• TheDigitalJen
    Jennifer Stalzer on November 19, 2013

    Tough Lessons to Becoming a Socially Engaged Brand

    About 18 months ago, MasterCard set out on a mission to become the most socially connected and engaged brand in the payments space. As I look back, here's a look at almost ten hard lessons we learned.
  • ChristopherCarfi
    Christopher Carfi on December 9, 2013

    Five Trends That Are Going to Affect Marketing in 2014

    Agile marketing is now a common approach, and includes a healthy loop of building, testing, measuring, learning, refining and improving. There are five trends that you need to be on the lookout for when creating your marketing plans in the coming year, a combination of focus on results and a set of new channels that can connect directly to the bottom line.
  • JeffreyDachis
    Jeffrey Dachis on December 18, 2013

    Real-Time Marketing 101: It All Starts With The Trends

    Imagine you are a marketer in 1951. Harry S. Truman is president and Milton Berle is the most famous person on T.V., raking in 80% of all television viewers every night of the week. It’s the dawn of modern mass marketing. What if you were the first marketer to figure out how to use T.V. to sell stuff? You’d probably be in pretty high demand. The potential to sell your products would be effectively limitless. Well, an innovative, new marketing channel with the potential to rival television for its importance has arrived and marketers are starting to take notice.
  • Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on April 18, 2014

    Six Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

    Content marketing is the linchpin of demand creation –the link between brand awareness and lead generation. Done well, it builds familiarity, affinity and trust with prospective and current customers by providing information that resonates – in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time.
  • IBM Social Business
    IBM Social Business on April 18, 2014

    Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations

    Here is an excerpt from “Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations,” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by IBM. This whitepaper provides a step-by-step guide for determining your strategy to achieving social business success.
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on May 1, 2014

    The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social

    This guide walks through each of the “Big Six” objectives and provides a tactical overview of the business case, team considerations and actual content examples and templates to use for your social media initiatives. 
Download the guide now and use it as a cheat sheet on how to get started today using proven tactics and best practices.
  • Actiance
    Actiance Compliance on May 9, 2014

    The Forrester Wave: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014

    Forbidding employees to use social networks because they may expose your business to risk is no longer a viable business strategy. According to its new report published today, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk And Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014,” Forrester Research, Inc. says “the practice of prohibiting social [is] no longer feasible.”
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on June 9, 2014

    6 Blueprints for Social Network Success

    The Big 6 social networks offer tremendous marketing opportunities - but each one is very different from the next. That’s why Spredfast has assembled the 6 Blueprints for Social Network Success. In this quick-read collection, you’ll discover more than 50 constructive, actionable marketing tips and real-world examples from major brands like Hyatt, British Airways, Target, and General Mills. Let’s start building!
  • Synapsify
    Synapsify, Inc. on June 16, 2014

    Piecing Together the Story: Synapsify’s Annual Voice of Customer Industry Survey and Insight

    This eBook reveals the common practices and challenges faced today by social media managers/directors and brand insight analyst and conducted an online survey of 70 social media and content analysts professionally recruited for this survey. The survey results are presented as part of a complimentary eBook in which insight industry professionals shed light on their challenges and common practices they face in understanding the true voice of their customers.
  • We’re halfway through 2014 and it goes without saying that a lot has happened this year in social. We’ve all been witness to these as they’ve happened. To go over every thing that has taken place would take more than just a blog post. So where is social leading us from here?

    We’re halfway through 2014 and it goes without saying that a lot has happened this year in social. News of small start-ups being bought out seemed like it occurred on a daily basis. Each major network launched layout changes, some subtle and some not so much. There are new mobile experiences, feed algorithms and the most significant theme, big advertising push. We’ve all been witness to these as they’ve happened. To go over every thing that has taken place would take more than just a blog post. So where is social leading us from here?

    The big news coming off of Q4 from 2013 was the major Facebook newsfeed algorithm overhaul that lead to the decreased organic page reach and during the first months of this year, everyone had their take on what that change means, including yours truly. No need to re-hash that discussion, but the implications of that change still resonate with not only Facebook strategies, but social as whole and will continue to for the rest of 2014 and thereafter. Here are a couple things to consider as we enter the second half of 2014.

