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The American Red Cross: Adding Digital Volunteers to Its Ranks

The American Red Cross has become an excellent example of how to use social media to connect people during the three cycles of disaster: preparedness, response and then recovery. Its digital volunteers help calm people in the middle of events, and its community mobilizers help coordinate services afterwards. “We want to blur that line about who’s a Red Crosser and who’s not, to say, ‘actually, this is up to all of us,’” says the organization’s Wendy Harman.

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Leadership Lessons from the Boston Marathon Attack

As the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings draws near, the response of leaders in the public sphere offers some lessons for the effective use of social media — which has shown itself repeatedly in recent years to be the key means of communication during a crisis. Six specific lessons on how to manage crisis communications via social media can be drawn from the Boston Marathon crisis and its aftermath.

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How to Create Brand Engagement on Facebook

Brands have embraced Facebook Inc. as a key marketing channel to drive engagement and brand awareness. The question is whether some brand content creates more brand engagement on Facebook than others. A recent study coded more than 1,000 wall posts from 98 global brands, aiming for a better understanding of how different wall-post attributes impact the number of “likes,” comments and “shares” a post receives. This article offers up the results of that study, for brand managers to act on.

Image courtesy of Flickr user mag3737.
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Using Facebook Helps Customers Solve Problems

MetroTwit is a tool that helps Twitter users track their Twitter feeds, see several columns at a time and easily tweet, reply or retweet. MetroTwit’s managers use Facebook to talk to customers and let them help each other with questions.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user luc legay.

How to Get Your Messages Retweeted

Many companies are trying to leverage the power of Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brands and products. This article identifies factors that increase the likelihood of “retweeting” so that a company’s tweets will be shared with recipients’ networks.

There are several practices that don’t work well. The most important to avoid is blatant hard-sell messages. Twitter may be better suited for building brands than for building markets for new offerings.

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Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing?

Effective social media measurement turns the traditional ROI approach on its head: "managers should begin by considering consumer motivations to use social media and then measure the social media investments customers make as they engage with the marketers’ brands."

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A Business Plan? Or a Journey to Plan B?

From Apple to Twitter, some of the most successful businesses are not what their inventors originally envisioned. The Twitter story, in fact, is a powerful reminder that an entrepreneur’s main job is not to flawlessly execute the business idea so lovingly articulated in his or her business plan. It’s to embark on a learning journey that may or may not reach the destination originally envisioned. Instead, the company may end up at a more successful Plan B.

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