SXSW 2012: Food Trumps Events on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

The weekend may be over, but SXSW‘s social media conversations are still happening.

According to findings from the Meltwater Group, there were almost 330,000 conversations occurring in social spaces surrounding SXSW; 95% of those occurred on Twitter, still the network of choice for SXSW.

Tech companies at the festival released big news, and the surrounding buzz swallowed up a lot social bandwidth. The most highly anticipated announcement came Sunday afternoon, when Instagram announced it would finally be coming to Android, and that it had 27 million users.

SEE ALSO: Rainn Wilson Talks Altruism at SXSW — Then Smashes a Guitar

Many were also talking about the death of check-in service Gowalla, an Austin company that launched at SXSW in 2009, and took the festival by storm in 2010, going head-to-head with Foursquare. The company shut its doors officially last weekend, a few months after an announcement that founder Josh Williams and others would be transitioning to Facebook.

Perhaps most interesting, Meltwater found that food reigns at SXSW. According to its data, attendees tweeted about food three times more often than panels or events. Free food giveaways are an important promotion strategy of SXSW — people create Twitter accounts like @SouthByFreeNoms just to help fest goers find the best free snacks.

Check out the infographic from Meltwater below, and let us know what SXSW has you buzzing about.

What Men and Women Really Want, According to Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

As a fully-licensed and accredited man, I am wholly unqualified to discuss what women want or care about. That’s what social data is for.

Social media monitoring company NetBase analyzed a year’s worth of online conversations — 27 billion, to be exact. Using natural language processing, they parsed English grammar and gender voice in search of phrases like “I want X.” The data was then analyzed for sentiment, and condensed into a top 10 list for each sex. The fascinating results have been compiled in the punchy inforgraphic below.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Twitter Is Sexier Than Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC]

We won’t spoil the fun up front — you’ll have to scroll down to see the winners. But it’s worth noting that food absolutely dominates social media conversation among both genders.

Here we are, the most interconnected civilization the world has ever known, and humanity’s greatest collective aspiration can be boiled down to, “Me likey pizza.”

Same as it ever was.

Infographic courtesy of NetBase.

Businesses to Fully Embrace Social Media In 2012

social media reviewsThe vast majority of Americans are actively using social media. Has your business acted on this fact?

Are you looking for a way to keep pace with the quickly evolving field of social media marketing?

If so, Social Media Examiner has some exciting news…

But first, consider this story.

Imagine your business competing for your state’s “Best Brand” title against huge names such as Target, Dairy Queen and Wheaties.

Now imagine simply leveraging the power of social media and taking the grand prize! Wouldn’t that just blow your mind?

Well that’s exactly what happened to Creative Memories!

This Minnesota-based scrapbook supplies company beat 64 other brands to take the “Best Brand in Minnesota” title! And they simply relied on social media to make it happen.

creative memories scrapbooking

Creative Memories won Minnesota’s Best Brand by leveraging their existing fans via social media.

Recognizing the Opportunity

Creative Memories’ community manager Kristen Jacobs discovered a single tweet as she was monitoring Twitter for mentions of her company.

It turned out the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal was hosting a brand challenge. And one of America’s biggest retailers—Target—was in the running! Target had nearly 5 million Facebook fans at the time.

Jacobs’ immediate response was to post the article on their Twitter and Facebook pages, calling on their 60,000 fans to vote for them.

creative memories twitter

Creative Memories learned first on Twitter about the Minnesota Brand Challenge competition.

Creative Memories’ fans not only responded, but also voted for them repeatedly through six rounds of the competition against nationally acclaimed brands until Creative Memories emerged the winner of “Minnesota’s Best Brand.”

“We learned that we may not be as recognized, have as many customers or make as much money as the brands we were up against, but we do have something none of them have. And that’s the ability to use social media to mobilize a passionate fan base to action when needed,” said Jacobs.

Now you might be wondering, “How did the community manager know what to do, or how to respond?”

That’s a great question. But think about this: “What would have happened if she hadn’t responded or hadn’t known what to do?”

To be successful in social media, you need to know what to do when an opportunity knocks.

More than ever, it’s critical to keep up with social media changes, to stay competitive and to learn the tactics and strategies that produce the best results and the greatest return for your business.

Has your business tapped the massive opportunities presented by social media marketing?

Recent Statistics on Social Media Adoption

Here are a few reasons why you should invest heavily in social media:

Mass adoption of social media: Nearly 80% of all active U.S. Internet users regularly visit social media sites (Nielsen). And while consumers spend 25% of their Internet time on social sites, Facebook has become the most visited website in the world. Your customers are there.

Social media benefits businesses: Among marketers who include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business (eMarketer).

Social media improves branding: In a survey of more than 700 marketers, 88% of respondents found that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs (Wildfire Interactive).

These stats are just a sample of the power of social media.

Are you “all in” with your social media activities? Want to fast-track your success?

Social Media Examiner Announces Social Media Success Summit 2012

Social media has changed radically in the last 12 months,” acknowledges Michael Stelzner, (CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner). “Google+ entered the stage, Facebook introduced Timeline for pages, YouTube unveiled their new layout, Twitter got a complete revamp and then there’s Pinterest. It’s a completely different world and there’s a need to discover new strategies and new ways to market your business with these platforms.”

social media success summit 2012To equip you with the latest strategies for marketing with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest, Michael Stelzner and the people you trust from Social Media Examiner have recruited 27 of the world’s most respected social media experts to share their newest tips and advice at Social Media Success Summit 2012.

If you’re not familiar with these events, they’re large online conferences (so you don’t need to travel).

Typically, thousands gather at Social Media Examiner Success Summits to discover new social media tactics, network with peers and discover how other successful businesses are using social media.

