• Is Your Social Media Investment Going Down The Sh*tter?
    Forgive me for thinking that maybe April Fool's Day came a week early, but, hey, when you wake up first thing in the morning and read that there's a startup called Sh*tter, that will print your tweets on a roll of toilet paper, it's to be understood.
  • Attack Of The Pinterest Clones
    It happens while you sleep. One night, you're visiting your favorite website. Then, you wake up, visit it again, and you can't recognize it anymore. Did you enter the URL correctly? It's not your imagination: your favorite site has been turned into yet another Pinterest clone!
  • Once Upon A Time, There Was A Tongue Cleaner...
    As faithful readers of this column know, lately I've been obsessed with stories, more specifically, whether some brands, in some categories, will actually have any to tell. If they don't, this will come as a huge disadvantage in a world in which brands, like people, have Timelines on Facebook. Seriously, though, can't you just picture a brand making a big deal on its Timeline about that new packaging or logo that no actual human in their right mind cares about? If telling stories is a problem for you, dear brand manager, the Social Media Insider is here to tell you …
  • The Curse Of Meh
    The app Oink just joined the great pigsty in the sky, or wherever apps go to die. While many apps deserve to be put out of their misery, oftentimes I don't have the heart to delete an app. The app may have something appealing about it, or it may be an early version that's likely to improve. Such apps have something in common: they're all "Meh."
  • In Facebook Patent Lawsuit, Yahoo Fails To See The Big Picture
    Among the things I didn't do this week is avail myself of a homeless person 's hot spot. Primarily, this was because I didn't go to SXSWi, but it's also because the idea didn't exactly go viral, though chatter about it certainly did. I'm not quite sure what BBH intended to get out of that whole gambit, but I do know this: The agency wasn't expecting what it got. My ain't-going-nowhere state of affairs left me tethered to the Netgear router in my home office, with some quality time to ponder another bit of digital-era peculiarity: the decision by Yahoo …
  • What SXSW Attendees Need The Most
    As I'm starting to write this column at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), I'm wrapping up lunch with two marketers from a global brand. One is on her iPhone, and the other is on his BlackBerry. While we've sat here, I received a group text update on GroupMe from someone at this table. Something is very, very wrong in Austin. How did this become an acceptable approach to social interaction?
  • Facebook's Elusive ROI
    There's more to Facebook than "likes," and there's more to the measurement of social media than fans. While expanding a social audience with fans and likes is important, it doesn't help marketers understand how engaged their social audience is. Who is engaging? Why are they engaging? What are they engaging with? To answer these essential questions, it's time to start examining new metrics that assess social media performance. You can do this by moving away from page-centric metrics that focus solely on the number of users toward metrics that provide more valuable insights regarding audience behavior. T
  • Once Upon A Time: Ready To Tell a Good Story About Your Brand?
    Those of you who know the Cathy Taylor version of the Social Media Insider know all too well that, unlike my partner-in-crime David Berkowitz, I am mired in the past. Last week's column -- about Facebook's first-ever Marketing Conference -- telegraphed that loud and clear. Who else who wrote about it spent half a column talking about what AOL and MSN were doing in 2002? Get over it, Taylor. Or maybe I shouldn't. Because as I was listening last week to the Facebook-envisioned shift in the marketing business from mere ads to stories, it occurred to me that I'm not …
  • Fave The Whale -- Or, a Trip Inside Facebook's New Advertising Products
    For reasons both personal and not-so-personal, my voyage to yesterday's first fMC (Facebook Marketing Conference) at the American Museum of Natural History was both a trip into the wayback machine and a look at the future.
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