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Steer clear of these 15 social media mistakes

Ragan

Social media is the most popular online activity, so it makes perfect sense for businesses to want to tap into it to increase sales. More than 90 percent of businesses use social media.

But simply opening an account or sending out some tweets is not enough to make social media platforms a viable and profitable part of your marketing strategy. By avoiding some missteps, businesses have the ability to increase their return on investment (ROI) and create more opportunities from social media accounts.

Avoid these mistakes:

1. Not having a strategy.

Less than 20 percent of businesses say their social media strategy is mature. Social media users are constantly inundated with information and messages. Businesses that don’t have a social media marketing strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audiences.

Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, thinking through a brand’s social media voice and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind. Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the Web but receive little to no engagement.

2. Not integrating with other digital assets.

Social media works best when you integrate it with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts on islands. Not only should you link the accounts together, but tie them directly to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns.

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For Facebook, Measuring Across Devices And Apps Is A Huge Focus

AdExchanger

Facebook is increasingly focused on connecting audiences across screens and channels, and helping clients measure those results.

Graham Mudd, the company’s director of advertising measurement for North America, described aspects of the company’s approach to AdExchanger at the IAB’s Mobile Marketplace conference.

“We believe the future of marketing is being able to find specific consumers based on what the publisher, advertiser or intermediary knows about the consumers,” Mudd said. “And [to do that] we need to move beyond panels and cookies to census-based measurements.”

Instead of relying on consumer panels, which Mudd said fail to provide the necessary scale to measure diverse audiences across channels, Facebook is focusing on a combination of CRM data and third-party data from companies like Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon to help clients enhance their measurement capabilities.

Mudd also confirmed that the new “people-based measurement capability” that Facebook ads product VP Brian Boland alluded to in an AdAge op-ed will include partnerships with other data providers, although he declined to name the providers.

Facebook uses Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and Datalogix to measure the effectiveness of ads on both Facebook and Instagram, even though the latter is positioned as a separate brand and service. The company does not however, target users with ads based on data collected from both Instagram and Facebook.

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The beginner’s guide to measuring social media ROI

Ragan

For a marketer, return on investment defines a campaign’s success, and many executives demand hard numbers.

According to a study of marketing expertsperformed by Domo, however, three out of four marketing experts can’t measure social media ROI.

Let’s look at the basic yet vital aspects of social media marketing ROI.

1. ‘Likes’ and follows: Measuring engagement

The simplest way to gauge social media ROI involves counting followers on Twitter, your “likes” on Facebook, and consumer affiliations on all your other social media sites.

Keeping a spreadsheet to track social media conversions (followers, “likes,” etc.) gives you data to show that your campaign delivered X new social media connections. Facebook shares and Twitter retweets are also vital to documenting a campaign’s success.

Simple tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics help you track a specific post’s success, pinpointing customers’ response to particular types of content.

To measure the success of a given keyword, hashtag, or unique topic, try Brandwatch, GroSocial, and Keyhole. They explain trends on social networks for the keywords you enter.

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Survey finds teens still tiring of Facebook, prefer Instagram

CNET

Internet analysts at Piper Jaffray have both good news and bad news for the world’s largest social network: Teens continue to lose interest in Facebook but are showing an increasing appetite for Instagram, a Facebook property.

The mixed-bag news comes from the investment bank and asset management firm’s semi-annual survey of upper-income and average-income teens in the US. Piper Jaffray’s spring 2014 report Taking Stock With Teens, published Tuesday, surveyed around 5,000 teens, and includes findings spanning fashion, video games, Apple products, and social networks.

“We saw Instagram take the mantle for the most preferred social teen site,” Piper Jaffray senior analyst and managing director Gene Munster said.

Thirty percent of surveyed teens chose Instagram as their most important social network, making it the top social property for youngsters for the first time in the history of the survey.

“Just to recap the changes over the last six months,” Munster said, “interest level in Facebook went from 27 [percent] to 23 [percent], Twitter 31 [percent] to 27 [percent], Instagram 27 [percent] to 30 [percent].”

Just one year ago, Facebook was the preferred social network for roughly 33 percent of teens, marking a relatively steep decline in interest from an important audience in a short amount of time. The report, then, adds to a mounting pile of evidence suggesting that teens, in search of a more fun zone, are tiring of Facebook.

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The Difference Between Google, Facebook And Microsoft Summed Up In Two Words: Augmentation Or Immersion

SF Gate

Over the last week the question of why Facebook would spend $2 billion buying Oculus Rift, a maker of virtual reality headsets has been asked repeatedly. In a world where wearable technology is generally seen as the next big thing, a pair of rather large VR goggles appears to run opposite to the approach taken by Google GOOG -2.94% and more recently Microsoft MSFT -2.15%.

Simply put, Google has taken a much more contextual approach to how it believes you and I will consume its services. It’s a strategy that sees a combination of ubiquitous mobile phones, wearable technology and globally available Internet, built upon a collection of web connected things. These things include Nest, a web connected Thermostat, Google Glass, a wearable heads up display of information and recently its  announcement of Android Wear, a version of the popular mobile OS tailored specifically for wearable tech products.  Adding to the mix are some of its ambitious R&D efforts like “Project Loon” which looks to use a global network of high-altitude balloons to connect people in rural and remote areas who have no Internet access.

Through these activities it seems Google’s strategy is to create contextual elements that augments your existing reality with data specifically tailored to you as you live your life. Or in other words, they are not looking to immerse you its world, so much as to help adapt and improve your existing world by adding to it. Combined with Google Now it’s a strategy that tries to anticipate what you need to know before you ask or even know what to ask.

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Advertisers Spend Much More With Facebook But Twitter Performs Better

The Wall Street Journal

Advertisers are spending a lot more money on Facebook than Twitter–even though Twitter ads deliver better results.

That’s the conclusion of a new research report issued by Resolution, a social and search advertising focused agency under the Omnicom umbrella. Based on an analysis of 20 clients’ social media activity in 2013 representing $37 million in ad spending, Resolution found that Twitter ads generate clicks at a significantly higher rate than Facebook. As a result, the firm found, advertisers are significantly dialing up their Twitter ad spending.

Still, the agency says that its clients, which include Pepsi, Lowes, State Farm, McDonald’s, HP , Pier 1, Hertz and FedEx, spent 127 percent more ad dollars with Facebook than Twitter.

On the surface, that makes logical sense, as Facebook boasts of 1.2 billion users vs. Twitter’s 241 million monthly users. During its initial earning report in February, Twitter announced solid ad revenue growth--including $220 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, despite a slowdown in new user adoption. Meanwhile, Facebook’s last few earnings reports have been stellar, particularly as its mobile ad business has taken off.

While keeping in mind that Resolution’s data may be skewed by its particular roster of brands and their unique social media goals, Twitter appears to have major ad momentum. Retailers, for instance, boosted their ad spending on Twitter 257% from third quarter to fourth quarter last year, while their spending on Facebook surged by 94 percent over the same period, Resolution said.

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What will social media’s giants look like in 5 or 10 years?

CNNMoney

Imagine a future where you’ll be able to physically reach out to poke your Facebook friends (gross), where tweets are the de facto mode of communication for large-scale emergencies (cool), and where people log into Google Plus for more than just wondering, “Are people using Google Plus yet?” (Okay, okay, we couldn’t help ourselves with that one — but really, we actually are, so put us in your circles already.)

If those scenarios seem far-fetched, perhaps you’re thinking too near-term. Whether it’s through major acquisitions or seemingly minor service enhancements, the major social networks are making changes to their products on a weekly, daily, even hourly basis. Fortune asked a few experts to daydream about where these networks might be five and 10 years down the line. Their responses were surprisingly realistic.

