the effects of social media on business, marketing, branding and customer services. But what about how social media communications is impacting our written communications, or even our oral communications? Anyone remember when email was going to destroy letter writing, and even the art of writing altogether? Well, it did destroy letter writing, but did it really destroy the art of writing, or just change it? The Impact of “Social Speak” on the Written Word I’d argue that email, SMS and social media communications tools have made irreversible impacts on the way we write, but that is not to say we should write in that “social” manner. The social web has changed the written word in a couple of key ways: 1. 2. “Social” Spoken Here “Social” as “Anti-Social” In social settings or face-to-face interactions, there is a distressing attention deficit problem. How do you feel social media is affecting our oral and written communications?

Social Media In Classrooms: A Case For Why It Belongs This piece comes to us courtesy of Education Nation's The Learning Curve blog. Social Media Explorer CEO Jason Falls writes. He is also a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Family Literacy. Teachers that resist using social media in the classroom are stripping their students of an essential component of their future success. Why so declarative? In today's business environment, someone lacking not just an understanding but a working knowledge of social media and social networking tools is at a competitive disadvantage. [Read about a school in Silicon Valley that has chosen not to use technology in its classrooms here.] In May 2011, the state of Missouri banned teachers from communicating with their students on the popular social networking site Facebook. For any school district that does outlaw teacher-student communication through social media channels, this could mean teachers will not be able to: And each of those just scratch the surface.

40 Epic Marketing Insights From Google [Data] Ever needed a compelling, reliable stat to help make a point, round out a blog post, or make your ebook even more data-driven? Think Insights with Google, Google's new information and resource hub for marketers, has got you covered! Officially out of beta today, Google's new resource offers helpful tools, studies, trends, stats, and videos to give marketers the data they need when they need it. Use the Real-Time Insights Finder to gather information about your business' target audiences, or simply browse through the site's Facts & Stats. We've found some pretty awesome marketing stats you can use, for starters. Internet Usage 1) In the last 4 years, the web has gone from 100 million websites to 250 million. 2) 75.5% of the US population uses the internet. 3) Millennials engage in over 14 different internet activities, while those ages 65+ engage in mainly 7. 4) 67% of consumers researched online prior to purchase during the holiday season. Mobile Use 9) 31% of Americans own a smartphone.

How to Make Your Startup Go Viral The Pinterest Way On Thanksgiving, Pinterest’s co-founder Ben Silbermann sent an email to his entire user base saying thanks. It was fitting, as Pinterest was born two years ago on Thanksgiving day 2009. Ben had been working on a website with a few friends, and his girlfriend came up with the name while they were watching TV. Pinterest officially launched to the world 4 months later. Some startups go crazy with hype and users right after launch. And some don’t. Take a look at Pinterest’s one-year traffic on Compete from Oct 2010 to Oct 2011, which is the picture in this post, and shows Pinterest rising from 40,000 to 3.2 million monthly unique visitors. Backing out of Compete’s numbers, we see Pinterest grew about 50% month over month from a base of zero since its inception (on average, smoothing the curve). Note these numbers are approximations and also do not count the significant traffic the service sees from mobile (Pinterest’s app currently takes the #6 social spot in the iTunes store).

Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education Social media is something that has become so prevalent in our culture that I have seen everything from large companies to churches having their own Facebook accounts. When I first was presented with the idea that using Twitter, Facebook, or blogging as something in education I was wary of its application. As I have immersed myself in the process, and have seen my own staff and school use this themselves along with students, I have seen some tremendous changes in their practice. I really believe that using technology just to do the same things that we have always done, but on the computer, is not a good enough reason. 1. I have said this many times before, that education is based upon relationships.

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