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Measuring the Business Impact of Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Social media is no longer a stop-and-go investment, but rather a long term strategic channel that, when integrated with other marketing efforts, allows brands to connect with users over time.

Results of a recent survey we conducted find social media efforts valuable in their ability to grow brand awareness and increase dialogue with customers. In addition to spending more time thinking about how to engage audiences, marketers will soon begin to measure social media's impact on the business through a more traditional ROI definition: attributable sales and costs.

In November 2011, we conducted an ROI survey of over 700 marketers from all around the World. The results were compiled into an easy-to-digest infographic, found below. What do you think of the results? Where does your brand fall in line with these alignments?

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Remove Networking Cobwebs With a Social Spring Cleaning

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Houses are not the only things that need to be cleaned this spring. When it comes to social media, we've all done it - let our social sites get a little dusty. Even if you actively post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, these four quick chores can give networking a sparkling fresh feel.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts - There is no reason to follow Twitter users who aren't tweeting. Use a free tool like FriendorFollow.com to see who you're following, who is following you and when they tweeted last. Then drop the dead weight.

Freshen-up Your Bios - Chances are your biography is a bit stale. What we do is always being refined so login to LinkedIn and make sure your employment information and specialties are current. You can also change up your Facebook and Twitter profiles by doing something as simple as uploading a new profile picture. Regardless of what profile you are updating, be sure it is rich in keywords so that you are found in relevant searches.

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5 Ways to Turn Twitter into Your Most Powerful Social Media Tool

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What do you use as your daily Social Media dashboard every day? Most likely not Twitter.com I am guessing. Yet, in recent months, there were a great number of browser extensions released, specifically for Twitter.com. They help you create a much greater experience right inside Twitter.com.

What I like best about this is that you are in charge regarding how many bells and whistles you are adding. You can basically fully customize your own Social Media dashboard. So here are my top 5 finds you can use to make Twitter.com a truly powerful Social Media tool for you...

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What to Do if Your Search Rankings Were Hurt by Google's Penguin Update

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Have ya heard? A new animal may be wreaking havoc on your ability to get found in search. But this time, it doesn't take the form of a black and white bear. No -- this time, it's even more deceptively cute and harmless. This time ... it's a penguin.

Last week on April 24, Google released a new update called Google Penguin to combat spammy web pages' ability to turn up in Google search results. In fact, you may remember a blog post we wrote last month that hinted this update was coming, conveyed as one meant to target and penalize sites that were "over-optimized" for search. While Google has now clarified that the update was engineered to be more about combatting outright spammy tactics rather than vague instances of "over-optimization," this is the update they were referring to back in March.

The Penguin Update slams sites that employ such tactics as keyword stuffing, duplicate content, or misleading/hidden/cloaked links, all of which Google clearly warns against in its Webmaster Guidelines regarding quality.

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What 3 Content Types Drive the Most Interaction on Facebook?

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Social media is evolving so quickly that it almost makes your head spin. Google+ arrived on the scene only a few months ago and has quickly gathered nearly 50 million users, Twitter continues to grow past 200 million and Facebook continues to evolve both its personal profiles and company Fan pages.

The social web is the third phase of the Internet's evolution which has followed the portal phase around 1995 (such as Yahoo and AOL) and search phase which commenced in earnest in the late 1990′s ( including Google and Bing). One of the fun parts of social media marketing is that it is still so new that you need to test things to see what does and doesn't work.

Recently I have been experimenting with Facebook to see which type of content creates the most interaction with readers and what drives sharing. This has been driven by some studies and research that I had discovered.

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13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn

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A lot of LinkedIn's ~150 million users don't know how to unlock its true potential. The company's co-founder, Reid Hoffman, said as much in a recent profile by WIRED:

"They think it's a place they keep their CV online and maybe have some connections with people they know professionally. They don't think of it as a place to get business intelligence, to research problems, to establish an online presence where other people in the network can find them. It's as if we're a screwdriver in a world where people don't quite understand screws."

You know if the company's co-founder says users aren't using LinkedIn's power, it must be true. To help you out, we put together our favorite tips and tricks for LinkedIn.

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