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Search and Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2012


The year 2012 is finally here. 2011 was a breakout year for Web marketing developments, and as the geography of the field has rapidly evolved, those who have taken greatest advantage of these new innovations have reaped the most rewards.

2011 brought us Google+, Siri on the Apple iPhone, the Internet cloud, the Panda updates, and widespread changes across every major search engine and social platform. With all of these new technologies at our fingertips, the only thing that remains uncertain is what changes and challenges the New Year will bring. With that in mind, here’s our forecast for search engine and social media marketing in 2012.

By Alex Wall as seen in Business2Community

10 Brand-Building Steps


So you've made the resolution that in 2012 you are finally going to "get into" social media and use it to build a brand for you or your business. But you're not a geek and you’re not with a big corporation that already has a social media team or a fairly savvy marketing department. For you, time is of the essence. You don't have all day to give to this endeavor, which is why you haven't done it already. So here's what to do in 10 easy steps.

By Francine Hardaway as seen in Fast Company

Millennials Are Playing With You


At MTV, we have long suspected that understanding the relationship between Millennials and game play is one of the keys to understanding the generation as a whole. Our 2011 study, "Let's Play Brand," attempts to understand some of the implications of this "meta-game-mentality" for brand builders and marketers. The study has given us startling reaffirmation of our intuition that a "game-like metaphor" applies to almost every aspect of Millennial life. Half of Millennials said "People my age see real life as a video game" and almost 6 out of 10 said "#winning is the slogan of my generation" (certainly #epic_fail seems to have become their anti-slogan!)

By Nick Shore as seen in Harvard Business Review

Old White People Love Broadway


"One of the benefits of the Annual Broadway League meeting held every December is that you get to pick up your glossy copy of the Broadway Audience Demographic Study," writes Broadway producer and blogger Ken Davenport. If you say so! But his post does provide some fun statistics about the demographic of the average Broadway fan who marches through the miserable crowds just west of Times Square to make it to the theater in time to get a sippy-cup full of white wine before the curtain rises. The results of the study will probably not blow your mind.

By Tyler Coates as seen in Black Book Magazine

How to Become A Social Media Influencer


I’ve put together 10 points below drawing on experiences from around the web. These are 10 steps to get into social media and to see a route toward influence, the basics. Is it necessary to have this knowledge? I think so. There is valid scepticism about the numbers game. Nonethless I think young people, and some of us older ones, will enhance our career prospects by contributing to the web through creating and curating valuable content.

1. Planning
Playing a role in social media through blogs, Google +, Facebook and similar channels takes time out of your day. Efficient bloggers can create effective posts in twenty minutes. I can’t. It takes me an hour, at least. So you need time.

By Haydn Shaughnessy as seen in Forbes

Museum as Node: What to Love About the Walker Art Center's New Website


The Walker Art Center launched a new website last week that should be a model for other institutions of all kinds. The site repositions the Walker, in the words of Artlog, "at the center of the global conversation about contemporary art," by incorporating ideas, words, and art from far outside the museum's walls.

Museums have options. One, they can stay off the web, hoarding their treasures offline and doing what they've always done. Two, they can dabble on the web and try to use it as a marketing platform to maximize the value of their physical spaces. Three, they can take advantage of the Internet's reach and figure out a way to become valuable within the new paradigm. We've seen a lot of options one and two, but the Walker is a definitive step down the third way.
Image: Walker Art Center

By Alexis Madrigal as seen in The Atlantic

Innovation's No-Duh, No-Joke Secret Sauce: Friendship


As a business owner, I’m always looking at how to structure relationships. I’ve joked that a sense of humor is our main concern when evaluating new clients at Karten Design. But when I really think about it, compatibility and the ability to have fun with your clients is a serious matter.

Recently, the composer Michael Giacchino shared his creative process with our studio. This guy has won Oscars and Emmys; he’s composed music for popular TV series like Lost and blockbuster movies like Up. The possibilities for such a successful composer are nearly limitless. But when I asked him what he would like to do next, his answer surprised me: “I just want to work with my friends.”

By Stuart Karten as seen in Fast Company

Central Park, the Soundtrack: Art & Music Join Hands


Clamp on headphones, start up the iPhone app by the musical duo Bluebrain, and walk into Central Park. The music does not begin until you pass through an entrance and head into the trees. Then it sounds like an orchestra tuning up, a chaotic jumble of wind chimes, electronic moans, and discordant strings. Push farther into the park, and a sweet violin melody emerges over languid piano chords.