    Mobile First
    Think about mobile user experience first. No matter the network, it’s clear that users are primarily accessing and engaging via mobile versus their desktop/laptop. A recent study by comScore showed that between 8 of the major social networks, only two (LinkedIn & Tumblr) have users spend at least 50% of their time on their sites using a desktop. Although a large portion of our society works behind a desktop computer, odds are that employers restrict access to it, forcing every day users to pull out their smartphones or tablets to connect.

    No shocker here, brands need to start paying in order to get significant impact on their content and messaging. According to a recent report by BIA/Kelsey social advertising revenue in the U.S. alone reached nearly $5.1 billion in 2013 and is projected to top nearly $15 billion by 2018. Mobile only accounted for 30% of that in 2013, but is projected to surpass desktop revenue by 2018. As revenues rise, so will the spend and if you aren’t spending, you’re going to be left behind.

    Video & Visual
    Every social network update that takes place during the year is rooted in the desire to deliver a better visual experience for the user. Images with posts have historically always performed better than plain text messages, and since most brands have acknowledged/accepted that, the next medium to take off is video. Facebook’s launch of auto-play video ads are a prime example. They’re giving brands the ability to provide that added, unique experience – with a price tag of course ;)

    “With Premium Video Ads, brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences.” – Susan Buckner, former Product Marketing Manager at Facebook

    All of Snapchat, Instagram and Vine’s popularity is rooted within the visual experience. Those who laughed at Facebook’s offer of $3 billion for Snapchat aren’t laughing now, as Snapchat strategies have taken root in many brands such as NissanWendy’sTaco Bell, and even major music festivals like the Electric Daisy Carnival


    Connect It All
    Between a mobile focus, increased advertising budget and shift to richer visual experiences, there’s a lot for marketing teams to plan for. Connecting it all is the biggest hurdle that many will face, and that is no easy feat. There’s still time left in this year to begin incorporating these strategic notes into your plan and you should. Before you know it, 2015 will be right around the corner and who knows that major shift or shifts could affect your long term strategy.

    As professionals, we don’t always have time to read all of the posts about brand advocacy and pull out insights — luckily for you, I’ve made it an essential part of my week to do just that. So, I’ve pulled together a list of 4 truths you absolutely need to know about brand advocacy.

    Every week, I write a round up of excellent brand advocacy reads. Doing this has taught me one thing:  I know this because I’m inundated with articles to choose from each week, and that gets awfully noisy after a while.

    What I’ve been able to take away from these posts is that there are some basic truths that we’ve all come to accept about brand advocacy. As professionals, we don’t always have time to read all of this material and pull out insights — luckily for you, I’ve made it an essential part of my week to do just that. So, I’ve pulled together a list of 4 truths you absolutely need to know about brand advocacy.

    1. You have to be worth it. The bottom line here is that if you want your customers to advocate for your brand, it has to be worth their time to do it. This comes from a combination of having an excellent product or service, and having a system in place to acknowledge and reward these advocates for their efforts. This does NOT mean financially compensating your advocates. What you can do is provide them with exclusive benefits, content, or access.

    2. Quality over quantity. More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to brand advocates. Be selective when deciding whom to involve in your program. An advocate speaks to current or potential customers on behalf of your brand. Make sure you have the right voices out there spreading the word, or it will come off as inauthentic, coerced or fake. Or worse, they could be spreading the entirely wrong message to the wrong audience. So, start with a small group that you know you can rely on and build from there.

    3. Have the right setup. Do not start a brand advocacy program without a completed strategy or your setting yourself up for an utter disaster. At best, you’ll look disorganized. At worst, you’ll seriously tick off your best customers (looking at you, Nutella). Either way, not a good look on anyone. Make sure you know exactly what you want to get out of this program, what you want your advocates to get, how that’s going to happen, and how you’re going to sustain it. An advocacy program for one campaign is a gross underuse of the benefits you could be reaping through a full time program.

    4. Believe in your advocates as much as they believe in you. I know this sounds awfully Peter Pan of me, but it’s true. The hardest part of an advocacy program is letting go of total control of your brand. If your customers are out there spreading the word about your brand, let them. And let them do it in their own way and on their terms. You can have suggested messaging, of course, but you can’t control what others say any more than you can control when and where they say it. Have the same faith in them as they do in your brand, and you’ll both be very happy for it.

