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December 19, 2012
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Today's Buzz 
  • Why retailers are making friends with Facebook
    Facebook is a great way for companies to test products and marketing pitches by monitoring traffic and "likes," marketers and sales specialists say. Social buzz recently led Macy's to carry denim jeans in brighter shades, and Wal-Mart's decisions about toy discounts were guided by an online poll. "Social media has enabled us to understand intent," Wal-Mart's Shernaz Daver says. Google/The Associated Press (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Network Update 
  • Twitter, Instagram prepare to battle for social-photo dominance
    Twitter and Facebook's Instagram are battling in the photo-sharing social space and competing for mobile-advertising dollars. Facebook recently disabled an Instagram feature that made it easy to post via Twitter, and Instagram's daily active usage now surpasses Twitter. Instagram executives say the company will eventually offer the equivalent of Twitter's "promoted tweets" paid ads. The Wall Street Journal (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Facebook news feeds to get video ads
    Facebook is taking aim at brands' TV-ad budgets with a move to bring video advertising to users' news feeds. The video-ad product, which will likely be introduced in the first half of 2013, is expected to feature auto-playing video clips that expand to fill much of the available on-screen real estate. The clips will likely be capped at 15 seconds, which could lead brands to experiment with shorter videos elsewhere on the Web. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Ideas in Action 
  • The NRA returns to Facebook after days of silence
    The National Rifle Association returned to social media on Tuesday with a brief post discussing the Connecticut school shootings. The post quickly drew thousands of comments, descending into a heated debate about gun control and the place of firearms in U.S. society. "Anybody who's ever managed a Facebook page will know that it's more or less impossible to properly moderate a comment thread when it gets [to] be reasonably active," Adam Clark Estes writes. The Atlantic Wire (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • U.K. guidelines help to spell out criminal social threats
    U.K. police and courts have new social media guidelines intended to help distinguish between distasteful messages online and those that stray into criminality. The guidelines, which follow several arrests for alleged online offenses, are intended to give prosecutors leeway to tackle genuine harassment and threats of violence, while ensuring "a high threshold" of tolerance for offensive, satirical or abrasive social media posts. GigaOm (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Research and Reports 
  • User-generated content is key to driving purchases, study finds
    A Wildfire study shows that 83% of consumers have made buying decisions influenced by user-generated content about products -- and suggests that marketers will be more likely to gain Internet users' trust if they design content that fosters social interactions with other users. "Brands that want to encourage readers to create their own content supporting products and services must create online communities where it becomes easier for customers to share information with like-minded consumers," this unbylined editorial says. (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Does your social media presence take a break during the holiday season?
    No  68.10%
    Yes  31.90%
  • Is it OK to take a social media break during the holidays?: Businesses must take into account the possibility that customers will want to use social channels for complaints or questions, even during normally quiet periods such as the December holidays, SmartBrief's Jesse Stanchak writes. It's a good idea to spread responsibility for monitoring social channels, ensuring the business is covered in case of emergency without putting too much responsibility on one person, Stanchak writes in SmartBrief's SmartBlog on Social Media.
  • Are you considering closing your Instagram account following its privacy-policy update?
I've already closed my account
I'm considering closing my account
I'm not considering closing my account
I never used Instagram

The Takeaway 
  • 13 keys to crafting more popular Facebook posts
    A study of wall posts from 98 global brands suggests the best practices that marketers can use to convert casual page visitors into loyal brand advocates, researchers Arvind Malhotra, Claudia Kubowicz Malhotra and Alan See write. Brief, topical messages delivered with humor and humanity perform best, while cause- and event-related messages tend to fall flat, the researchers found. MIT Sloan Management Review (free content) (Winter 2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Social Shareable 
  • Tracking a package for Indiana Jones
    A mysterious package mailed to "Henry Walton Jones, Jr." -- the full name of the movie character better known as Indiana Jones -- was recently delivered at the University of Chicago, even though the package was sent with fake postage. The package, which contained photographs, a diary and other paraphernalia referenced in the movies, was eventually traced to a Guam craftsman who produces replica props for film buffs. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Featured Content 

Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we'd like to experiment with innovative advertising. ... [I]t is not our intention to sell your photos."
--Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder, writing in a blog post that was quoted by Adweek
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 Andy Sernovitz, Editor at Large
Andy Sernovitz is the author of "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking" and the fantastic blog "Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That!" He runs, where marketers and entrepreneurs learn to be great at word of mouth marketing, and, the community for social media leaders at the world's greatest brands. He taught word of mouth marketing at Northwestern and internet entrepreneurship at Wharton.

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