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#SocialSkim: Social Media This Week, Including Social as Riot Control, A/B Testing

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It may not be "hump day" today, but you'll look forward to the next one with this week's top viral video. We'll also look at how social affects—and maybe even calms—riled-up crowds. Learn how to embed Instagram photos and videos, and check out two new analytics tools: A/B testing capabilities on Google Analytics, and Awe.sm, which lets you tie social activity directly to your KPIs. Finally... ever wonder what "native advertising" means? You're about to find out. Skim for a clearer picture!

Guess what day it is?! This week in viral branded video, Geico topped the charts with its "Hump Day Camel" ad. With 5.3 million views since its YouTube appearance in late May, the ad is living proof that TV and the Web can be symbiotic. Also, we're glad the caveman thing is over.

Choose your holiday with a hashtag. To promote its "all-in-1" travel package, which lets travelers call, text, and use mobile data internationally for about $2.60 a day, Vodafone's designed Hashtag Holidays, a site that curates the most popular trending hashtags from Europe's most popular cities. Click on a hashtag you fancy. #Lovebirds will introduce you to the city where it's trending—the glorious Berlin. Users can also win a free trip to the destinations of their choice by "checking in" on their dream locale every Thursday. Nice little #Addedvalue.


Facebooking it up. A survey by The Creative Group finds that 62% of marketing and advertising execs plan to increase Facebook spend over the next 12 months—up from 53% a year ago. LinkedIn, the B2B darling, comes second at 51% (up from 38%, meaning LinkedIn is an increasingly serious component of the marketing mix). See the full infographic.

When social stops a riot. This week's big headliner was the Zimmerman verdict. After nearly a year after the killing of Trayvon Martin, a jury ruled Zimmerman not guilty—resulting in street protests and Facebook/Twitter feeds overflowing with rage and social commentary. Still, no riots, which the police expected. On NPR, Clay Shirky posits that "rioting comes from people who don't have any other mechanism for response, so other mechanisms for response may reduce" the risk. Did social save the day? Not for everyone. Fatigued by all the Zimmerman commentary online, as well as the pressure to express his own feelings about it, Centup founder Len Kendall writes, "I am offering a reminder to myself and to you that it's not ok to treat causes like digital fashion accessories."

A/B Test with Google Analytics. Google's released a Content Experiments API that lets users measure what assets on a site perform best. In other recent updates, you can now share your Google Analytics dashboards with colleagues—making data collaboration easier—and import AdWords cost data directly into the Google Analytics Attribution Model Comparison Tool, to help you monitor marketing spend.

Measure what matters? Awesome! Say hello to Awe.sm, an analytics platform that shows you how social efforts directly affect your KPIs. Once you've selected benchmarks, Awe.sm will show you what social posts contribute to them—making it easier to do more of what works and less of what doesn't. Request a demo on its website.

A smidge less overshare. Hulu's disabled the Open Graph-powered option to automatically share videos you're watching on Facebook, saying "people prefer the experience of expressly sharing content." So, from now on, if you want your friends to know you're watching the latest Jimmy Fallon video, you can hit the share button yourself. And everything you don't want shared—like your four-hour Scandal marathon—can stay secret. Because good social etiquette is also about good self-moderation.

A little clarity never hurts. Getgood takes the time to provide real-human definitions for "content marketing," "native advertising," and "engagement." If you're working in social, you've likely heard these three in earfuls. Know exactly what people are trying to say when they bandy them around—and be sure to ask for clarification if the context seems weird or somebody tosses a new buzzword into the mix. You may be surprised to find how few people know what these terms mean... even while they're using them.

Embeddable Instagram. Instagram now permits users to embed photos and videos onto blogs or other sites. To embed, simply visit instagram.com/[username], click on the video or photo you want to embed, and then click on the three little dots on the bottom right-hand corner. Click on embed, copy the code provided, and paste it wherever you like! Here's a screenshot from instagram.com/marketingprofs:

Instagram also highlighted how embedding can better serve brands: Sports publications can take you behind-the-scenes at a game, and news organizations can provide real-time imagery and video of breaking news. Or if you're Lululemon, use the feature to punt the lifestyle aspects of yoga:

See more cool retail uses for Instagram.

Sharpen your skills without sharpening a pencil. Looking to brush up on your SEO... or maybe build leadership skills? MasterStreet is a search engine for professional and executive education programs. Use it to build savvy in everything from HR to accounting to product development and HTML. Unlike sites like Coursera, which brings together free online classes from great universities, MasterStreet focuses on in-person classes: "knowledge workers who seek to develop themselves professionally already spend a large portion of their day in front of a screen" and could probably benefit from the human contact, according to Erin Griffith of PandoDaily.

Let's wrap with a pretty Slideshare that brings us back to basics. Salesforce offers a primer on the "undeniable authority" of the social customer: who is she, why does she matter, and what marketing triggers does she respond to?


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Angela Natividad is a social media strategist, copywriter, and journalist based in Paris. A Bay Area native and lover of vending machine candies, she co-founded AdVerveBlog.com and is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast. You can follow her on Twitter at @luckthelady.

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  • by Gracious Store Tue Jul 23, 2013 via web

    Geico has great ads to engage viewers, I always like their ads

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