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New Media Valuations:  TweetDeck Price Tag $50 MillionTomahawk, WI  5/3/2011 (Vesta Digital) — Twitter has made an offer to acquire TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application for using Internet social networking services, for up to $50 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The cash and stock deal could close in less than ten days, the source said, and would represent one of five-year-old Twitter’s largest acquisitions to date.

The deal would give Twitter an application that has won praise among sophisticated users for its slick interface and enhanced capabilities, while closing out a potential threat to Twitter’s fast-growing service. TweetDeck had been in acquisition discussions with UberMedia, a Pasadena Web company founded by entrepreneur Bill Gross, in a deal that was valued at less than what Twitter offered. UberMedia has been amassing a collection of Twitter applications which some commentators have speculated could ultimately be used to create a rival social network to Twitter.

The exclusivity terms of UberMedia’s offer for TweetDeck expired in mid-April, allowing TweetDeck to respond to the Twitter offer, according to the source. A Twitter spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors. TweetDeck and UberMedia did not immediately reply to requests for comment. The deal comes a little over a month after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as executive chairman to oversee product development.

Twitter, which allows people to send 140-character text messages, or Tweets, to groups of so-called followers, is one of the Web’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga. The service has become a popular communications tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, and has played a role in several geopolitical events, such as recent uprisings in the Middle East.

In December Twitter was valued at $3.7 billion in a $200 million funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Subsequent auctions of Twitter shares on the secondary markets have suggested investors were valuing the shares at more than $7 billion. Twitter’s offer for TweetDeck is between $40 million and $50 million, according to the source, depending on how Twitter’s shares are valued.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Bin Laden Dead: 3 Things to Know as Social Media Swings into Gear

Northern WI  5/2/2011  (VestaDigital.com)  —  As soon as New Media got hold of Osama Bin Ladens death (about 30 seconds after President Obama speech) the Social Media wires go into full speed mode.  The backstory revolded around 1.) The Operation itself and the details 2.) The cheering crowds outside the White House and Ground Zero  3.) White House security and how they kept details quiet for 6 weeks.  Below is a 60 Minutes Video on Delta Force.

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Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Social Media Marketing: How Many CEO's Will Miss The Boat?SmallCap stocks have yet to utilize Social Media Tools; it may be too early in the cycle for a distracted CEO to understand how these platforms work, and many view growing Social Media sites like FaceBook and Twitter as a trend. LargeCap Companies are hiring full departments to man these platforms; in fact, it has been one of the few bright spots in a weak employment cycle. I guess the logical question is why? Why would a CEO pass on an inexpensive new marketing tool?

Clearly someone is wrong here and I believe the LargeCap CEO, in most cases, have better resources and make better decisions identifying tools that help his/her company sell products or services. Throughout history other important marketing tools were bypassed by smaller companies who were forced to catch up, and once a few “old line” CEO’s get fired because they refuse to adapt and are viewed as – missing the Social Media boat – you will see the this New Media Marketing tool part of day to day operations. Managers in general pay attention to the reasons their predecessors were fired. Most don’t realize the vast difference between a Fortune 500 company and how they operate versus a SamllCap company.

SmallCap Stocks are classified by their market capitalization of 1 Billion or less and most market watchers categorize stocks in 5 categories 1) MegaCap, 2) LargeCap, 3) MidCap, 4) SmallCap and 5) MicroCap. There are roughly 15,000 publicly traded companies in the US Markets and 70% of these are in category 4 or 5. This means that only 30% of companies have Market Caps above 1 Billion dollars.

If I were to advise an investor about what to look for in a smaller stock investment, it would be to examine the companies Social Media strategy in 2011 and how it’s working ……this will tell you much more about the management of the company than you know.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

1970- 2011: Keypunch Cards to Zero LatencyNorthern WI  4/22/2011  (VestaDigital)  —  When I started trading commodities in 1979 from the Chicago trading floors we had data key punch girls who would walk around the different hexagon pits and collect 4 x 6 inch cards. They would then run upstairs to the data entry office and spend hours deciphering the traders scribbling on the cards. In the morning there would be a pre-opening session called ‘out-trades” where clerks would attempt to settle trades which did not match because of key punch errors or the inability to read the chicken scratch writing.

Flash forward to 2011 and you have zero latency Profit and Loss to your smart phone immediately upon making your trade deducting or adding money to your account and calculating the margin. The progress has been rapid, but most of the large steps have been taken in the last 5 years as internet speeds have solved the last mile and costs have dropped. There have also been many software developments to achieve zero latency and useful tools to track trading positions and move money around. The input errors we saw from the 70’s are virtually eliminated at entry and the “out-trade” errors are a thing of the past making execution seamless.

The next steps for Financial Services will revolve around Social Media and its effect on investors, traders and CEO’s and how they communicate. This is already taking place as platforms develop and dominating networks like Twitter introduce $Dollar signs and #Hash keys which become universal symbols across the networks. 