    The most important thing to note is that whether or not you’re a part of it, there are conversations happening about your brand and industry throughout various media. You’d be silly not to take advantage of that momentum and use it to build something permanent and truly meaningful for your brand and your customers.

    Of course, there are so many other nuances to brand advocacy that haven’t been covered here. But we’re busy people, so let’s just take our information in small bites and move on. If you’re ever curious about what other material is out there on the subject, check out my weekly posts. I write little summaries and everything, so it’s nice and easy to digest.

    While there may be a subculture of Google+ zealots who treat Google+ like a forum instead of a social network, the majority of people who love Plus are using it, according to Michael Reynolds, as a “source of content, inspiration, and communication” – more like a reader, a place to keep up with mentors, creators, influencers, and thought leaders. For most, Google+ is an antisocial network.

    Summary: While there may be a subculture of Google+ zealots who treat Google+ like a forum instead of a social network, the majority of people who love Plus are using it, according to Michael Reynolds, as a “source of content, inspiration, and communication” – more like a reader, a place to keep up with mentors, creators, influencers, and thought leaders. For most, Google+ is an antisocial network.

    Antisocial Networking Service

    Over the last few weeks I have been writing almost exclusively about Google+: Google+ on its third birthday and How to be a Google+ success. And now, here’s my third article. The first article was a hopeful but disappointed look into the ghost town known as Google+. The second article was in response to the tackle of passionate G+ users who professed love for their online community home, Plus. They argued that there was a very rich, creative, passionate magic garden secreted deep inside Google’s  in the tune of pre-AOL USENET, The WELL. While some of them weren't online in the heyday of these virtual online communities (and are the sort of generalists who would never find themselves on topical or passion-driven online communities like Adventure Riders or Motorbrick forums), they've found the same sort of real name, close-ties, community that I did back in the 90s with ArtsWire and The Meta Network. Well, this article echoes my last article, How to be a Google+ success, in the words of my friend and colleague Ike Piggot:

    “I really believe one of the issues with Google Plus is that it wasn't ‘born organically.’ It was thrust upon us as an answer to a question no one was asking. It didn't have a gestational period, and as such seems artificial. Like a little Android Baby, for lack of a better term.”

    The Virtual Online Community

    Back in the 90s and early 2000s when online virtual communities were new to the web, three books defined the online community (and I recommend you read them all through):

    While the first two books are explicitly about community development online, the third is about the emergent nature of distributed, asynchronous, online community in its creation, growth, and maintenance of the Linux operating system.

    It Takes a Village to Raise a Metropolis

    There’s one thing they all agree upon, echoing my friend Ike: the best communities grow organically from the bottom up, from the ground up, developing from small virtual villages into much larger, robust towns then cities. The most effective and persistent communities start off small and then grow according to the needs and interests of its members.  Think London and not Paris; think New York and not Los Angeles; think San Francisco and not Washington, DC.  And even Paris, known for being planned, took root as Ile de la Cité; and DC took root in Georgetown and Alexandria. The plan is simple: start small and knowable and then see if the first ten people can attract 100 birds of a feather who can attract a 1,000 others, and so on.

    Even Facebook Has Humble (though Haughty) Beginnings

    Even Facebook took this strategy by launching Facemash, deciding that wasn't going to work, then launching Thefacebook.com only in Harvard and then extending its reach to expanded to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale; and then Ivy League and Boston schools, then most universities in the US, Canada, and then abroad to the UK, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands – but still limited to members with .EDU email addresses, including, presumably, alumi. Even Facebook adapted its apps, algorithms, priorities, and attractions based on what it learned from its users as it quickly took over the entire world.

    Hello World! It's Me, Plus!

    Google+ did no such thing. It imposed itself, top-down, by launching itself into the arms of its 540 million registered users, be they users of Gmail, YouTube, or any of the other apps that require a Google profile and unique login. "Here you go, kids. Play!" might be what Google thought. And it's felt to me a little like coercion ever since – the sort of bargaining that mums do with their cool children in order to get them to take along the loathsome one, "come on Gmail, bring your little brother Plus along and I"ll consider getting you a car when you turn sixteen" or "Come on YouTube, can’t Plus join you and your little girlfriends at your slumber party?"

    The Light at the End of the Tunnel is ... Facebook?

