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4 ways to make your social data work for you

Woman pulling graph dataWhat defines social media success? In the early days of social marketing, brands raced to amass legions of fans and followers. The accumulation of likes, tweets, shares, and impressions were considered by marketers as benchmarks of success. For brands, success often meant building, but not necessarily understanding, its social audience.

With the deep pool of data now available to marketers, we've begun to see a shift in how social success is defined: less by volume and more by action. By focusing on social segmentation, brands can use consumer data and social metadata to gauge not only the effectiveness of their content, but also the actual engagement of their audience.

Given the volume of social activity and data associated with some brands, the task of segmentation can seem potentially overwhelming. To help manage it, we've identified four steps to social marketing success.

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5 podcasts every marketer should be following

headphonesThere's a reason why many are claiming we have entered the "golden age" or "renaissance" of the podcast. Though ad spend may still be lagging behind other, more traditional forms of media, podcast advertising has certainly emerged as a force to be reckoned with. In a much-cited study, Edison Research reported in 2014 that an estimated 39 million Americans listened to a podcast in the past month. With podcast listening reaching a new high last year, advertisers are beginning to pay attention more than ever.

Podcasts advertisements are known for high CPM, and they are typically direct-response ads featuring call-outs to visit a specific URL or make a purchase using a promo code. This burgeoning digital media format has been a favorite for direct-response for a number of years, but according to an article in The Atlantic, the prevailing marketing strategy for podcasts is beginning to change. Large companies have moved past calls-to-action for signups and orders with the hope of something bigger: creating positive associations with the brand. And it would be understatement to say this new strategy has potential.

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Thanksgiving/Black Friday Online Sales Hit $4.5B, 34% Of Purchases Made On Mobile

robot among presentsThe first two days of the holiday sales period have netted $4.45 billion in U.S. online purchases, with mobile devices — led by smartphones — accounting for a record $1.5 billion of that amount, with $2.72 billion spent on BlackFriday and $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving. The figures come from Adobe, which has been tracking some 4,500 sites, including 80% of the top 100 retailers.

IBM says Black Friday outpaced that with the average basket size of $134.45, and sales up 20.7% on a year ago with popular items including Apple Watch, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, and TVs from Samsung, Sony and LG.

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Retailers give shoppers new reasons to use mobile phones in stores

Person clicking cell phoneAt some Macy's outlets this holiday season, shoppers who download the retailer's app will be able to use their smart phones to guide them through the store to products they're seeking.

At JCPenney, customers will be able to take a snapshot of, for example, boots worn by a person passing by and quickly find out if the store has similar ones in stock. And Staples is testing an app that will allow sales clerks to let customers know how the store's prices match up against Amazon and other rivals.

Hoping to claw back market share from online rivals  - and tired of watching customers use their phones to find better deals than those offered in stores - brick and mortar retailers are trying to give shoppers different reasons to use their phones while doing holiday shopping.

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New Site Aims to Help Journalists Verify News Found on Social Media

First Draft News CheckerA new website funded by Google News Lab aims to help journalists find and verify first-hand news accounts posted on social media. The site, called First Draft News, is designed to help reporters find legitimate sources and material on sites like Facebook, Twitter andYouTube, while at the same time stopping the spread of rumors and hoaxes that proliferate the Internet following major news events.

"We will be publishing features, case studies, interactives, videos, podcasts, industry news, how-to guides and collections of tools on a daily basis to help journalists navigate this new minefield of reportage," wrote Alastair Reid, the site's managing editor. Eight members of Google's First Draft Coalition will contribute to the site, including EyeWitness Media Hub, Storyful,, Bellingcat, Meedan, Verification Junkie, Dig Deeper, Google News Lab and Emergent


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