What People Say About Social Media Success Summit

Last year, 3,000 people attended the online summit.

Some of the organizations represented were Coca Cola, Visa, Microsoft, 3M, Honda, Kraft Foods, SAP, Wells Fargo, Disney, AutoDesk, LexisNexis, Four Seasons Hotels, Fuddruckers, EMC and thousands of small businesses.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Thoroughly wowed by the format and content. I will most definitely attend future summits,” Kim Kiefer

“Guaranteed to improve the way you approach social media. I’ll be back next year!” Derrick Sweet

“Phenomenal topics and knowledgeable speakers. The ability to ‘catch up’ on sessions thanks to recordings was a selling point for me due to scheduling,” Erin Caples

“This is the most comprehensive training I have yet seen on social media. The lineup of presenters was most impressive and the whole summit exceeded my expectations,” Suzanne Kiraly

Meet Your Presenters

Among the 27 social media experts who will be presenting at this summit are:

  • Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group
  • Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business
  • Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day
  • Brian Solis, author of Engage
  • Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motor Company
  • Frank Eliason, author of @YourService
  • Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch
  • Jay Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution
  • Jason Falls, co-author No Bullshit Social Media
  • Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter
  • C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules
  • Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media
  • Jesse Stay, author of Google+ for Dummies
  • Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
  • And experts from Dell, Ford, LinkedIn, Citigroup, Citrix and many others.

Why Attend Social Media Success Summit?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Learn the latest and best social media business-building tactics.
  • Learn about tracking and measuring social media return on investment.
  • Learn how to sell with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Learn how content marketing fits in with social media.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to network via LinkedIn with thousands of people who are expected to attend.
  • You’ll interact live with experts from big B2B and B2C brands such as Ford, Dell, LinkedIn, Citigroup and Citrix.
  • Keep learning even after the summit is over—With the session recordings and the transcripts, you can keep studying the material for up to one year from the date of your ticket purchase.

Want to save some money? If you reserve your spot now, you’ll save 50%. Click here for details.

What do you think? Would you be interested in learning what the world’s top social media experts are doing that makes them so successful? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.


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How To Follow the Japan Quake and Tsunami Anniversary on Social Media

This Sunday, March 11, marks the one-year anniversary of northern Japan’s threefold devastating disaster — a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, a tsunami that engulfed entire towns and cities, and a nuclear disaster that has since shut down 52 out of 55 commercial reactors in Japan and stirred an international debate about nuclear energy.

While the Fukushima disaster has become a story of its own, numerous projects have developed to help document the personal perspectives of those who lived through the earthquake and tsunami. These two disasters — which lost media attention as the Fukushima crisis unfolded — have killed nearly 20,000 people and displaced thousands of others. Here’s Mashable‘s official list of the top five projects documenting and commemorating the earthquake and tsunami, which are available in English on social media sites:


“Children of the Tsunami”


Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching videos to come out of the disaster is this BBC documentary showing the disaster through the eyes of Japanese school children. With the children describing step-by-step what they were thinking and what was happening at the time, the video takes you straight to Japan at the heart of the disaster. Catch the preview below and view it in its entirety here.


Japan In A Day


Director Ridley Scott’s crowdsourced project, in collaboration with Fuji Television Network, invites people in Japan to submit videos of their lives this March 11 as a way to commemorate the event online. Modeled after Scott’s Life in a Day, Japan In A Day is not asking for any specific views about the disaster — rather, it’s seeking the ordinary, everyday activities that people have been doing since, as they rebuild their lives and move forward. Since the film is asking for users to submit videos on March 11, it won’t be available for screening on the exact date of the anniversary. But, it will be available the day after, on March 12. Check out the trailer below:


#Quakebook


Before there was Storify, there was Quakebook, a Twitter-sourced account of the disaster whose proceeds go directly to the Japanese Red Cross. Propelled by OurManInAbiko, an expat in Japan who voiced the idea in a single tweet when the quake hit, the project gained an incredible amount of steam in a short amount of time. Within four weeks, a team of 26 people — including copy editors, translators, designers and illustrators, advisors, a tech team and a press officer — created an e-version of the book, and a hardcover edition soon followed.
Quakebook

[Screenshot taken from OurManInAbiko’s website]

Quakebook Anniversary BookThis year, for the anniversary, the Quakebook team has created another book, this time striving to provide independent, unfiltered analysis about — in Quakebook’s words — “what has happened, and what has not since 3/11.” The book, Reconstructing 3/11: Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown — how Japan’s future depends on its understanding of the 2011 triple disaster, was published on March 8 and is now officially available on Amazon.


“Tsunami Stories”


A project by Voice of America, Tsunami Stories is a Tumblr-powered website crowdsourcing content around the web from survivors. With the tagline, “How a nation heals from invisible wounds,” the site looks to find how people affected by the disaster are coping. They can submit pictures, videos, links or text describing their experience. The site just launched on March 8, and the hashtag #tsunamistories is gaining some traction on Twitter to encourage submissions. My favorite post so far is this video of robot seals comforting Japanese elderly:


#311memory


Of course, what would a commemoration be without Twitter? The Japan Times will be doing official commemoration coverage using the hashtag #311memory.

Graphic courtesy iStockphoto/PhotoTalk

Everything Your Employees Need to Know About Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Who needs an expensive social media consultant when you can train your employees in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn best practices yourself?

This Mindflash infographic breaks down the types of social media users you’ll find in your company — the digital native, savvy technologist, reluctant user, digital newby and digital contrarian — and how to approach training each of them.

This guide also highlights an important fact: 76% of companies do not have a clearly defined social media policy. Whether or not you have an explicit policy, make sure you’re aware of the way everyone in your company represents your brand.

What do you think its most important for companies to teach their employees about social media? Share your best practices in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, narvikk