    I hate to be a Facebook fanboi or even compare the two, but I like to tell people that Facebook is as close to an afterlife experience as you"ll ever have before you die. Why? Well, they say that people with afterlife experiences go through a tunnel and end up in a place where they relive their entire life and also are greeted by everyone they have ever known. Same thing with Facebook. Everyone is there. Really, the moment you drop into Google+, there’s nobody there.  G+ even fails Swerdloff’s Test of a Good Online Social Network:

    "Are pretty girls using it? If not, you don't have it. If they are, I can't see where. If pretty girls show up, their hangers on show up who bring THEIR hangers on, etc., and it's hangers on all the way down. If pretty girls DON'T show up, you've got a much quieter network. Yes, that's the reason Google+ is more intellectual. Intellectual and empty is still empty."

    Hearts and Minds -- Then Spirit

    I have been on the board of directors of an Episcopal Church (we’re called the Vestry) and one of the most important aspects of growing a faith community – or any club for that matter – is through both attraction, seduction, and retention.  Every Sunday, we would select two members of the Vestry to physically engage any new people who would come to church for the first number of times. Reach out, say hello, offer a lay of the land, and to answer any questions. I am a "blue dot" when I attend Renaissance Weekend and that means that I have attended for a while, know what I am doing, have the trust of the community, am generous, and can probably help anyone out who has a question. Online we call these sorts of people facilitators, moderators, and managers. They're essential everywhere (except Facebook where everyone you know is already there) and are distinctly missing on Google+. It’s sink or swim. You either get it or "you just don't get Google+."

    How Not Cool Is Talking About Second Life in 2014?

    I felt the same way when I spawned into Second Life for the first time: "what do I do now?"  Now, with both platforms, Google+ and Second Life, the moment I wrote a big, critical, article – like I did about Second Life forever ago over at AdAge, Twitter Is What Second Life Wasn't: Light, Cheap and Open (And That's Why It'll Outlive the Hype Cycle) – only then did the cavalry arrive with tips, tricks, advice, and help to get me along, out of the default kit, and into some hip and happening clubs, galleries, events, and even some pretty amazing talks (yes, that really was Kurt Vonnegut, too). The same thing is happening, as we speak, on Google+. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. After three years and several damning articles, I seem to be making some progress on Google+. But like being a visitor to Paris, most outsiders feel shunned and most Parisians are happy to shun (and New York used to be the same before a  Mass Disneyfication in the early 2000s, post 9/11). (I'll be honest, I hate tourists and visitors, and I live in one of the most beloved city to visit in the US, Washington, DC – hey, you, tourist: stand right on the stairs and escalators at the Metro! Move it, move it, slowass!)

    Did Google Copy Plus From Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit?

    Dropping people into an empty room without some guidance and love is antisocial. Welcoming newbies into conversations outside of suggesting people to follow through am automated wizard is antisocial. Not really explaining what circles are or how to use them is antisocial. Creating a social layer that encourages using it as a reader akin to the now defunct Google Reader is antisocial. Not allowing social apps like Instagram, Foursquare, et al, to post automagically to my own Google+ wall is antisocial. Building up a culture of blame, suggesting that my inability to grok Google+ --or feeling the need to compare G+ to Facebook – is in some way my fault and not a fatal flaw in Google+ -- is antisocial. Creating a community that demands that you spend a lot of time putting everyone you know or care to know into boxes, called circles, is antisocial. Creating a community based on following, like Twitter, but in a container, like Facebook, where nobody can be friends, just mutual followers-- is antisocial. And, finally, making it virtually impossible to effortlessly invite my friends over to Google+ without jumping through hoops is antisocial.

    Is a Community of Introverts a Community?

    Now, maybe Google+ is the world largest online community for introverts who don’t want to be bothered. They just want to be inspired, want to read up, want to use Google+ as a de facto newsreader. Maybe their tagline should be “Google+: leave me alone, I am happy right where I am, hanging with people just like me, allegedly from around the world.” Like I said in the first paragraph, the Summary, Indianapolis SEO guru and speaker, Michael Reynolds, loves Google+ -- and exactly for the reasons I noted:

    “Elegant design, no ads, high quality content/interactions, video hangouts, communities, in general it's just a very well-designed network. Some people think it’s a ghost town but I think that's just because they haven't taken the time to really set up a presence there (which is fine). I'm finding it to me a great source of content, inspiration, and communication.”

