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How brands can succeed with social media in China | StumbleUpon cites fast growth, 25 million users | Content-driven ad platform debuts from New York Times unit
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April 27, 2012
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The Big Story
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The Big Story
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How brands can succeed with social media in China
With Facebook and Twitter off the menu, China can be a forbidding place for social media marketers -- but it's also too big a market to ignore, and Chinese users are more active than are those from other countries, according to this article. But while China poses challenges, the basic principles of social media marketing still apply. "While these unique Chinese market characteristics often create challenging wrinkles for marketers to contend with, they don't invalidate the principles that underpin effective social-media strategy elsewhere," Cindy Chiu, Chris Ip and Ari Silverman write.
The McKinsey Quarterly (free registration for SmartBrief readers) (4/2012) 
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Connecting & Collaborating
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StumbleUpon cites fast growth, 25 million users
StumbleUpon says it hit 25 million users this week, having grown at a rate of about 1 million users per month since hitting 20 million users in October. "StumbleUpon is not yet a mainstream social network. ... But at its current growth rate, StumbleUpon could be on its way to some major mainstream recognition," Sarah Kessler writes.
Mashable (4/26) 
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Content-driven ad platform debuts from New York Times unit
The New York Times Co.'s R&D Ventures group is rolling out a product called Ricochet to help brands drive readers to articles related to their businesses; ads tied to that brand will greet readers. Links to Ricochet-enabled stories can be distributed via social networks. SAP has signed on to use the format, which may become a self-serve platform. "This is an entirely new concept in digital marketing that creates a whole new class of inventory: socially driven inventory," New York Times Co.'s Michael Zimbalist says.
Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (4/26),  PaidContent.org (4/26),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Digits blog (4/26) 
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Experts: Look for more along the lines of Obama's "slow jam"
President Barack Obama's appearance in a "Slow Jam The News" segment on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" was the opening shot in a battle for social media supremacy ahead of the fall election, experts say. Candidates are likely to engage in eye-catching stunts in the hope of winning viral buzz, while using sophisticated technologies and strategies to maximize the return on these stunts. "We will see new methods of interacting with voters, learning from them and offering new ways to get involved and share their support," says Anthony Rotolo of Syracuse University.
The Christian Science Monitor (4/26) 
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AP reveals a nuanced social strategy
The Associated Press takes different approaches to different digital media platforms and social networks. Facebook, for instance, is deemed a better platform than Twitter for reader engagement, social media editor Eric Carvin says. But, in the end, AP must remember that it is "a [business-to-business] operation, and if we tweeted every news break, there would be little value to our paying customers," Carvin says.
Digiday (4/26) 
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Researchers revisit tweets on bin Laden's death
Georgia Tech researchers are examining the way that tweeted reports of Osama bin Laden's death spread. Retweets by celebrities played a key role in amplifying and sustaining initial reports of bin Laden's demise, researchers found. "The celebrities weren't the first people to arrive at the party. But they stayed the longest and brought the most guests," researcher John Stasko says.
United Press International (4/26) 
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Measurement Matters
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Marketers must learn the true meaning of community
All those "likes," follows and pins your brand is accumulating don't necessarily mean your social strategy is taking off, Anthony Del Monte writes. Such metrics often are merely "virtual high-fives" given to access an incentive, not indications of a meaningful brand relationship. Real community-building is a more complex, nuanced process, requiring marketers to step back and think deeply about what their customers care about, Del Monte argues.
Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (4/26) 
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Social media has its limits, Xerox exec says
Xerox has met with a tepid reaction to its forays into Twitter and Pinterest marketing, chief marketing officer Christa Carone says. The company's established business clients are generally unimpressed by newfangled social media outreach, Carone said. She adds that "the CIOs of major companies are not going to be making a $5 million ... deal based on their connection with Xerox on Facebook."
ClickZ (4/26) 
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Social Shareable
Midnight in Neverland
Before Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch was broken up into lots and sold off, a pair of photographers took a furtive nighttime tour. The resulting photos are an eerie record of abandoned fairground rides, bronze statues of dancing children and other Jackson memorabilia.
Environmental Graffiti (4/25) 
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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.
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The similarity between the ingredients of success in China and in other markets makes it easier -- and well worth the trouble -- to cope with the country's many peculiarities.
Cindy Chiu, Chris Ip and Ari Silverman, writing in The McKinsey Quarterly
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 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 and 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.
 
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