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Please note: because of my commitments to the websites associated with my books, I no longer have time to add new articles to this page. That should not stop you reading them. This is for two key reasons:

1 Because they are mainly about the basics of digital marketing, they still have relevance today, and

2 They represent the history of online marketing - if such a short period can be described as 'history'.

If you want to fully understand the subject well enough to earn a living in the discipline - or just pass an assignment - read them and learn.

The title of this article says it all - How to Market on YouTube. However [a more polite way of saying 'but' ... ] I question the value of the likes of YouTube to your average marketer. Sure, examples are given in this article [and full marks to those who have used the medium successfully], but there are millions of businesses around the world - only a very, very, very, small percentage of them will ever find YouTube a useful addition to their marketing toolbox. This article - Is social media all bark and no bite? - presents a case study that supports my point of view - and includes some numbers that suggest how much it might cost. I'm not sure if the author of this article - A Second Look at Second Life - is being positive or negative and the subject of social networking sites. As with my comments for the youTube article above, it is a legitimate communications channel for a few marketers - but not many.

Harnessing Social Media takes a look at how marketers can use the concept to generate visitors to a website. A couple of things I would add [1] I'm still not sure anyone knows what web 2.0 and social media are, and [2] if you pay peanuts you get monkeys - 10 dollars and hour converted to pounds is around the minimum wage over here in the UK. The proposed 'Social Media Optimization' needs to be done by someone who knows has more skills/experience than minimum wage would suggest. A good article despite my quibbles.

Another one - in my opinion - that seems to be a statement of the glaringly obvious is Social sites reveal class divide - but at least this is based on PHd research. This is - yet another - example of academia catching up with practice [see academic-vs-practitioner], advertisers have known this [and more] about the users for some time.

Although Walmart is one of the world's most successful retailers, it is also one of the most criticized. So opening a review element to their website might prove problematical - see a landmark moment for consumer empowerment and word of mouth.

For anyone who has been taught by me - or, indeed, has read some of this website - this one is filed under 'I told you so'. I always doubted the value of Second life and its like as marketing vehicles, and this article - How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life- would suggest that it has been noticed that the king's new clothes don't amount to much. On the same subject - Second Life, Lemming-Like - reflects my view that virtually communities are visited by people who want to visit a virtual world. They see ads everywhere else, every day, in the real world - that's one of the things they are trying to escape. Also, by their very essence, virtual worlds are for the people, by the people. Anyone with commercial intentions breaks that ethos and so is not accepted.

At one time we talked about social networks and commercial networks - then they kind of blended when MySpace and the like hit the scene. Maybe now they are dividing again? Or more likely, they were always two entities, but the social stuff took the headlines - see Social Networking Goes Professional

Can't say I'm a big on the social media scene [an age thing, or just better things to do?] so I'm not well placed to comment on the accuracy of this list, but it must be a good place to start - Looking for a list of social media sites? I have them all here.

This article - Going Global in a Web 2.0 World - gives a good background to the various elements of social media, and also offers a scenario of how a small business can use use web 2.0 in its marketing. I would love to say this is a guide to getting rich using the medium - but I'm afraid that for 99% of folk, it just ain't going to work in real life.

I recall saying many times that a website [or any e-marketing] is not a pancea for a badly marketed organization, brand or product - so I like the main premise of this article - What the f**k ISNíT social media?.

There are some interesting observations in CPGs Focus on Social Relationships which considers SMM from a [more] strategic angle for some of advertising's big spenders.

Seems I'm not the only one who isn't convinced by Twitter as a marketing tool: Is it Really Worthwhile to Market on Twitter?.

There is quite a lot of research suggesting that access to discounts is the main reason for people 'friending' brands on Facebook - and yet this article Are Consumers Interested in Finding Deals on Social Sites? reveals that other research shows that people actually prefer email notification for discounts. Hmmm. Nice article, well supported by various data sources. The way I read it: Social media as a medium for marketing communications ain't all it's cracked up to be. But then, email ain't the sexy new kid on the block. Or maybe SMM is the emperor's new clothes?

Readers of this site will know the high regard in which I hold Danny Sullivan - and judging by By The Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites he is like me in treating the whole social-media-marketing thing with some scepticism. Also like me, however, he is still open to be persuaded.

