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Social You Should Know: More Social ROI News and New Marketing Rules

The ROI of social media marketing and new rules from Facebook and the FTC in this week’s Social You Should Know.

Social Media Doesn’t Impact Sales; Wait, It Does Impact Sales

On Monday, a senior marketing manager at Coke made a splash when he said that online buzz had no measurable impact on short-term sales of their products. While he was careful to caution others not to make broad conclusions, the article got big online buzz and that buzz did have a measurable impact. On Wednesday, Coke issued a response saying, in part, “In beta testing with Facebook, we’ve been able to track closed-loop sales from site exposure to in-store purchase with very promising results that are above norms for what we see with other media.” In related news, a new study on hotel social media found that a 1-point increase in review scores on Travelocity allows a hotel to increase its price by 11.2% with no loss of occupancy.

Facebook Continues to Make Changes That Impact Marketers

Two changes from Facebook this week that impact marketers. First, the social networking giant rolled out “Lookalike Audiences” as an ad option via their Power Editor. Like Custom Audiences, which allow you to show ads to your CRM database, Lookalike Audiences allow you to reach people with similar characteristics. There’s science behind this targeting improving ad results that makes sense to me, so it’s worth checking out. And while it’s not rolled out yet, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook will incorporate the hashtag into service. This will be a major shot at Twitter and a good way to follow topics on Facebook. Watch for it soon.

FTC Updates Rules on Disclosure; FB Updates Rules on Images

The FTC has clarified the rules around disclosures in social media and web marketing generally. Bottom line: It doesn’t matter how short your tweet is, you must disclose if it’s paid. There’s more than that. Read it here. Also this week, the world discovered a change Facebook quietly made two weeks ago regarding the guidelines for page cover photos. They previously forbid calls to action (click here, buy now, etc.). That prohibition is gone. Cover photos still can’t be covered with more than 20% text, but calls to action are back in play.

With that, you are up to speed for the week. Enjoy your weekend.

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