Twitter's "Discover" feature will get an upgrade, turning to a user's followers list for personalized signals to determine which stories to highlight. The feature will be rolled out to the website before it comes to mobile applications, the company says.
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Facebook is neglecting the ad buyers who fund its business, some marketing executives say. The company's automated ad-buying system is efficient but it's all but impossible for brands to get personal attention, executives say. "For the longest time, we've been trying to call Facebook to do business with them and there's nobody to pick up the call," says Mike Parker of Tribal DDB.
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Twitter users got something unexpected this week as the National Zoo live-tweeted the artificial insemination of its resident female panda, Mei Xiang. The episode drew buzz as the zoo's reproductive scientists posted explanations and photos of the process. "With little more than a phone and a hashtag -- #pandaAI -- the National Zoo very literally threw open a process that was until now only known through after-the-fact accounting by the media," Martin Austermuhle writes.
John Deere says it will incorporate "want", "own", "love" and "crave" buttons to its Facebook advertising, in some cases driving traffic to dealers of the lawn-care products for a price quote and encouraging product testimonials. Facebook controls the use of such action verbs and is permitting more for various brands.
Claims that Twitter buzz can predict election results are overblown, researcher Daniel Gayo-Avello says. Social media users aren't representative of general voting populations, tweets are often ambiguously written and so far all studies of Twitter's predictive power have been retrospective papers that benefit from 20-20 hindsight, rather than making predictions. "No, you cannot predict elections with Twitter," Gayo-Avello concludes in his analysis.
Marketers and ad agencies must be upfront with their social followers about the degree to which their tweets and other messages are influenced by their clients, Rokkan social strategist Melyssa Brown says. All of Rokkan's client tweets are marked with a letter "c" to ensure that promotional messages are kept distinct from the agency's regular updates. "Transparency is a large part of the Rokkan culture, and that also carries over to the way I run our social channels," Brown says.
Social media form a digital means to boost customer-relationship building that supermarkets have always worked to achieve, said food industry consultant Michael Sansolo, who shared tips for grocers operating in a social media age. "So much of social media is simply the basics of human interaction," Sansolo says.
IDGA?s 5th Social Media for Defense Summit addresses how the nature of combat operations has reshaped the way the military and government use social media. Also discussed: How to improve communication among the DoD and their families, with an emphasis on the use of social media to improve collaboration.
University of Washington freshman Kevin Birrell is one of five people to be named a world grand master of the game Tetris, and he says the game has taught him lessons about how to conquer any challenge. A thousand-plus hours of practice have given Birrell calmness and a strong awareness of his limitations, he says. "If you have to think too much about what you're doing, you don't know it well enough yet," he says.
Andy Sernovitz, Editor at Large
Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company,
GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including
SocialMedia.org Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing that teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.