The Passport to a Well-Planned Social Media Journey

Chris Brogan is the quintessential trust agent for social media. If you’ve already read Trust Agents, the book he co-authored with Julien Smith, you’re well-versed in the characteristics—people who humanize the Web, understand the systems and how to make their own game, and who connect and build fluid relationships.

Chris Brogan’s new book, Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online*, is a collection of posts that originally appeared on his blog, which he has since updated and edited. I can attest to the fact that having it in a nicely bound book with the new additions will serve you well (and besides it has such a cool cover!) What he accomplishes so perfectly in this book is tackling the discussions about social media tools and social networking, and coming at them from multiple directions. As you read the book, you’ll undoubtably entrust Chris Brogan with taking you on a social media journey, and as a result, you’ll feel more confident about the tools you’re currently using and the ones you decide to pursue.

Social Media 101, goes well beyond the usual discussions of Facebook, Twitter, blogs. LinkedIn. MySpace, Flickr and Digg.  Brogan explores rich media–audio, video, video hosting, and live video, browsers, internet , social bookmarking, IM aggregator applications, blogging platforms–home base blogs and mobile blogging, listening tools, shared documents, collaboration, and screencasts.

Many of the pieces are literally chock-full of useful information and tips e.g. 50 ways, 100 tactics, 5 moves, 50 steps. He references and includes links to bloggers and websites you may never come across on your own, but you’ll be happy you took the time (as I am) to stop and visit those sites.

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How to Succeed in 4G Wireless (With Really Trying!)

Scott Snyder author of The New World of Wireless: How to Compete in the 4G Revolution knows that many of us are still getting up to speed on our 3G phones but since technology is continuing to move at rapid speed he suggests that we shouldn’t get too complacent—as he says, “Buzz is already starting to develop around 4G wireless.”

What’s the difference between 3G and 4G? According to Snyder, “3G networks were really about better technology to deliver more of the same, 4G networks are about new technology coupled with a transformation in how people use wireless, moving control to the user.”  Scott calls this the “Digital Swarm.”

In order to succeed in the Digital Swarm he identifies 10 common success factors which can help your business adapt and win:

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Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix

Click chart to view larger image

Marketing Sherpa reports in their recent chart, Social Marketers Preparing for the Challenges Ahead, that key performance indicators such as ROI and conversions have become increasingly more important challenges for marketers.

Sergio Balegno, Marketing Sherpa Research Director, writes, “Two years ago, a popular marketing myth was that ROI for social media programs could not be easily measured. Marketers have dispelled this myth…the return on social marketing invest is exceptionally high.”

He further suggests that marketers are learning that social media programs are more effective when they are strategically integrated into the marketing mix versus approaching them as standalone tactics.

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Google Continues to Create Waves

Waves crashing on rocksApple wasn’t the only company who held my attention last week. I was reading Ken Auletta’s book, Googled: The  End of the World as We Know It, and was intrigued by the  innumerable ways Google has been (and continues to be) a “wave maker.”  As Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, says, “The Internet makes information available. Google makes information accessible.”

Auletta provides a great overview of how the company has evolved over the years. You probably know yourself that somewhere along the way Google slipped into your lexicon. Ultimately it became such a frequently used verb that it was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2006 and to the Merrian-Webster Collegiate Dictionary one month later.

Google is creating new ways for us to access information every day. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep up with the myriad of changes is to read their official blog and checking the posts on the many other blogs they publish regularly. In fact, if you haven’t checked out Google’s options lately to see what else they’ve been up to it’s a good page to visit from time to time so you don’t miss all that they’re up to.

Here are a few recent activities of Google’s I learned about by reading their blogs:

1. In the past few weeks, Google’s Geo Team has done some great work helping with the relief efforts in Haiti using their mapping tools and publishing updated satellite imagery in Google Earth and Google Maps.

2. Google worked with PicApp to add 10 million high quality stock images from stock imagery repositories such as Getty Images. The service and use of the images is free.

3. Google added  click to call phone numbers in mobile ads.

You may also enjoy the video below which provides a great history of the company.

How has Google caught your attention over the years or more recently?