Facebook

Breaking the biggest news of the month, if not the year, Facebook (FB) set the social scene ablaze with its March 25 acquisition of Oculus VR, valued at approximately $2 billion. A sharp turn in Facebook’s product road map, the purchase has pundits imagining all sorts of crossovers for the social network and virtual reality technology.

“The Oculus purchase further shows how Facebook will be obsessed with staying relevant by buying the next big thing,” says Paul Berry, founder and CEO of New York City-based social publishing platform RebelMouse. Through this and other acquisitions, Berry thinks Facebook will become a brand-holding company in the future, similar to Viacom or Hearst. “I see them, better than anyone else, using their market capitalization to create even bigger market cap for the Instagrams or WhatsApps,” he says.

But internally, Facebook may split over dueling objectives, says Michael Jones, CTO of Portland, Ore.-based Little Bird, a company that provides social influencer analytics and research. ”[Facebook] used to be a lot more fun and idealistic, and now that they’re public, there is extreme pressure upon that organization to grow up quickly and to monetize,” he says. This “great divide” will continue on for years, as half of the company drives toward generating revenue while the rest pursues the founding ideals of authentic engagement and connecting the world.

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Google+ and LinkedIn drive few, but more engaged social referrals compared to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

The Next Web

Social discovery and sharing platform Shareaholictoday released its first report examining engaged social referrals. Since many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social media, the company was interested in answering the question “What is our behavior post-click, when we actually interact with a link one of our friends shared socially?”

As such, it was necessary to examine the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for each of the top eight social media platforms. Here’s the breakdown (data is from September 2013 to February 2014) from Shareholic, which tracks 250 million users visiting its network of 200,000 publishers.

We already know that LinkedIn and Google+ drive very few referrals compared to their competitors. Yet it turns out the traffic they do drive, is actually quite high on the quality scale.

Google+ users spend more than three minutes diving into links shared by their circles, view 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63 percent of the time. LinkedIn users meanwhile spend over two minutes on each link they click, view 2.23 pages with each visit, and bounce 51.28 percent of the time.

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The Largest Content Event Is Back!

Screen Shot 2014 03 11 at 11.26.58 AM The Largest Content Event Is Back!

Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing event on the planet, is coming back to the United States for a fourth year.

Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience. Register today for the best price (and save)!

Already confirmed 2014 speakers include such brands as Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Facebook, SAP, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola Braziland more than 100 content marketing experts from around the globe. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Actor, Director, Producer Kevin Spacey to be closing keynote speaker.

Click here for Content Marketing World Fact Sheet

Facebook Reveals 10 Year Plan, Confident on Mobile

The Street

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Facebook (FB_) CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company’s thinking process around its three, five and ten year strategy in a conference call with analysts to explain the social network’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, a virtual reality platform that venture capital investors in the company compare to Silicon Valley’s biggest breakthroughs such as the Apple (AAPL_II, the iPhone, the Macintosh, Netscape and Google (GOOG_).

Investors puzzling over Facebook’s apparent entrance into virtual reality may be heartened by the clearer picture of the company’s medium-to-long-term thinking provided by CEO Zuckerberg. They also may be comforted by Zuckerberg’s increasing confidence that Facebook has solved its problems in bringing more than 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) to mobile devices.

Those two developments, expressed on Tuesday evening in a call with analysts, may have more bearing on Facebook’s share price than the immediate impact of the Oculus VR acquisition. The company Facebook is acquiring is still in the process of developing its next generation product after using crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to raise $2.4 million to develop its first product, Oculus Rift.

While Facebook is shelling out $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in stock for Oculus VR, in addition to an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock incentives, Oculus VR is unlikely to have any impact on the company’s earnings in the next few years.

On Tuesday, Facebook was unwilling to provide specific financial guidance on the acquisition or how it came upon a price, but CFO David Ebersman noted that the company focused on the games business because it’s the furthest along. It is worth noting no bankers were hired to advise Facebook’s acquisition, indicating CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident he can be an effective dealmaker in Silicon Valley.

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