Social business: much more than social networks?

social businessThis cool post from CrowdShifter gets deep into social media and finds what does social business mean.

What Does Social Business Really Mean?

Social businesses implement social technologies, strategies and processes that span across their entire enterprise, creating and optimizing collaborative ecosystems of employees, customers, partners, suppliers, communities and stakeholders in a safe and consistent way. To transform into a social business, companies need to have more than a mere linear presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and blogs.
To achieve this, successful businesses must align their core goals and objectives in cross-enterprise collaboration and create a socially integrated organizational blueprint that focuses on people and culture.


[Via CrowdShifter]


Social media vs. conventional media: who do you trust?

Who do people trust during election season?
Check this cool infographic!

news sources and media



Twitter has opened up its self-serve ad platform to another 10,000 marketers

twitter self-serve advertisement small businessTwitter has been working up to its more broadly offered self serve ad platform for a while now.
To this point, there are about 100 advertisers that have been allowed to use the system but Twitter is about to expand that capability significantly as it looks to make 2012 a big year.

This strategy is part of a larger plan for the social media company to reach the election year groups and international advertisers as well.

It’s starting to look like Twitter plans to make some money.

The latest roll out is in partnership with American Express, so only Amex cardholders or merchants who accept Amex can sign-up.

In return Amex will give each buyer a $100 credit to sweeten the deal.

While the number of places available on the platform is limited for now, Twitter told AllThingsD that it will let in more buyers throughout the year in further groups of 10,000.

It shows that Twitter is serious about making money from advertising but is retaining a cautious approach, presumably so it can modify and develop the platform as it lets in more users.

The self-serve approach has worked well for Google and Facebook, so it is no surprise to see Twitter following suit, however it will have to overcome doubts about how effective its platform is.

[Via Mashable and others]


Four (plus one) basic Twitter visibility tips

twitter basicsHere is a poker of simple (yet powerful) tips to increase and mantain Twitter visibility.

I know some of you are still skeptics as to how social media can do anything for your business, but Twitter is one of the most powerful and people-reaching tool these days.

I’m adding a fifth tip:

Offer Advice & Tips

A lot of times when people are having problems in their work, they’ll send out a tweet asking for help. If you’ve got some spare time or knowledge in the area, offer to help them through Twitter for free. Eventually, you’ll need help and they’re more likely to help back.

Also, if it’s a potential client asking for a bit of advice or criticism, make sure you do everything you can to be the first to respond. They’ll remember you later when they need to hire a new freelancer.

[Via Social Media Today]


Travel startup Topguest acquired by ezRez

topguestTopguest, a San Francisco-based startup focused on loyalty programs and travel, has been acquired by ezRez Software, Inc.

As exits go, this one was pretty speedy: The startup was giving sneak peeks of its still-in-beta software just 18 months ago.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Topguest works with loyalty and rewards programs such as Hilton HHonors, Priority Club, Wyndham Rewards, United MileagePlus and Caesars Total Rewards and with social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

Through Topguest, consumers can get real-world value out of their online activities — in simple terms, you can earn loyalty points just for your checkins, photos and updates. You can then redeem those points for more travel.

While Topguest will continue to operate under its current branding, the combined company is set up to give customers a full-fledged technology platform for loyalty programs.

[Via PRNewswire]


Facebook logs 500 million users and reaches a new milestone

facebook 500 million usersFacebook announced Wednesday morning it has reached its 500 millionth member.

Due to privacy constraints, we won’t know exactly who that is, or where; and there’s no prize waiting for him or her.

The site, which launched in 2004, has gained around 100 million new users in the last six months.

Nonetheless, those numbers generate some huge and interesting statistics in the aggregate. Facebook users have uploaded 50 billion photos (and tagged 15 billion of them). Einstein, Twain, Wilde, Gandhi and Shakespeare are among the most quoted people on profiles.

Nearly 20% of users list themselves as single, about 16% as married. Members create 400,000 events each day

Yet one of the most interesting aspects of the community for Randi Zuckerberg, who does marketing for Facebook (and is founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s sister), is what has stayed constant through the growth spurt. For example, “even back when we had one million users, Harry Potter and The Bible were the most popular books,” she says. “500 million later, Harry Potter and the Bible are still there.”

Facebook has grown up since it began as a haven for only a few select universities in 2004.

