Top 5 Trends for Search & Social Media Marketing in 2012

2012-crystal-ballThe past year saw many new developments in online marketing, including evolving organic and paid search landscapes, convergence of social media and search marketing, growth of mobile and local searches and a rapid rise in spending on social media marketing using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Online marketers have only begun to explore and respond to these new opportunities.

Based on insights from customers, analysts, and partners, here are five predictions for the evolving landscape in 2012.

Mainstream Organizations Adopt Marketing Automation Social CRM


Marketing automation has traditionally consisted of email and email nurturing. However, 2011 witnessed the expansion of social CRM, enabling another channel to reach and interact with customers and it has become one of the fastest growing segments within the CRM industry.

In the next year, social CRM will evolve from an early adopter strategy into a mainstream solution for organizations wanting to connect marketing operations from the top of the funnel, to online search, down through sales and customer management. Companies that learn how to adopt and implement these solutions will more effectively be able to reach and engage with their customers and have a clearer path to a positive sales and marketing ROI.

Social Media Becomes an Increasing Factor in Search Algorithms


Social media networks are growing. In 2011, Facebook’s social signals were integrated into Bing search and Google+ emerged with native integration into Google search. Companies also started using social media in earnest and began experimenting with ways to influence their rankings using these social factors.

In 2012, this trend will continue with social media becoming more of a key component of search engine algorithms. For companies looking to preserve or improve their rankings, social marketing activities will no longer be optional; they will be a necessary element of traffic driving success.

Customers and Employees Become an Extended Part of Companies’ Marketing Teams


As social networks are used ever more frequently for aggregating and sharing interests, expect opinions, both positive and negative, about products and services to spread with lightening speed. As a result, businesses customer relationships will become increasingly focused on creating and managing perceptions.

In 2010, companies began listening to customers wants and needs via social buzz. In 2011, they focused on responding to digital customer commentary. In 2012, companies will need to proactively scale their marketing efforts by creating and sharing information with employees and influential customer evangelists to help define their brands, products and services from the ground up.

Salesforce.com’s recent extension of their Chatter feature, allowing businesses to share information and files with their customers through a hosted network, is early evidence of this.

Mobile + Social Evolve Together to Create New User Scenarios 


Customer interactions and purchases, in specific marketplaces such as travel, shopping, and dining, will occur with increasing frequency on mobile devices.

A recent study found a third of all American adults utilize smartphones and that number is expected to rise in the coming year. Travel related click-through-rates are already higher on mobile devices than on PCs and location-based marketing fueled by companies like Foursquare will continue to soar.

Online purchasing is indisputably moving to mobile. Google estimated that 44 percent of last-minute online shopping searches would come from smartphones and tablets. This holiday, the majority of last minute shopping transactions were expected to take place on mobile devices.

Marketers now have the opportunity to zoom in on specific and unique user scenarios they may not have been able to address using pure traditional online marketing tactics.

Daily Deals Receive Prominence in Search Engine Result Pages

google-serp-pedicure

Today if you search for “pedicure” on Google, the search engine results includes images of pedicures, a list of pedicure retail establishments and a map as to where you can get pedicures. With all the deal clutter currently in existence, it’s not a far cry to envision Google helping the end user out by including a “pedicure daily deal” in their search results. If it isn’t already in the works for 2012 (take note Google), it should be.

How would Google decide on a first page search results deal? In keeping with their philosophy of providing a superior customer experience, Google would tweak their ever-evolving algorithm appropriately. In any case, one could easily imagine Google giving prominence to their deal offerings and/or to deals with the most social network buzz.

Summary

The successful marketers in 2012 will be those who are quick to embrace and implement integrated online, search and social marketing campaigns. As marketers experiment with multiple mediums, having an integrated solution which measures ROI across the various channels will become ever more essential.

Register now for SES London 2012, the Leading Search Social Marketing Event, taking place 20-24 February, 2012. SES Conference Expo features presentations and panel discussions that cover all aspects of search engine-related promotion. Hurry, early bird rate expires February 3!

Top 25 Most-Shared Stories in December

Social media ended 2011 on a high note as Facebook rolled out Timeline to everyone and Twitter unveiled a new design, brand pages and embeddable tweets.

But what got your share-happy fingers clicking the most? A story about hilarious auto-corrected text messages from Damn You Auto Correct (see gallery below) tops December’s list of most-shared stories. In fact, that story was the most-shared and most-viewed Mashable story of the year.

Based on figures from Mashable Follow‘s M Share button, the following 25 stories got the most love, with all of them garnering about 550,000 combined shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon. To keep track of the most-shared stories at anytime, log into Mashable Follow and click on “Top Stories” next to the Mashable logo. You’ll have the option to view the top stories of the day, week, month or year.

