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MIT scientists develop algorithm to predict Twitter trending topics

112987077MIT researchers say they have developed an algorithm that can predict which topics will trend on Twitter an average of an hour and a half in advance.

The predictions have a 95 percent accuracy rate, they say, and sometimes can be made four or five hours in advance. Basically, it sounds like the algorithm learns to recognize the low-level data patterns that precede a topic making "the jump" into a conversational trend.

Pretty impressive stuff. Though, if you think further about it, a popular application of this technology would probably self-destruct.

If Doc Brown and Marty McFly taught us anything, it's that "no one should know too much about their destiny." Knowing what's going to happen in the future will cause us to take actions that end up altering that future.

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Increasing User Engagement on Facebook

112987077If you use Facebook as a tool for promoting your business or brand, then you have probably noticed that Facebook has recently updated its EdgeRank, also known as its News Feed Algorithm.

Facebook is not trying to hide the fact that they want businesses to start paying to promote their posts. It is in Facebook's best interests if your posts are not showing up in people's newsfeeds. They want you to pay to have your posts appear there.

You might wonder if there is any hope in getting your posts noticed in Facebook's newsfeeds without having to pay to promote them. While it is not possible to have your posts appear to everyone who has "liked" your page (even if you pay to promote them), it is possible to improve your chances of having your posts noticed by keeping these tips in mind.

Keep Your Fans Coming Back for More

Many people post whatever comes into their head on Facebook, even on their business pages. Before you post, ask yourself if this is something that your fans would really be interested in seeing. The more posts your fans ignore, the less likely it is that your future posts will appear in their newsfeeds. Many people who "like" a page on Facebook never visit the page again. To get people coming back to your page, your content must be truly engaging.

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8 Scary Truths About Social Media Crises

112987077So here you are... 8 scary truths about social media crises

1- A social media or online crisis can strike when you least expect it. This could mean with the launch of a hopeful campaign, after technical malfunctions that are not your fault, by an unhappy customer with a big, loud voice and a video camera, or by distasteful competitors who start a smear campaign about your brand.

2- Social media crises have a high risk potential of damaging your brand's reputation for the long-term in a very short period of time.

3- When not responded to properly or in a timely manner, social media crises have a tendency to continue to grow and spiral out of control, increasing the damaging impact it may have on your brand.

4- Social media crises do not go away or resolve themselves on their own. They continue to grow and spiral out of control until either a) your brand is shown in the most negative of lights or, b) you do something about it.

5- Social media crises risk having a strong negative emotional impact on your clients, their friends and family, your staff, fans, followers and online viewers. These strong negative emotions often result in undesired and viral negative impacts on your brand.

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Why Social Media Marketers Should Shelve Holiday Hard-Sell

112987077Marketers are facing a conundrum this holiday season, a new study suggests. Consumers want to see more deals on social media than brands have been offering. But they also tune out companies that bombard them with too many promotions around the holidays. Marketers need to walk a fine line, the study finds.

Many leading retailers are underutilizing social media as a channel to promote deals, according to a study of more than 500 consumers conducted by Yesmail, an email marketing firm. Yesmail asked them about their general and holiday shopping preferences and incorporated their responses in an analysis of digital marketing campaigns.

While the resulting study showed that consumers are more open to social media promotions in general, it also revealed a potential pitfall for marketers: Holiday-themed promotions often perform worse than nonholiday promotions in terms of engagement.

The study tracked the social media campaigns for the brands released during the spring and summer, where 14 percent of Facebook campaigns and 8 percent of Twitter campaigns had a holiday theme. The findings showed that those campaigns that focused heavily on getting consumers to make purchases showed less-than-average engagement, while the messages aimed at simply getting followers into the respective holiday spirit performed much better.

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4 Out of 10 Consumers Use Local Search Once a Day

112987077Four out of 10 consumers use local search at least once a day, according to a new study commissioned by local search company YP.

YP's new study "How Consumers are using Local Search" found that with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, more consumers are using local search. According to the study, a large group of consumers called "avid local search users" account for half of all local searches. YP says that avid local search users are early adopters who hold key information for how people will be using local search in the future.

The new YP study was commissioned out to marketing consulting firm immr. The company surveyed 1,100 consumers to discover what sorts of devices were used for local search and what kind of information users were looking for.

According to the study four out of 10 consumers use local search at least once a day. While another two-thirds of users use it at least three to four times a week.

YP says that consumers are using local search to not only find out a company's name, address, and phone number (NAP) but also to find out things like customer reviews.

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