    At the end of the day, I love message boards at one end of the spectrum and Facebook on the other. I get them both for what they offer. And, I miss Google Reader (oh Feedly and Flipboard, you just don’t stack up); however, I still can’t get a toe hold onto Google+ even though thousands of people have me in their Circles and I have had over a million views. Ironically, when Mr. Reynolds posted his latest article, Why Google+ is my new favorite social network, the discussion he had on Facebook garnered 22 comments and 13 likes but when he posted his article onto Google+, I was the only commenter and there were only two +1s, one of which was mine.  I brought this to Mike’s attention and he responded:

    “Chris,  You posted numerous comments on this post and on other networks mostly questioning my engagement but I'm not sure you noticed the part where I said "I'm not looking for engagement."  You're right... you won't see much engagement from me. That's because I get the most value from Google+ by reading posts from others. I get lots of business inspiration on this network.”

    Classic antisocial networking! Here’s where my chat with Michael Reynolds all began – enjoy!

    Go get ‘em, Tiger!

    As a co-founder of BlogHer, Camahort Page has helped grow the world of women blogging from niche and fragmented, to comprehensive and collective. And the events the organization’s hosted, have evolved into ‘must be there’ celebrations.

    I found myself engrossed in a recent interview piece with Elisa Camahort Page about the upcoming 10 Year Anniversary BlogHer Conference. As a co-founder of BlogHer, Camahort Page has helped grow the world of women blogging from niche and fragmented, to comprehensive and collective. And the events the organization’s hosted, have evolved into ‘must be there’ celebrations.  

    In years past the BlogHer has been host to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Martha Stewart, Queen Latifah, and this year, Kerry Washington, eBay CMO, Richelle Parham, and a keynote by Arianna Huffington.

    Which got me thinking, with Arianna Huffington headlining the festivities, what might she have in store for this group of thinkers, writers, and influencers? “With Arianna, we know we'll hear a thoughtful vision that considers how to stay happy when hyper-connected,” Camahort Page predicted in a recent blog post.

    But I wanted to know more. Like the real, inside scoop.

    [[{"fid":"118306","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: right; ","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]So I reached out to Elisa Camahort Page in this written interview, and together produced the hot topics we somewhat predict, but entirely hope Arianna will touch upon at BlogHer 2014.

    Q: How exciting is it to have Arianna back at BlogHer since her first keynote in 2006? And what does she represent to your audience of women writers?

    A:  We are thrilled to have Arianna back. Back in 2006 both BlogHer and the Huffington Post were fledgling media companies. Even then she was talking about sleep and the need to balance our fervor and passion for what we’re doing with self-care...so in a way, with both companies approaching the ten-year mark, we’re coming full circle talking to Arianna, and talking again about how to manage the 24/7 nature of our lives.

    Q: I saw a great content marketing tweet recently that said, “It’s a mobile world, we just live in it.” Do you think that’s true and do you think Arianna might very well agree?

    A: While I certainly hope we can ask Arianna herself about how the Huffington Post is adapting to the increasingly mobile world we live in, I know that we at BlogHer have found it a business imperative. Many many of the bloggers in our network now derive more than half their traffic from mobile visitors. That shift is real, and it’s continuing. That affects how you design, how you create, how you monetize.

    Q: Talk about the measurement and metrics of content. Has it gone from “nice to have” to “must have”? And what do you expect we’ll hear about it from your speakers?

    A: BlogHer is not the only company that has been at this for nearly ten years. And that means we all have years now, YEARS, of historical data. We can and do draw predictive insights from our historical data, and we tell our customers what they can expect from campaigns with us. We think anyone in this space should be able to do the same.

    It’s past time for us all to stop saying this is some kind of Wild West that is completely unpredictable. And this is trickling down to individual publishers too. If you’re monetizing your site, then you have *customers*. And while, yes, they care about your reach...and growing your reach is a great goal...they care more about your results.

    • How are you sharing with your audience?

    • How do you distribute your great content?

    • How much does your audience engage with you and your content?

    • Do they act on it?

    These are the questions we all need to answer, from the individual publisher to the traditional media outlet.

    Q: BlogHer was created in order to carve out a space for women bloggers. How has BlogHer impacted what is seen as a male dominated space in the past 10 years?