SEE ALSO: Most-Shared Stories in November | October | September | August | July | June | May

Thanks for reading and sharing our content. We look forward to seeing which stories you share in 2012.


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Link Blog To Facebook Page With Networked Blogs

With the constant instruction that content is King, many people want to know how to link their blog to their Facebook Page to ensure a constant stream of status updates on autopilot.

Ways to Link Blog to Facebook Page

You can use RSS Grafitti or Networked Blogs.

Link Blog to Facebook Page using Networked Blogs

link blog to facebook page 1From your Facebook Page or Personal Profile, type Networked Blogs into the search bar and you should see the App for it appear in the drop down menu. Click through and you will see a page that offers you the options to register and syndicate your blog in the top left hand corner.

Click on Register and you will be given a box into which you can type the name of the home page of your blog – http://www.YourDomainName.co.uk. Don’t jump ahead like I tried to and add /feed because it will bring up an error message register a blog on networked blogs

register to link your blog to facebook page via networked blogsYou will then see a page asking for various pieces of info – the home page of your blog http://www.YourDomainName.co.uk/slug-of-blog-page, the keywords you want to be recognised for and the feed address which is http://www.YourDomainName.co.uk/feed and will probably already be completed for you. Make sure you also fill in the name of your blog and the language it will be written in – English in most cases. It’s about half way down the first drop down menu and needs to be clicked so you can accept it.

how to install verification widget from networked blogs to blog widgetOnce you click Next, you will be asked whether you are the author of your blog. So long as you have access to the dashboard of the WordPress blog in question, you will be able to proceed quickly if you click Yes. You will then need to have it confirmed that you are indeed the author.

There are two ways to be verified as the owner – by adding some code onto the website itself or by receiving authorisation from ten of your friends. Click the ‘ten friends confirmation’ option and you will need to select from a drop down menu the ten friends that you want to ask. It is far quicker if you can just put that code into a widget on your website.If you have WordPress on a self-hosted blog, just highlight the code in the first option box by putting the cursor onto it and clicking ctrl and A, then ctrl and C to copy it.

how to add networked blog widget to blogNow go to the dashboard of your WordPress blog. Click Appearance and then Widgets from the drop down menu. Drag a ‘text’ widget from the central panel into your sidebar and allow the box to open. Paste (Ctrl and V) the code into the text box. Save and then return to networked blogs to click the ‘Verify Now’ button.

You should then get a confirmation message that you have been verified.

syndicate a blog to facebook wall via networked blogsNext up, go back to the top right of the page and check the Syndication option which is alongside Register.

choose a blog to syndicate to facebook with networked blogs

Choose the blog you want to link to your Facebook Page from the list in the drop down menu.

Then, in order to link blog to Facebook Page, check the Facebook option and select your blog and/or personal profile by pressing the ‘Add’ button beside it.

Go down to the bottom of the list and check ‘Close’.

publish blog posts to Facebook with networked blogsIf you’ve done it all properly, it will confirm this and then offer you the option to customise how your posts look on Facebook with the choice of images from the post or just a blog thumbnail.

From there you can link your Facebook Business Page to your Twitter account to ensure that the content is leveraged as a status update on both Facebook and Twitter.

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on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at 10:55 am

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Sports and Social Media: Our Favorite Stories of 2011

The past year was a wild one in the sports world, full of salacious scandals, poignant moments, new records, the passing of old legends and the forging of new ones.

But digital and social media also shaped — and were shaped by — some of the year’s biggest moments in the NBA, NFL, international soccer, college football and nearly every other sport humans play. Sometimes the stories were inspiring. Sometimes they were sad, or repugnant. Sometimes they were funny. But they were almost always interesting.

Here, we look back at 15 of our most memorable sports moments from the year that was. Scroll through the slideshow below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

What are your favorite stories from this list? What would you have added? What do you predict for 2012?


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While pro athletes are used to criticism from fans via social media, digital hate doesn’t usually come from fellow players. But that’s what happened when Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler missed more than half of a crucial NFL playoff game with an injured knee in January.

As the Bears lost with Culter watching from the sideline, current and former NFL players including Maurice Jones-Drew (left) sounded off on Twitter, eviscerating Cutler for a perceived lack of heart.


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February’s Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers was the only sports-related topic among Facebook’s top-10 conversation subjects worldwide, ranking ahead of globally noted events including Hurricane Irene, Prince William’s royal wedding and the deaths of Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse.

Check out the Facebook infographic at left to see how the Super Bowl measured up against the online world’s other hot topics.


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Following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan this March, WNBA player Cappie Pondexter tweeted, “What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes.” She later followed that tweet with this gem: “u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so you can’t expect anything less.”