Here are two articles which fuel my argument that SMM is not for every business - I would suggest that you follow the links on each to the sources of the stats that are mentioned. 82% of Facebook brand pages updated less than five times per month and 10 reasons why customer service has failed to wake up to social media. Students [and anyone else] who has read my book will find the latter particularly interesting as 'service' is one of my strategic online objectives.

Readers will probably realized I am quite sceptical of 'latest things', and having a corporate profile on Second Life is a prime example. This article - Second Life, Lemming-Like - sums up my view on the subject.

This article - Managing Your Small Business Blogging Schedule - sums up my thoughts on blogging. To do it properly is [almost] a full time job, and most of us have something else to do. As with many aspects of social media marketing, blogging works for a few - but it is far from being for everyone.

A couple of points about this article - Conversational marketing - word of mouse - first off, it follows my dictum that there is nothing new in marketing on the Internet and secondly, it is a well presented precis of what is [was] happening in November 2007.

Here are two papers published in the same edition of a journal - and both on the same subject. However, each reflects the background of its author[s]. One is academic, one more practical - but both have merit: Falling in Love 2.0: Relationship marketing for the Facebook generation and Web 2.0: Conceptual foundations and marketing issues.

Like a number of 'articles' on this part of my site, this one - A Small Business Marketing Success Story: John Tuggle, Guitar Teacher - could also be in the 'tips, hints and advice' section. It tells the story of how a small business [very small - just one man] can use the web, particularly social media, in promoting his business - guitar lessons. Not only is this a great story, but it reinforces several of my beliefs on the subject. Firstly, this is a one-off. We are not going to see a flood of online guitar-tutors cropping up all over the place. Last week my local paper carried ads for four guitar lessons in my area - how many tutors are their around the world? This is the story of ONE. Secondly, it shows it can work - but for a very limited range of products/services. And finally, the point I keep harping-on about - it is very time consuming. Read the article, it says he does most of his [offline] teaching on an evening, so he has all day to work on his online marketing. Developing the videos, podcasts and so on is actually a small part of the job. Maintaining a social media presence is - I think - a full time job.

This article - Blogs and the Purchasing Decision - has the sub-title 'few consumers buy there, but blogs still influence purchases' - which describes its contents. Still on blogs, How Blogs Drive More Sales Than Social Media Sites has some interesting observations.

Follow the link from this - Seven deadly consumer biases and how to deal with them - to the original article on which it is based. Both have some interesting stuff on consumer generated content.

This one - Why Social Media May Not Be Right For You - is a good article in its own right, but also follow the links in it to see how good a case study it is.

I like this article - Ratings & Reviews - as it reflects my views [almost] exactly. Though he doesn't make the point, I think the author is making the link between social media and consumer generated content.

Much has been written about [now] President Obama's use of the Internet in his White House campaign - and surely there will be a book soon. Amongst the many articles I have read, this one - Obama: Talent Imitates, Genius Steals - sums up the main points and includes some good links.

And here's what NOT to do - Belkin: a case study in social media sin.

This - The New Social Contracts - is really good. It makes the point that too many assume that 'social media' [whatever that really is] is simply a new medium to carry a traditional marketing message. In reality that message should complement the new medium - and its users. In other words, e-marketing is marketing - not a separate discipline.

Here's a quality report [from the Wall Street Journal] based on some reputable research, its title - New Info Shoppers - gives away its content. Nothing that many haven't said or alluded to before, but this kind of research adds credibility.

Apparently it's not just big businesses that are communicating with customers using social media. However, when you read Small Businesses Get Social take note that they are using 'business' networking - rather than Twitter-type - sites.

This article - User-Controlled Media: Where You Need to Be - introduces another term to social media, but it makes a good point.

I wonder if most SM marketers see a 'like' on Facebook as their objective? My own view is that is very much the case - and readers of this site will know that I feel a zillion 'likes' is next to worthless in real terms. However Facebook Success Beyond the 'Like' suggests that perhaps the click on the 'like' button should be seen as the start of a relationship, not the relationship itself. Facebook as a relationship-lead-generator anyone?

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