    A: I don’t think people actually ask “Where are the women bloggers?” anymore, do you? But what is even more important to us is that we have helped the women (and men!) in our network contribute to their household incomes in meaningful ways during this volatile economic time. We have paid $36MM to nearly 6,000 bloggers and influencers over the past five years. And we are very proud of that!

    Q:From Arianna to Kerry Washington, what makes for an inspiring BlogHer conference speaker?

    A: We look for folks who are, dare I say, thriving in this new global communications environment. People who are making their mark. People who are leveraging new communications tools to do so. And people who can speak articulately about how and why they engage the way that they do, online and of, with their constituencies.


    Should a business buy Facebook likes? With so many companies promising 1,000 Facebook likes for $50, it's sometimes hard for a business to know if this is a scheme, or not. After reaching out to some of the biggest names in social media, as well as doing some in-depth research on the topic, we've given the definitive answer on why buying fans is unethical and ineffective.

    "Should I buy Facebook likes to boost my presence?" We get this question WAY more often than we should. When talking to people around the office, we thought the answer was a no-brainer – NEVER buy fans. Unfortunately, we've seen far too many pages do just that. After a lot of reading, talking to some influential social media professionals, and using a little of our own common sense, we've answered the question.

    Below is a conversation that we sometimes have with clients, and one we wish we had with others before they made the decision to buy likes.

    I really want my Facebook page to look popular, and I’ve been thinking of buying Facebook likes. Is that OK? In a world where the amount of “Likes” a company has seems to reign supreme, it’s very tempting to get sucked into the vortex of wanting more likes than all of your competitors. However, when it comes to businesses or an organization, you want the people who like your page to be true supporters of your cause, product or company.

    But all of those people will help me build my business, right? Wrong. When you purchase Facebook likes, all of this support and engagement goes out the window. These purchased likes are either a mixed bag of random people being paid by a company, or fake accounts altogether. Either way, those people do not truly value your company or organization. The likes you get are from spam accounts, which violates Facebook’s user policy. (This means they can get banned and deleted.) These "click farms" have generated a large profit, but it's not a business you or I want to be in. David Burch, at TubeMogul, a video marketing firm based in Emeryville, California, said buying clicks is bad business. "And if an advertiser ever found out you did that, they'd never do business with you again."

    Wow! This sounds like a bad idea. Tell me more! Facebook developed an algorithm (or really a group of algorithms) which determines how often your posts appear in your fans’ Newsfeeds. And it punishes you if your content is lacking. When you buy Facebook likes, the percentage of people who engage with your content (which is likely not even everyone who organically liked your page) will shrink.

    Let's do the math:

    You have 200 organic fans of your page. Let's say 25% of them engage with your content on a regular basis, that's 50 fans.

    You buy 1000 fans (now a total of 1,200). If those 50 fans are still engaging with you, Facebook sees that only a meager 4.2% of your fanbase is engaging with your content. This tells the algorithm that you aren't producing valuable content, and you will appear in your fans' Newsfeeds even less often.

    So what happened to those 200 organic fans that loved your brand? They're still there, but they aren't seeing your posts, and one of your competitors may have caught their eye in the meantime. (Psst... Facebook has declined organic reach by 50% in the last year and rumored to decline more. Don't hurt yourself even more by purchasing likes.)

    Am I just stuck at (insert current number of likes here) for the rest of my life? Of course not! There are many more effective (and ethical) ways to increase the number of fans on your page. (Read this Facebook Marketing blog for more advice!) What do some of the biggest names in social media have to say? You don’t have to take our word for it. Our Outreach & New Media Manager took to Twitter to ask some of the biggest names in social media what they thought about the topic. Read the passionate, and strikingly similar responses below:

    What have we learned from all of this? Don't buy fans! Not just on Facebook, don't buy fans/followers on any social media platform. And if anyone tells you that they want to buy you likes... run.

    Pam Moore, a Forbes.com Top 10 Social Media Influencers and chart topper on string of other impressive lists, told us to not waste our time. She tweeted to us saying, "Focus on ppl who understand real value & work required for social biz." With a consistent and effective content strategy, your fans WILL come. And you will look more authentic, earn an audience that believes in your brand, and have higher conversion rates in the long run.

    If you're still not convinced, let me ask you one final question: Can fake likes purchase your product? (Hint: The answer is no.)