Nearly every company will have a FaceBook page or a Twitter account before long. I will monitor the useful software as I write for Vesta Digital and hope you will follow along as we watch the way we invest and communicate change over the next few years…the days of  and key punch cards are gone!!!!

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

The True Impact of Social MediaAre your social media efforts paying off? Only if you know what to measure.

The proof that social media marketing works is not measured in ROI or sales but rather in retention and what happens as a result of your social media marketing efforts.
The frequent questions executives and business owners ask are: “How much money will I make?” and “How many new sales will I have? While logical, these questions are not necessarily the right questions. With social media, it is not how much you make but how much of a difference your social media efforts make to attract new customers.

Even though social media has great potential, many organizations do not properly integrate social media in their marketing and communication efforts. The underlining point is that social media is not a one-way communication channel, but instead a medium for listening, analyzing, and driving those conversations.
The companies that realize the full potential of social media are not only experimenting with multiple channels, but also creating metrics to measure impact and using new tools to understand how to enter into a new conversation with their customers.

How does an organization gain not only an understanding of their audience’s social network but know when and how to reach out to a customer or prospect?

  • Listen
  • Segment
  • Engage
  • Gain Expertise and Validation

Range of Social Relationships

Jen Roberts offers her scientific break-down from a customer perspective of their interest in being ‘friends’ with your organization as follows:

  • Don’t talk to me. Ever. I’m still recovering from our last encounter.
  • I don’t want to be your friend but I do need answers. Where can I find them?
  • I like you and I’ve clicked a button.
  • I like you and love discounts. Let’s talk.
  • I love you and I want to co-create.

Benefits of Social Media

One of the benefits of social media is that it can help reinforce existing ties and that is one way of looking at consumer relationship; the strength of that tie between the consumer and your brand. Analyzing and filtering for consumer insights or preferences is a critical piece for surfacing consumer intentions that can provide a unique perspective on the degree to which a consumer wants to be engaged.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Why You Need QR Codes for Your Business WebsiteAs a small business owner, you need to be able to adjust as rapidly as the changing market. More and more people are becoming absorbed in their smartphones, so much so that an entire segment of marketing and advertising has developed to specifically target this audience.

What are QR Codes?

A great way to tap in to that huge market is to use QR codes (or quick response codes). QR codes are fuzzy little black and white blocks that contain a bar code. The code can be scanned by smartphones with cameras. The codes then redirect people to a website, play some sort of animation, or do all sorts of neat tricks.

How can I use a QR Code?

There are several places you can put a QR code to drive traffic to your website. First however, you need to figure out what you want out of your QR code. Do you want more traffic on your website? Do you want people to visit your store? Do you want people to call in? These questions need to be answered before developing a QR code.

Once you’ve formulated the idea for your QR code, it’s time for execution. It’s extremely important to remember that QR codes are new, exciting, and fun. If you send people just to your homepage with a QR code, they’re likely to lose interest right away. Consider sending them to a special landing page or a mobile version of your website. It’s just more interesting for first time customers that have already shown interest by scanning your QR code.

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do with a QR code, you need to choose the medium in which your codes will be distributed. You can choose to stick them on your packaging, direct mail, business cards, print ads, but one of the most interesting ways to drive traffic to your business website is to add QR codes to your social media pages. Using QR codes can really help with your social media marketing because many people just can’t resist scanning the barcodes with their phones to see what’s in store.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Does Social Bookmarking Really Work?Social bookmarking is the process of storing, organizing, searching, and managing bookmarks of web pages that you want to remember or share with your social network. Effective social bookmarking sites include StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.

Why Social Bookmarking?

You absolutely need to use social bookmarking sites when you publish new content, whether that’s new web pages, blog posts, or news and press articles. Social bookmarking works because it will drive large amount of traffic to your website.

Social bookmarking communities view bookmarks either chronologically, by tags, or by search engines. When you bookmark a page on your website and share it with an online community, it classifies that page as useful within the particular category you specified. The bookmark is then disseminated and shared among a viral community.

Social bookmarking is the third most effective medium of searching and finding useful information, preceded only by Google searches and directly visiting websites. It is a powerful marketing tool you should use to promote the information on your website and drive an amount of traffic almost equitable to what you get from Google searches.

How to use social bookmarking effectively

Rich Brooks of Social Media Examiner wrote in a recent blog post:

“It’s always best when someone else bookmarks your content, so it might makes sense to have a small ‘bookmarking club’ with friends where you promote each other’s work. This ‘seeding’ will often encourage others to bookmark your content.”

His advice is very useful in that bookmarking your own content will work in terms of search rankings, but it may end up looking like just promotional efforts in the eyes of your consumers.

When you publish new content (i.e. new web pages or blog posts), make sure you bold your keywords, add related links back to your website, and use tags to categorize your information to make searches more effective. Then, bookmark your site on a few different social bookmarking channels like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.

In a day or two, review your web analytics and see exactly where your traffic came from. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly social bookmarking can work for you.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform