Twitter is widely known but little-used in the U.S., according to the lead story in today’s SmartBrief on Social Media. A study by Edison Research found that 87% of Americans have heard of the network, but just 7% use it. By contrast, Facebook has an 88% awareness rate and a 41% user rate.

Now compare that with a study of social marketers’ network preferences, which found that 88% of social marketers used Twitter — more than any other network. When the question was put to social marketers with years of experience, the number jumped to 96%.

One of the biggest axioms in social marketing is that you have to “go fishing where the fish are” — you need to embrace the networks your audience already uses instead of trying to lure them to your platform of choice. So why aren’t social marketers taking their own advice?

It might be a case of reality not matching up to our expectations, as Jason Falls notes. (read more…)

Yesterday we hosted a webinar with Roger Drake, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Morton’s the Steakhouse, Yelp’s Business Outreach Manager Luther Lowe, and Andy Sernovitz, our SmartBrief on Social Media editor-at-large. The webinar was full of actionable tips and useful case studies — and by the end, questions were coming in faster than they could be answered. Since time ran out yesterday, we followed up with Drake to answer a few outstanding questions.

How do you get more fans and followers for your social media pages?

We do some giveaways (Morton’s cookbook) and also some contests asking for preferences of menu items or your favorite Morton’s story, and we encourage posting of your Morton’s photos on our Facebook page.

How do you empower your managers at a local level to embrace the Social Media aspect? Do you provide them with appropriate technology (hand-helds, flipcams, etc.) Specific examples would be helpful! (read more…)

In today’s competitive business climate, it’s vital for companies to have a strong brand presence, — and increasingly that means far more than merely having a static website, according to participants in the “Developing Your Brand for Online and Mobile Audiences” panel at the Milken Global Conference this week in Los Angeles.

Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, author of “Internet Warrior” and the creator of and, led the panel. Joining him were John Battelle, CEO of Federated Media; David Liu, managing director and head of digital media and Internet for Jefferies & Company Inc.; Andrew Miller, founder of Internet Real Estate Group LLC; and Michael Steib, director of emerging platforms and TV ads for Google.

Among the key takeaways from their lively conversation:

  • Think of ways to help people do what they already love. It’s really easy to build a website now, Miller said. “Now the key is how you cut through the clutter.
  • (read more…)

The lead story in today’s SmartBrief on Social Media deals with the idea of “word of mouth equity” — the notion that you have to be able to measure a word-of-mouth program’s effect on consumers, not just its reach. While not all social marketing is word-of-mouth marketing in the traditional sense, almost all good social efforts have a word-of-mouth aspect. Being able to measure your reach and your impact is at the heart of demonstrating social success.

Measuring the results of a social-marketing campaign can be daunting at first — and the need for a demonstrated return on investment is one of the sticking points social skeptics return to again and again. That’s an issue we try to help clarify each day in the SmartBrief newsletter. We’ve talked extensively about the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising on this blog. We’ve even done several special reports on ways companies are quantifying their successes through social media. (read more…)