Pondexter’s tweets sparked a vociferous backlash and she soon returned to Twitter to issue an apology (left).


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NFL star Rashard Mendenhall poked a hornet’s nest in May when he wrote this tweet (left) following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American forces: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

Mendenhall’s team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, quickly distanced themselves from his words and athletic apparel company Champion dropped him as a sponsor.


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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is known as one of the most brutal sports around. But in May, the organization decided to pit its fighters against one another digitally as well. The league announced $5,000 bonuses for writing creative tweets, having the most total Twitter followers and gaining followers at the quickest rate.


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When sporting legends such as Shaquille O’Neal retire, they usually do so with a lavish press conference amid much pomp and circumstance. But Shaq, an early social media adopter, bucked that tradition in June.

He announced his retirement from the NBA via a a short recording using the social video startup Tout. “I want to thank you very much,” he said to fans. “That’s why I’m telling you first: I’m about to retire.”


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On July 17, the Brazilian men’s national team was eliminated from the Copa America. The Twitterverse users worldwide posted about the game at a rate of 7,166 tweets per second. That would have set a new world record for Twitter — were it not for another international soccer match held the same day.

When Japan beat the United States to win the Women’s World Cup, tweeters around the globe posted at a rate of 7,196 messages each second immediately following the shootout finale. The two matches then stood at first and second on Twitter’s leader board of all-time service usage.


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The first tangible casualties of the NBA lockout came in September, when the league canceled a week of preseason games. But, before and after that marker, the lockout played out online in realtime.

Players like Anthony Morrow, left, used Twitter to post defiant public messages to the league’s franchise owners and sway fan support. The NBA established an official @NBA_Labor account to help guide the narrative as well. Meanwhile, viral videos of out-of-work NBA players dominating amateur leagues popped up all over YouTube.


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For supporters of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lighting, hockey season began with a techie twist this October. The team introduced free replica team jerseys (left) for season ticket holders. But the classic staple of fan apparel came with a radio frequency chip embedded in the sleeve.

Each chip gives discounts on in-stadium purchases but also has a unique ID that allows the team to track who buys what, which executives say will allow the organization to analyze the most effective future deals and promotions.


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Following a big win by his hometown Denver Broncos in October, NFL fan Jared Kleinstein photographed himself striking a prayerful pose to honor the signature gesture of the Broncos’ unorthodox lightning rod quarterback Tim Tebow.

Kleinstein christened the move “Tebowing” and started a Tebowing.com website to post photos of himself and a few friends dropping to one knee in unexpected places. The joke immediately became a viral meme. Two days later, Kleinstein’s website had more than 350,000 unique visitors and he has now received more than 15,000 photo submissions
from people Tebowing (see example at left) in more than 75 countries.


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During the NBA lockout, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant tweeted on Oct. 31 looking for a local flag football game to join (see left). An Oklahoma State University student responded, inviting Durant to join a fraternity match nearby.

Durant, the NBA’s scoring champion, acquitted himself well on the gridiron (see YouTube video) by scoring four touchdowns.


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Mississippi State University painted a giantTwitter hashtag (see left), in one of its stadium endzones before the annual college football rivalry game against the University of Mississippi.

Business and marketing types lauded the move as a brilliant conversation-sparking innovation, and it’s believed to the first time a social media tag or handle has been incorporated into the actual field of play in any sport.


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After stomping on an opponent during a game this season, NFL bad boy Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions posted an apologetic message (left) to his Facebook page on Nov. 25. Suh was nonetheless suspended by the league for two games, and his post rekindled a familiar debate about whether celebrities’ public social media apologies are gracious public gestures or convenient cop-outs.


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Philadelphia 76ers fan Jerry Rizzo lived every social media enthusiast’s dream in December when he and a friend took it upon themselves to create fictitious Twitter accounts for potential new team mascots in a fan voting contest.

Rizzo later received a call from team CEO Adam Aron and after coming in for an interview was offered an official position as the 76ers’ new social media coordinator. Rizzo told Mashable that his new position is “kind of like a dream job for me.”

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While pro athletes are used to criticism from fans via social media, digital hate doesn’t usually come from fellow players. But that’s what happened when Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler missed more than half of a crucial NFL playoff game with an injured knee in January.

As the Bears lost with Culter watching from the sideline, current and former NFL players including Maurice Jones-Drew (left) sounded off on Twitter, eviscerating Cutler for a perceived lack of heart.


February’s Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers was the only sports-related topic among Facebook’s top-10 conversation subjects worldwide, ranking ahead of globally noted events including Hurricane Irene, Prince William’s royal wedding and the deaths of Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse.

Check out the Facebook infographic at left to see how the Super Bowl measured up against the online world’s other hot topics.


