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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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How Brands Will Carry On the Social Conversation In 2013

112987077As the year 2012 comes to a close, the predictions for next year are already starting to trickle in.

One of the most interesting thoughts about 2013 that I've come across lately is out of the U.K., called Empty13. The premise is simple: There isn't much happening in 2013. After a year full of Olympics and elections in 2012, there isn't a lot on the shared agenda for 2013.

Yet with big brands and small brands, considered purchases and impulse purchases, everyone is actively trying to engage their consumers in a meaning way of some kind.

As with face-to-face interaction, it is hard to strike up a conversation if you have nothing in common. Brands, like people, typically use shared and familiar topics to strike up conversations.

Face-to-face: "Some weather we're having, huh?"

Brand: "Great Olympics we're having, huh?"

Face-to-face: "What is your favorite team?"

Brand: "Who is your favorite candidate?"

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11 Critical Areas Where Marketing Measurement Matters

112987077Every minute in cyberspace, billions of digital events are taking place such as ad impressions, search clicks, online video views, mobile app usage, email opens, social likes, and re-tweets. In this fragmented era of digital media, how does an advertiser's digital team make sense of it all? Who's to say which channels should get a piece of your budget? What's your process for answering these questions?

The question I'm really asking is: What is marketing measurement's role in your organization? And what should it be?

Certainly the advertising creative gets the lion's share of the attention. Without a great message, the campaign won't perform well. Media is also critically important -- the where, when, and for what cost will the message be shown to prospective customers can't be ignored. Then there's the landing page and the website: If not optimized for maximum usability and effectiveness, the visitors driven to these properties won't convert. Finally, we get to measurement, where in many marketing organizations it is initiated at the end of a campaign to see what is or isn't working.

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