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December 17, 2012
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Today's Buzz 
  • School shooting reveals dark side of social media
    Coverage of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., saw many news organizations misidentify the killer's brother as the perpetrator, based in part on information from his Facebook profile. And a number of social media users created false accounts pretending to be the shooter, prompting investigators to warn that impersonators risked prosecution. "The very thing that makes social media alive and vibrant, an arena where anyone can play, is also its greatest weakness, enabling people to be vicious and dishonest," Lauren Ashburn writes. Fast Company online (12/14), The Daily Beast (12/17), Salon (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Network Update 
  • Best Buy, others give Twitter a prominent role in holiday sales
    Brands such as Best Buy, Warby Parker and RadioShack have elevated the role of Twitter in holiday marketing from a bit player to a star. Best Buy is hosting Twitter parties, where like-minded consumers discuss gift ideas, and the company has upped its Twitter spend by half compared with last year. Warby Parker sees Twitter advertising as insurance that the brand is not excluded from conversations, and RadioShack discovered that riddles about product offers on Cyber Monday drove tweeting about the brand up 1,200%. The Wall Street Journal (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Ideas in Action 
  • Entrepreneurs, marketers flock to Instagram
    Instagram isn't improving Facebook's bottom line, but a growing number of entrepreneurs and marketers are figuring out how to use the photo-sharing service to bring in revenues of their own. Some offer services to Instagram's 100 million users; others use the network to share promotional images and links to products. "It's classic marketing. You see an ad on a billboard, or on a bus as it goes by, on TV and now, in an Instagram post. It sticks," says Mobile Media Lab co-founder Brian DiFeo. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Wal-Mart experiments with prepaid Facebook ad blitz
    On Black Friday and the ensuing weekend, Wal-Mart ran Facebook's biggest-ever mobile advertising blitz -- a preorder of 50 million ads -- in order to edge out other retailers on the social network. The campaign generated plenty of consumer engagement, officials say, and Facebook is working with other big brands such as Samsung to create similar tailored ad campaigns. The Wall Street Journal (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Research and Reports 
  • Facebook campaigns top marketers' to-do list for 2013
    About 40% of marketers say they plan to increase their spending on Facebook marketing programs in 2013, and more than one-quarter plan to increase their spending on broader social media management technology, according to a StrongMail survey. The survey's results mark a slight increase from last year's figures. eMarketer (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The Takeaway 
  • Why online-video campaigns fall flat
    Plenty of social media marketing initiatives sink like a stone because marketers make basic mistakes, and similar simple errors hold back many social-video campaigns, Jason Miletsky writes. Marketers who simply repackage ads from other formats or who fail to integrate their video efforts into a broader social campaign are likely to fall short. "[A]s with social media, this rush to a new paradigm is causing marketers to make costly mistakes that can reduce the effectiveness of their efforts," Miletsky warns. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Companies should stop fighting Reed's Law
    Reed's Law states that social networks gain power and utility exponentially as they expand in size -- and that's both a challenge and an opportunity for companies, writes Julie Moreland. Smart employers now train workers carefully, using social media to foster innovation and internal communications as well as marketing and public outreach. "[L]eaders should stop fighting Reed's Law and not only embrace it, but find ways to harness the power of this law," Moreland writes. Fast Company online (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Social Shareable 
  • Christmas is "finger-lickin' good" time in Japan
    Most Japanese people don't celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't keep them from flocking to KFC for buckets of "Christmas chicken." With turkey unavailable in Japan, KFC has worked since the 1970s to persuade Japanese diners that chicken is the traditional dish for Christmas meals. "Fried chicken and Christmas have become synonymous," K. Annabelle Smith writes. SmithsonianMag.com/Food & Think blog (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Social Media readers in the past week.

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SmartQuote 
Social media purports to connect us but it often does the exact opposite. The barrier, the anonymity, the lack of accountability; all encourage the worst in people."
--Matt Bors, writing at Salon
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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 WordofMouth.org, where marketers and entrepreneurs learn to be great at word of mouth marketing, and SocialMedia.org, 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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