Following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan this March, WNBA player Cappie Pondexter tweeted, “What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes.” She later followed that tweet with this gem: “u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so you can’t expect anything less.”

Pondexter’s tweets sparked a vociferous backlash and she soon returned to Twitter to issue an apology (left).



NFL star Rashard Mendenhall poked a hornet’s nest in May when he wrote this tweet (left) following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American forces: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

Mendenhall’s team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, quickly distanced themselves from his words and athletic apparel company Champion dropped him as a sponsor.


The Ultimate Fighting Championship is known as one of the most brutal sports around. But in May, the organization decided to pit its fighters against one another digitally as well. The league announced $5,000 bonuses for writing creative tweets, having the most total Twitter followers and gaining followers at the quickest rate.


When sporting legends such as Shaquille O’Neal retire, they usually do so with a lavish press conference amid much pomp and circumstance. But Shaq, an early social media adopter, bucked that tradition in June.

He announced his retirement from the NBA via a a short recording using the social video startup Tout. “I want to thank you very much,” he said to fans. “That’s why I’m telling you first: I’m about to retire.”


On July 17, the Brazilian men’s national team was eliminated from the Copa America. The Twitterverse users worldwide posted about the game at a rate of 7,166 tweets per second. That would have set a new world record for Twitter — were it not for another international soccer match held the same day.

When Japan beat the United States to win the Women’s World Cup, tweeters around the globe posted at a rate of 7,196 messages each second immediately following the shootout finale. The two matches then stood at first and second on Twitter’s leader board of all-time service usage.


The first tangible casualties of the NBA lockout came in September, when the league canceled a week of preseason games. But, before and after that marker, the lockout played out online in realtime.

Players like Anthony Morrow, left, used Twitter to post defiant public messages to the league’s franchise owners and sway fan support. The NBA established an official @NBA_Labor account to help guide the narrative as well. Meanwhile, viral videos of out-of-work NBA players dominating amateur leagues popped up all over YouTube.


For supporters of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lighting, hockey season began with a techie twist this October. The team introduced free replica team jerseys (left) for season ticket holders. But the classic staple of fan apparel came with a radio frequency chip embedded in the sleeve.

Each chip gives discounts on in-stadium purchases but also has a unique ID that allows the team to track who buys what, which executives say will allow the organization to analyze the most effective future deals and promotions.


Following a big win by his hometown Denver Broncos in October, NFL fan Jared Kleinstein photographed himself striking a prayerful pose to honor the signature gesture of the Broncos’ unorthodox lightning rod quarterback Tim Tebow.

Kleinstein christened the move “Tebowing” and started a Tebowing.com website to post photos of himself and a few friends dropping to one knee in unexpected places. The joke immediately became a viral meme. Two days later, Kleinstein’s website had more than 350,000 unique visitors and he has now received more than 15,000 photo submissions
from people Tebowing (see example at left) in more than 75 countries.


During the NBA lockout, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant tweeted on Oct. 31 looking for a local flag football game to join (see left). An Oklahoma State University student responded, inviting Durant to join a fraternity match nearby.

Durant, the NBA’s scoring champion, acquitted himself well on the gridiron (see YouTube video) by scoring four touchdowns.


Mississippi State University painted a giantTwitter hashtag (see left), in one of its stadium endzones before the annual college football rivalry game against the University of Mississippi.

Business and marketing types lauded the move as a brilliant conversation-sparking innovation, and it’s believed to the first time a social media tag or handle has been incorporated into the actual field of play in any sport.


After stomping on an opponent during a game this season, NFL bad boy Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions posted an apologetic message (left) to his Facebook page on Nov. 25. Suh was nonetheless suspended by the league for two games, and his post rekindled a familiar debate about whether celebrities’ public social media apologies are gracious public gestures or convenient cop-outs.


Philadelphia 76ers fan Jerry Rizzo lived every social media enthusiast’s dream in December when he and a friend took it upon themselves to create fictitious Twitter accounts for potential new team mascots in a fan voting contest.

Rizzo later received a call from team CEO Adam Aron and after coming in for an interview was offered an official position as the 76ers’ new social media coordinator. Rizzo told Mashable that his new position is “kind of like a dream job for me.”


Top 15 Most Shocking Social Media Disasters of 2011

During a U.S. legislative session that addressed Minnesota’s Health and Human Services Bill, GOP Sen. Gretchen Hoffman (left) tweeted, “Sen Goodwin just called people with mental illness — idiots and imbeciles — while debating HHS bill.” In actuality, Democrat Sen. Barb Goodwin (right) had alluded to the fact that the first psychiatric hospitals were called “institutions for idiots, imbeciles and the insane.” When Goodwin heard about the the misrepresented accusation, she stood and protested on the Senate floor.