About 70% of Facebook’s users now live outside of the United States, with the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Brazil becoming some of the fastest growing regions.

“It has changed in a lot of ways,” Zuckerberg says. “Instead of looking at Facebook as a tool to look up other college students, you really feel like you can look up almost anyone in the world.”

“Mobile is fast-becoming our growth lever,” said Erick Tseng, Facebook’s head of mobile products, at Venturebeat’s MobileBeat conference earlier this month. “As we begin to continue to expand, we’re starting to go into geographies where phones are the predominant way you access the web. Mobile is a way we can get users to be aware of and engage with social services.”

As for Facebook Stories, the to-be-unveiled service will serve as a launching ground for the various user stories that Facebook users have been submitting to the site. Up until this point, user tales have been individually featured as part of the “Your Stories” section of Facebook’s official blog.

Facebook Stories, in contrast, will feature organized the submitted, 420-character-or-less anecdotes by geography or theme—like, “finding love,” “coping with grief” and “natural disasters,” reports Swisher. Users will be able to link their stories to their Facebook profiles and, naturally, Facebook’s 500-million user base will be able to comment on and “Like” the stories as they see fit.

Facebook said the number was “an important milestone” and added that it was “humbled and inspired” by the stories of its users, which it is asking people to share on the site.

Maybe the next milestone, which will probably be 750m, won’t take so long…


Kindle ebooks sales boost – and outsell hardcover books

According to Mashable “Amazon: Kindle Books Now Outselling Hardcovers”.

Fact and figures.

“Over the past three months”, according to an Amazon statement, “for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books.”.

This trend may become the norm compared to the outstanding Christmas-day-only ebook result.

Among other reasons, Apple iPad competition has driven price lowering for Kindle devices, giving them much more appeal to consumer willing only to read books.

The bottom line tells us there’s a market out there for ebook still to be tapped, be it from Apple’s new iBook store or from the already-estabilished Amazon Kindle store (and that Kindle is far from dead…).


U2′s Bono through Elevation Partner private equity said to raise Facebook stake with US$ 120 million

bono vox investing facebookU2′s leader Bono Vox keeps on investing in Facebook

According to the technology blog TechCrunch, Elevation Partners, the private equity firm backed by bad-backed U2 frontman Bono, has stumped up $120m for just over 0.5 per cent of Facebook.

The deal values the dominant social network at $23bn, and takes Elevation Partners’ total stake to 1.5 per cent, having invested $90m at a $9bn valuation last year.

Reports earlier this month claimed Facebook’s sales were between $700m and $800m last year, so Bono and friends reckon it’s worth about 29 times revenue at the moment. Which is a lot.

Elevation Partners mission is about helping media and entertainment entrepreneurs develop and deliver content, leverage new platforms and channels, namely social networks and social media assets.

Facebook is still growing at an incredible rate, and recently hit 500 million users, further fueling hopes that the still private company might seek to go public sometime soon, but most IPO observers have said they don’t expect Facebook to file anytime this year, even if the market gets a slight psychological boost from the Tesla Motors Inc.IPO on Tuesday.

So Elevation probably will likely be holding its investment for awhile.

Venture Beat reports also that Bono Vox has invested on its own too in the social network, in addition to the Elevation Partners deal, along with founder Roger McNamee, showing a strong confidence in Zuckerberg’s idea and project.

More info are available here and here.


Who’s Blogging What: 2010 Facebook Page Marketing Guide (free download)

Frankly speaking I love free guides: they give such good hints on premium guides and immediate tips on what’s up in the market.

Who’s Blogging What now gives an opportunity to delve deep into Facebook Page Marketing.

facebook free guideThe 30-page guide has truly interesting (albeit not completely new) tricks&tips regarding the Facebook Page arena; a recommended reading is Getting People To ‘Like’ Your Facebook Page by Lisa Barone.

You have to make people want to join your Facebook page.
It’s simple: You can’t market to or build brand awareness with someone who’s not opted in. What’s not simple is getting a user to hit that ‘like’ button. Users are a lot more discerning on Facebook than on other social sites. For them to opt into your page, they need a compelling reason. It’s a big step from passively liking a brand to publicly ‘liking’ them in full view of friends and colleagues. You have to make it worth their while.

That’s as simple as it seem even though a tough goal to reach.

Get the Facebook Page Marketing Guide by clicking here, it’s free, it’s fun and may be useful too.