How to Choose the Right Social Marketing Platform

While much of the tech and financial world has been focused on Facebook’s post-IPO performance, something else has happened that is starting to define the social marketplace. Savvy firms like Salesforce.com and Oracle have strategically gobbled up some of the top social vendors. These acquisitions signify that social business has become big business. The formulation of meaningful social categories is also taking shape, and marketers — particularly CMOs — should take note as they look to gain real ROI from social.

The best way to determine what social categories and tools you company should utilize is to look at what companies like Salesforce.com and Oracle are investing in. Both companies have identified and invested in three main categories of social technology: social media management, social media monitoring, and social infrastructure. By examining what these categories look like, and what technologies matter, you can determine where to focus your business resources. Read more….

Timeline For Facebook Pages Rolling Out on Mobile

Facebook has started implementing its Timeline design to Pages on mobile platforms.

Rolled out to the web version of Facebook in February, when you view a brand page on your mobile device you’ll now see the brand’s cover photo, information from the Page’s About section, and a larger Like button.

Smaller icons below the Like button will allow you to navigate, much like you can on Facebook, to Photos and Events for the Page, as well as see at a glance how many people have liked the page.

The Timeline view has been available for personal profile pages for quite some time, and was made available via mobile around the same time as it was on the web. Timeline for Pages on mobile devices, however, has taken a bit longer to hit the scene.

Previously, the mobile version of Pages would show you simply the profile picture for the Page, with the category and amount of likes the page had listed in small print below it along with a Like button. Checking out photos and info involved tapping a Wall, Info, or Photos button to toggle between.

What do you think of the Timeline look for Pages on mobile? Let us know in the comments.

Emily Price is a Tech Reporter for Mashable, where she covers apps, gadgets and news from the San Francsico office.

The Worst-ever Advice About Social Media

Get this: There’s a nifty thing you can do on Twitter.

Direct-message a canned welcome note to everyone who follows you. Your followers will feel special, and you’ll look like a pro because you figured out the auto-reply thingy, right?

Actually, no.

When we went trolling for the worst social media advice, Alexandra Dao, community manager of the city transit guide HopStop.com, quickly mentioned the instructions she sees in blogs telling how to send auto-DMs.

“Auto-DMs are widely considered spam, and personally I’ll unfollow someone if I receive one,” Dao says.

The world is awash in awful social media advice, as iMedia Connection demonstrates in an article on the topic. One takeaway: People don’t want to get social with your brand of toilet bowl cleaner.

In order to help you undermine your own messaging, we’ve asked communicators, professors and others to share the worst social media advice they have encountered. Click here for some of their thoughts on what not to do.

6 Ways to Stay on Top of Social Media

To be successful in social media and community management you need to keep track of the constant changes to that ecosystem. That’s because everything you know about Facebook, Twitter, and other social spaces today will somehow be different in six months. Layouts will be altered, features will be added or removed, and new social networks may pop up.

So how should you keep track of all these moving parts? Click here for six tips for staying on top of social media.

Report: Words Including ‘Look’ and ‘Watch’ Don’t Engage Facebook Fans

You littered your Facebook page with words such as like and click, and made clear to your fans that you wanted them to do just that.

But they breezed right by your headlines leading to all that great content you created. On the other hand, they clicked like crazy on the photos. What gives?

A new report by a company that created an analytical tool for Facebook shows that words such as like, click, watch and look won’t draw eyeballs to your content.

What will grab them, however, are images and graphics, says Jan Zając, CEO and cofounder of Sotrender, which created the report.

“Using catchy words in posts doesn’t seem to increase engagement,” according to the study of 111 brand pages and more than 2,888 posts in four industries in the United Kingdom. “It proves Facebook users get insensible from constantly repeated phrases.”

The study did not include the United States, but Zając said the results are likely to be similar here. The company plans to extend its study to brands on this side of the Atlantic.

Chocolate cream daily

While pictures work best, some words draw more clicks than others. Among those ranked highly by Sotrender are chocolate, cream, daily, most, shop, winter, wardrobe, and today.

The study also rated Facebook pages within the four studied industries by categories such as biggest page and highest percentage of new users.

While Facebook users may feel we see everything our friends post on any given moment, we don’t, Zając says. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm determines what appears, and “it doesn’t like too many posts with links, while it likes a lot, for example, posts with pictures, photos, and graphics,” he says.

“So usually, those with pictures are much more engaging, while posts referring to external websites are not that engaging.”

Engagement means visibility

The more people interact with your posts, the more EdgeRank makes them visible on other pages. Once “your fans talk about it, share it, like it, comment on it, that means it is visible to them and to other people,” Zając says.

In three of the four industries studied—food, clothing, and automotive—the word win “doesn’t bring much buzz,” the study revealed. Only in the fourth, cosmetics and hygiene, are fans more likely to interact when there’s a chance to win or when something is on sale.

While communications and marketing stress the importance of calls-to-action, such calls don’t always work on Facebook.

“People got used to it,” Zając says. “It’s so simple that everybody has been trying to use it recently. If everybody’s yelling, ‘Watch, like, click, look,’ and so on, it’s not catchy anymore.”

Love is a good, happy favorite in food

In food-related Facebook pages, words that appeal to emotions set our stomachs growling for more content, among them love, good, favorite, and happy. In the industry that loves to feature thin-figured women walking the runway in colorful outfits, words that suggest trends draw clicks, such as fashion, style, and collection.

The study notes that women’s clothier Topshop has created an enormous fan base with a heavy reliance on photos.

“Asking questions in posts is a common way on Facebook pages to get comments, but post with photos gain much more attention,” Zając says.

The takeaway: brands that want to communicate with fans would do well to use more images.

“It’s time-consuming,” Zając says, “but it pays off, because if you get people pictures, and they interact more, and they have to open these pictures to see them fully.”

Russell Working is a staff writer for Ragan Communications.