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December 18, 2012
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Today's Buzz 
  • Users' photos can be sold by Instagram, new policy says
    Instagram is raising eyebrows by claiming the right to sell its users' photos without compensating or notifying them. There's no way for users to opt out of the policy, other than by deleting their account before the policy becomes active in January. "Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won't have to pay you anything to use your images," a Twitter user tweeted. CNET (12/17), The Christian Science Monitor (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The Social Media ROI Cookbook: Six Ingredients Top Brands Use
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Network Update 
  • Blogger foresees big changes for Facebook
    Facebook is in the early stages of a seismic strategic rethink, Robert Scoble argues based on meetings with employees. "Facebook is ... in the midst of a huge shift: one from web pages that have no contextual data to mobile and wearable computers where there is a huge amount of contextual data," Scoble writes. Scobleizer (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Facebook update takes aim at location-based networks
    Facebook's improvements to its mobile application include search-by-category, location ratings and shareable recommendations. The updates seem aimed at competing with location-based services such as Foursquare and Yelp, writes Christopher Heine. The changes to the network's "Nearby" feature illustrate CEO Mark Zuckerberg's focus on mobile to attract ad dollars to the social network, he adds. Adweek (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Ideas in Action 
  • "Social TV" ratings service is planned
    Nielsen Holdings says it will join with Twitter to create the "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating," a social-TV ratings service that will track online chatter about TV programming. Analysts say the service could provide advertisers with useful data about shows' popularity, but would not supplant conventional TV ratings. "I don't think you can translate comments to ratings for a show. ... The bark right now is bigger than its bite," Horizon Media's Brad Adgate says. Reuters (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Research and Reports 
  • Small businesses lack coherent social strategies
    About half of small businesses don't use social media, and less than a quarter have a coherent, planned social media strategy, according to an SMB Group study. The remainder -- about 30% of SMBs -- use social media on an ad-hoc basis, suggesting that they're interested in but somewhat confused by social media. Small Business Trends (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The Takeaway 
  • After a tragedy, silence may be the best response
    Tragedies such as the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., pose big challenges for social brands, Lisa Grimm writes. She argues that Vitamix had a pitch-perfect response, acknowledging the tragedy before going silent for the rest of the day, but remaining available for private messages and customer-support needs. "That's brand purpose and company alignment you just can't fake," Grimm writes. Communications Passionista (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How the Vatican learned to love Twitter
    Twitter social-innovation manager Claire Diaz-Ortiz helped the Vatican to set up Pope Benedict XVI's Twitter account, and she says the process was markedly different than helping other celebrities get started on the social network. "They are a conservative organization, and they obviously have a lot of concerns about making sure that the pope's persona remains intact and his messaging remains strictly controlled by the Vatican," Diaz-Ortiz says. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Featured Content 

In this day and age, social media serves as the most powerful and effective way to band together."
--Lisa Grimm, writing at Communications Passionista
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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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