"We didn’t want something to sound like a machine,” Mr. Feldman said. “We wanted it to sound like these guys were conducting an orchestra and watching where you are walking.”

By James C. McKinley Jr. as seen in The New York Times

More Theaters Reserve Seats for Tweeters


As the cast and crew hurried to prepare for their 7:30 p.m. curtain call in Connecticut's Norma Terris Theater last month, patrons filled the house and prepared to get lost in the production of Hello! My Baby. For some, that meant powering on their smartphones and iPads and telling all of their Twitter followers about the musical with the hashtag #hmbmusical.

A growing number of theaters and performing groups across the country are setting aside "tweet seats," in-house seats for patrons to live-tweet during performances, including the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, NC, and the Dayton Opera in Dayton, OH.

By Kara Rose as seen in USA TODAY

To Create Something Exceptional, Do Sweat The Small Stuff


Business schools and most jobs don’t teach you how important it is to sweat the small stuff.

In fact, we’re mostly told the opposite--don’t be a micromanager, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish, don't miss the forest for the trees. The implied wisdom is that abstract and conceptual thinking always prevails over narrow determination and single-mindedness. And yet, when we look at the greatest inventions, greatest companies, and greatest teams of our time, their success always comes down to tireless concern over every last detail.

By Aaron Levie as seen in Fast Company

Symphony is Tweet Music to Their Ears


The lights dim, the orchestra tunes, and the audience is told to "please turn off your cell phones." Except in the "TweetSeats" at Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concerts in Music Hall. That's where iPhones, Blackberries, and tablets light up and concertgoers start tweeting live along with the music.

"Tweeting the CSO's performance was like attending a members-only social event in the midst of a traditionally formal setting," said tweeter Jennifer Nissenbaum, 35, of Dayton. "I could communicate openly about my reactions to the music, musicians, and conductor–without speaking a word. Plus, I had the opportunity to engage others, and get their reactions to the performance."

By Janelle Gelfand as seen in

Four Steps For Making Facebook Marketing Work


There aren't many marketing opportunities that can target 800 million people in one—so it’s no surprise that 96 of the top 100 U.S. advertisers are marketing on Facebook. But there's a problem: Many of those companies tell us they’re not finding Facebook nearly as useful a marketing tool as they’d hoped. In large part, that’s the result of the disorganized approach many companies have to Facebook marketing. Too many raced to launch a Facebook page without ever setting clear objectives, and are now left with a handful of fans but no clear idea of how to engage those fans. Likewise, too many marketers neither understand all the tools at their disposal nor put sufficient resources into their Facebook programs.

By Nate Elliott as seen in Forbes

Critics Should Blog, Tweet, Engage, But Not Help Sell Tickets


One of the many lovely things about being a theater critic is that when you turn up at some far‑flung venue, you can be sure of a warm welcome—and, at this time of the year, maybe a mince pie, too. But when press officers and artistic directors tell me how grateful they are that I've made the journey, my response is that I'm only doing my job. Sometimes, a day or two later when they read my review, they may wish they'd never issued the invitation in the first place. Not that I've ever noticed the subsequent welcomes being any less warm—or mince pies more scarce.

By Lyn Gardner as seen in The Guardian

Your Frontline Employees Are Your Brand. How Do You Hire The Right Ones?


Frontline employees—the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the cloud, and walking the floor—possess a large measure of control over the customer experience. Their actions determine whether a customer becomes a brand evangelist or detractor. Understanding how best to motivate these employees--and designing processes and strategies to ensure that they're empowered, energized, and personally vested--is at the core of delivering standout service and creating a compelling brand experience. Here are four critical areas to consider when creating a standout experience.

By Craig LaRosa and Jon Campbell as seen in Fast Company

Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy


Everyone wants their own mobile application. In the last year, I have heard this consistently. In fact, mobile analytics firm Distimo claims 91 of the top 100 brands have their own mobile app (up from 51 just 18 months ago).

On the surface this sounds great, right? I can use my big brand name to get people to install my application, and then I can market to them via the palm of their hand whenever I want. If you're a big brand, I have no doubt you will get a ton of downloads. But downloads are a vanity metric; they don't measure success.

By Jason Gurwin as seen in Harvard Business Review