• Social Media Users Are Fake to Be Real
    As any brand marketer knows, one of the key elements of value in our postmodern society is "authenticity" -- that potentially nonexistent quality involving transparency and self-identity, whereby you are effortlessly and manifestly who or what you say you are, always have been, and always will be. The appearance of authenticity is at least as important to individuals as brands, but it turns out that creating an image of authenticity involves, you guessed it, a lot of fakeness.
  • More Hospitality Chains Offer Social Media Rewards
    One gets the impression that with some careful scheduling of their social media activity, a savvy social media user could stay in hotels for the rest of their lives and never have to pay -- provided they don't mind turning over their social feeds to posts about hospitality providers. In recent weeks even more hospitality chains have jumped on the social media rewards bandwagon, offering customers free rooms and assorted perks in return for posting about their experience on social media.
  • Young Car Buyers Love Online, But Eschew Social Media
    Social media may or may not be useful for selling various kinds of stuff to people, but for one category, automobiles, it's definitely a non-starter (get it?). That's according to a new survey of 1,900 new and used car buyers by AutoTrader.com, which found that even social-obsessed millennials are barely using social media in their car buying process. The findings are especially noteworthy because millennials embrace other online resources for research and price comparison.
  • Y Combinator Launches Parenthoods Mobile Social Net
    As a new parent I can confirm that a newborn baby basically ends your adult social life, at least for a while, unless you're one of the crazy people who insists that they are still going to do everything they did before they procreated (I'm looking at you, marathon moms pushing strollers on the 10K).
  • Half of Financial Advisors Use Social Media for Work
    Exactly half of financial advisors are using social media for professional purposes, according to the results of a new survey by the Principal Financial Group, which polled 614 financial advisors about their work habits. Less experienced financial advisors are more likely to use social media for some purposes, which provides a more effective way to reach affluent millennials (who are however generally neglected by the financial advice industry).
  • Insurers Plan to Use Social Media More
    A large majority of U.S. insurers (86%) plan to increase their use of social media next year, according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service, which surveyed 42 life insurers and 24 property & casualty insurers about their plans.
  • Retailers Lag on Social Commerce
    "Fish where the fish are," the saying goes, but apparently no one shared this wisdom with big retailers, who are lagging behind when it comes to promoting and selling their products on social platforms. That's according to finds from Kenshoo and DataPop, presented in their first "Search and Social Commerce Index" report.
  • Social Ad Spend To Pass $11 Billion By 2017
    U.S. social media advertising revenues will exceed $11 billion in 2017, almost double last year's total of $6.1 billion, according to the latest forecast from Mintel -- but don't look for much spending growth in traditional display ads. Instead, newer ad formats -- including much ballyhooed native advertising -- will account for the lion's share of growth over the next few years, the market and media intelligence firm predicts.
  • A Depressing Picture Of Social Media's Impact On Teens
    Apparently it's now a thing for teenagers to set themselves on fire and share it on social media -- it's called the "fire challenge," although "natural selection" might be a better term for it. Thankfully most teens probably won't feel compelled to self-immolate online, but there's still plenty of reason to worry about social media's broader impact on young people, as a whole series of depressing studies and reports have recently illustrated.
  • Hospitality Chains Get Social with Guests
    Major hospitality chains are jumping into social media like kids in an over-chlorinated pool, including new initiatives to reward guests for social media activity that helps promote their brands. No surprise, all these hospitality chains are trying to win market share among Millennials, who represent a growing proportion of business and tourist travel.
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