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Mark Cuban: Facebook is driving away brands - Starting with mine

112987077Tech billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he is fed up with Facebook and will take his business elsewhere. He's sick of getting hit with huge fees to send messages to his team's fans and followers.

Two weeks ago Cuban tweeted out a screen grab of an offer he'd received from Facebook. The social network wanted to charge him $3,000 to reach 1 million people. Along with the screen grab, Cuban wrote, "FB is blowing it? This is the first step. The Mavs are considering moving to Tumblr or to new MySpace as primary site."

Now Cuban tells me he's doing more than considering a move - he's doing it. And not just with the Mavs but with the 70 or so companies in which he has invested.

"We are moving far more aggressively into Twitter and reducing any and all emphasis on Facebook," Cuban says, via email. "We won't abandon Facebook, we will still use it, but our priority is to add followers that our brands can reach on non-Facebook platforms first."

Cuban and other corporate Facebook members are howling because new rules on the social network make it harder for brands to reach people without spending big money on sponsored posts.

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Five Easily Avoided Content Marketing Mistakes

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According to Econsultancy's recently published Content Marketing Survey, the number of search queries for the phrase 'content marketing' has more than doubled in the past two years, a reflection of the fact that more and more companies are turning to content marketing to promote their wares.

When used effectively, content can be one of the most powerful marketing tools, but many companies dipping their toes in the content marketing water are making huge mistakes in how they develop and execute their strategies.

Here are five of the biggest that can easily be avoided.

1. Relying solely on the marketing team

Content marketing is marketing, but don't fall into the trap of believing that your content marketing strategy is a marketing-only affair. The knowledge, experience and insight that serves as the foundation for compelling content is often more likely to come from other parts of your organization, so it's usually wise to ensure that the appropriate non-marketing teams are involved in content marketing where appropriate and desirable.

2. Not going beyond owned media for distribution

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New Facebook Data Shows How Questions Impact Engagement

112987077Last week, we presented our readers with some interesting data about the impact of social CTAs on Facebook engagement. But we got to wondering -- what about posing questions in your Facebook posts? How would that impact engagement metrics such as Likes, shares, and comments?

If you're an active Facebook marketer, you've probably seen countless brands using questions as a fan engagement tactic. By asking questions, the social media managers behind those pages are hoping to generate responses, thereby increasing engagement rates. In fact, the power of questions on Facebook has been accepted conventional wisdom for some time now.

Digging into a large data set of more than 1.2 million posts from the 10,000 most Liked Facebook Pages, I was able to not only verify that anecdotal evidence, but also figure out specifically which types of questions work best. Let's take a look at what I uncovered ...

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Biggest Social Media Disasters of 2012

112987077The calendar year wouldn't be complete without a few social media fails.

In 2012, plenty of big brands and organizations suffered serious backlashes on social networks like Twitter and Facebook for offensive tweets, questionable ad campaigns or controversial company statements. Some, like McDonald's, attempted good-natured social media campaigns that simply took unexpected turns. Others, like StubHub's and KitchenAid's Twitter accounts mistakenly send out shocking tweets.

If there's one lesson to take away from this year's fails, it's that brands need to be particularly careful when it comes to tying a promotion or post to a big, public event. Several of the businesses on our list were heavily criticized for posts relating to the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy, for example.

We've dug up 11 of the most memorable social media mistakes from this year. If we missed any that you remember, let us know in the comments.

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How Brands Can Drive Sales with Social Media This Holiday Season

112987077Online consumers are a finicky tribe, especially around the holidays. On one hand, they say they want to see more deals on social media than brands have been offering. But at the same time, research shows that shoppers tune out companies that bombard them with too many promotions during the holiday shopping season.

So should retailers go full throttle on social channel promotions during the holidays, or should they back off their social engagement efforts and connect with consumers through other marketing channels?

The answer: It depends on the type and timing of social channel promotions the brand leverages to connect with holiday shoppers.

Social channel engagement during the holidays

A recent Yesmail report, based on a consumer shopping trends survey and an analysis of the digital marketing campaigns of 20 brands over a three-month period, found that half of consumers are influenced by social media when making online purchases (compared to 42 percent for in-store purchases), and more than one in three consumers have purchased a product as a direct result of a social media promotion.

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