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Few social media companies are as controversial as Klout, which seeks to measure the influence individuals have within social networks.
For some, the company, which has raised tens of millions of dollars in funding, is the "standard for influence" it describes itself as. Others are more skeptical, questioning the ability of any company to truly measure who has influence in any meaningful way.
Let's face it, content marketing has gone mainstream. That kind of sucks, really, because it used to be a hugely powerful differentiator in most markets.
Soon it will just be the price of entry. Everyone will have a rich content library, so a new eBook or video won't be enough to make you jump out from that pack of pesky competitors.
So how will the world of digital marketing change when content marketing becomes the norm for everyone?
Here are ten predicions and what you can do about them...
The number of companies not doing anything with social media gets smaller and smaller by the day, but that doesn't mean that business has social media figured out.
Despite the increasing comfort that many companies and marketers have with social media, questions still linger about efficacy and ROI.
Between Facebook and Twitter, marketers have access to hundreds of millions of consumers around the world.
That, for obvious reasons, has helped make social media one of the hottest areas for marketing investment in the past several years.
But social media marketing isn't without its challenges. Audience doesn't always equate to reach, and reach doesn't always produce ROI.
Is the future of marketing social? Few today would argue that social media marketing is going away any time soon, and the most bullish suggest that social is going to increasingly displace traditional marketing spend.
But are the bulls right? If a new study is any indication, not exactly.
Social media is all about people, and as social role's prominence as a business tool continues to grow, and according to software provider EPiServer, there will soon be substantial growth in the number of people -- 'community managers' -- who are hired to manage social media.
In a survey of 250 senior marketing executives in the UK, EPiServer found that nearly three-quarters of companies are involved with online communities or planned to be within the next 12 months.
As would be expected, much of the activity in this area is taking place on popular third party-owned sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
From the largest of brands to the mom-and-pop store down the street, it seems like every business is setting up a social media presence of some type.
And for good reason: everywhere you look, somebody is extolling the virtues of social media and what it can do for businesses.
But social media, like most channels, has its limitations.
Over the past two years, Facebook has fast become a major area of interest for brand marketers.
Lured in by the social network's 500m+ users, some marketers are evoking memories of the AOL days, going as far as to promote Facebook Pages over their own websites.
From storefronts to movie rentals, brands are increasingly focusing on trying to use the site as a platform for commerce. Some believe Facebook commerce, or f-commerce, could be the next big phase in the evolution of ecommerce.
But according to a report by Forrester Research's Sucharita Mulpuru, despite all of the talk about f-commerce, Facebook isn't likely to become a retail force.
Earlier this week, Twitter launched an update to its search functionality. One of the goals: make it "easier to find and follow accounts based on your interests." As detailed on the Twitter blog, "When you search for a topic, you can now discover accounts that are relevant to that particular subject."
Given Twitter's popularity as an online marketing tool, the company's search update necessarily has implications for brands looking for more love on the site.
After all, if your company sells cookies, having your account recommended to Twitter users searching for "cookies" is a desirable thing.
Social media is here to stay. And for many brands, that means that a social marketing strategy is not optional.
As it evolves, marketers will need to evolve how they exploit the opportunities created by social media. Here are three techniques that brands will probably need to think beyond to succeed in the coming years...
Facebook is the king of social media, and eager to tap into a 500m-plus strong audience, brands have flocked there to reach consumers on the world's most popular social network.
Setting up a Facebook Page gives brands the ability to collect 'fans' and to reach out to them directly. Some of the world's most recognizable brands (and individuals) have millions of fans, a potentially powerful marketing asset.
LinkedIn Company Page's were featured at a New York media event this morning. It was not what anyone would consider a significant launch, but it was a long overdue indication that LinkedIn is moving the right direction.