Social Networking

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I suppose you might read the title of this post and expect an altruistic discussion. Or expect to find ramblings about how account planners should dig into sociological meanings to develop connections with consumers (have you noticed how esoteric account planning has become?). But I want to discuss something very different — something the ad business seems to forget — effective advertising’s truly human value and the society-wide value this builds. I turn to this topic today because advertising in 2011 is a pretty cynical business where many agency execs bring in large salaries while resenting anything so low brow as connecting “advertising” with sales. The idea of ever asking a consumer to purchase a product seems crass. In fact, read carefully what agencies say about themselves and you’ll find a serious dis-like of “advertising” in general (usually detected by what’s omitted from their discussion – like any understanding of business). It’s too bad. Because good advertising is quite fundamentally human and is quite valuable to society.
Consumerism is as old as mankind itself. In fact, consumerism started when the first hunters found they could shop for rock types and find rocks that were more effective. Or when one animal skin was preferred over another for any number of reasons. I think brand also shows up quite early – like when weapon makers repetitively selected specific types of rock (e.g. flint) because they knew it made better weapons. In other words: exercising choice

This post was written by Mirna Bard, a social media consultant, speaker, author and instructor of social media at the University of California at Irvine. SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues. Last week’s poll question: How would you compare the costs of social media marketing and traditional marketing channels, relative to their returns?
  • Traditional marketing is more expensive than social media marketing – 43.48%
  • It is difficult to compare the two – 41.74%
  • Social media marketing is more expensive than traditional marketing channels – 12.17%
  • They cost about the same – 2.61%
A couple of weeks ago, I was in a meeting with several executives who were debating

Angry Retail Customers Are A Marketers Dream? Can Be...

This guest post is by Daley Epstein, a contributing writer for SmartBrief.
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Whether your a retailer or distributor, when an angry, dissatisfied customer uses Twitter, it doesn’t matter whether he’s a big or little spender  — each post holds the same presence on the Internet, said Rob La Gesse, director of media marketing at Rackspace Hosting.  La Gesse suggests an old-fashioned, yet underused, approach toward social media: Customer love. He offers three things to keep in mind when dealing with an upset customer:
  • Don’t freak out. Costumers aren’t evil!
  • Customers need your help and may need to vent, let them.
  • If your company broke a promise or you have a broken process, its better to have an angry customer than a lost customer.
“If you don’t love working with customers, you shouldn’t be in retail marketing anyway",

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Using Wikipedia as a source for an academic paper will still get most people into hot water, yet a growing number of people are turning to even more dubious sites to verify facts for information about their health. A survey of nearly 23,000 Americans, released last month by the National Research Corporation, says that 20% use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to help make health care decisions, with one in four saying the information found there was “likely” or “very likely” to affect their course of action. Perhaps more telling was that 32% said they had a “very high” trust in social media — only 7.5% of respondents rated their trust level as “very low.” These are not the young or poor making these decisions, either. The survey found