How to Get the “Best of” Social Media Posts All Year Long

TradePub has just launched its first report in a series for 2012, the Social Media Wrap Up report. Each report will highlight a selection of the best social media posts from leading authors published the preceding month.

Best Social Media Posts of January 2012The inaugural report includes posts from authors such as marketing agency veteran Drew McLellan; Marc Meyer, digital and social media strategist at DRMG; and author, speaker and SVP of Social Strategies at Social 5150 Neal Schaffer.

The topics covered range from social media strategies and hiring a social media agency to guidance on Tweetchats, blogging and measuring social media ROI.

Again, a new summary of some of the best social media blog posts will be published each month in 2012. You can grab the first free report here.

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How to Get the Latest and Greatest B2B News and Insights – Personalized Just for You

Since its inception, the B2B Marketing Zone has been the one place to catch up on all the latest posts from the leading B2B bloggers, writers like Brian Carroll, Chris Abraham, Ambal Balakrishnan, Ardath Albee and many more. Over time, the site has evolved and added new features to enhance its value to readers.

The latest addition: Aggregage, the platform that powers the B2B Marketing Zone (or BMZ) has added a robust personalization engine.  Readers can now sign-up and have content from the site personalized based on their interests.

Personalized B2B Content from the B2B Marketing Zone

Sign up and sign in to personalize your content from the B2B Marketing Zone

To check it out, sign-up using the “Personalize Your Content” button at the top right of the BMZ home page, as shown here.

The BMZ always features great, fresh content from the leading B2B bloggers. The home page is updated daily, plus it’s easy to search posts by blog, topic category, date, company mentions and more.

Now, personalization makes it even better. Curators find the best sources of content.  The BMZ then uses social signals from sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and delicious as well as clicks and views.  The algorithm that determines what makes it to top of the front page of the site looks at attributes like average values for the source , who is providing the signal, reputation and influence, and other factors.

What’s changed is that now the BMZ enables you to sign up and provide your Twitter and LinkedIn info. The personalization engine will then examine your activity on these sites and what kind of content you share.  It uses that data to evaluate your interests as well as to cluster you with other like-minded readers based on interests and sharing.  You can further control your interests via the Subscription page.

The personalization engine “learns” about you over time and combines three pieces of information to predict what will be most interesting to you:

  • • Social signal score – are other readers finding this content interesting?
  • • Topic match – does the subject match your interests?
  • • Like sharing – are other individuals similar to you sharing this content?

The engine then uses these signals to both personalize the ranking of posts on the site when you log in, and to produce customized Daily and Weekly newsletters for you.

The goal of the BMZ has always been to make sure readers don’t miss the best and latest content from the leading thinkers and writers in the world of B2B marketing and sales. Now, with personalization, there’s even less chance that you’ll miss a post that is really important—based on what it is exactly that’s important to YOU.

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The Nifty 50 Makes the Local News, Sort of

The good news, particularly for the Minnesota-based Tweeters highlighted in The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011, is that the list was highlighted in a morning news segment on WCCO, the Minneapolis CBS affiliate:

On the other hand, the piece doesn’t actually cite the blog name (Webbiquity) or identify Cheryl Burgess or me (we are “well-known marketing bloggers” which is flattering, but…). Now, the focus of the #Nifty50 post was to showcase 50 remarkable women on Twitter, not promote the blog, but still–if you’re going to tell your viewers about a blog post, wouldn’t you think the name of the blog is important to mention?

No big deal. It was early in the morning. The folks at Channel 4 are a great group of people. Mike Binkley is a good guy. Still, I’ll have to give @DeRushaJ some grief over this. :-)

In fairness, the news team did provide a link to the #Nifty50 post under “WCCO Mornings” on the CBS Minnesota website. Pretty cool.

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Content Aggregation: The Future of (B2B and Consumer) Media?

“Traditional” media is struggling. Weekly news magazines are declining, newspapers are shriveling, and industry trade magazines are downsizing. Meanwhile, the blogosphere continues to expand and pundits like Joe Pulizzi have declared that we are all publishers now. What do these trends mean for the future of news gathering and information delivery?

David Koretz offered one vision recently on MediaPost, writing:

The news organizations of tomorrow will no longer be loud-mouthed pundits espousing a barely informed worldview. Nor will they still be large monoliths attempting to maintain news bureaus worldwide. There is simply no cost-effective way for them to be on scene in every city, town, or village where the next big news story may break. Instead, successful media will become aggregators and editors of content, rather than creators. The smart money will build a technology to gather, sort, and filter stories from every corner of the world, and couple it with smart and thoughtful humans to do the editing.

Online content aggregation is as old as the Internet itself, beginning with AOL. Examples range from Google News and Yahoo! to topic-focused niche sites such as (using social media as an example) Social Media Today and Social Media Informer. Technology to “scrape” websites and republish content (legally or not) has also been around for some time, but until recently, doing content aggregation well required either a massive investment in infrastructure (like Moreover) or a unworkable level of manual effort.

Social Media Aggregation OptionsNew tools, however, are bringing sophisticated content aggregation and curation within reach of midsized enterprises. These technologies include Browse My Stuff (which powers both the B2B Marketing Zone and Social Media Informer) and, which enables users to create custom online “newspapers” based on a Twitterer and his/her followers, a hashtag subject or a Twitter list. For example, it took me just minutes to create my own newspaper organizing tweets and links from the smart group of local Minneapolis Twitters I follow. The site also makes it easy to promote your newspaper through Twitter and Facebook. Set up properly, this could be an easy yet powerful way for an organization to create and distribute a social newsletter on the fly. is free but doesn’t offer any filtering options for results. Browse My Stuff is fee-based for sponsors, free for bloggers and offers more professional publishing power.

While the use of such technologies is limited only by the imagination, there are three types of entities that could clearly benefit from content aggregation tools: large brands/companies, online publishers and PR firms.

Enterprises: organizations large, midsized or small can aggregate blog posts about their company or industry in one spot as a service to their customers, prospects and other interested stakeholders. For example, the iPhone got huge social media exposure when first released. Apple could create an aggregation site to pull in blog posts and reviews about the product. It’s a win-win-win: the company gets increased exposure; potential buyers get a one-stop site where they can read all independent views of the product; and the bloggers writing about it get traffic. A smaller vendor with fewer social media mentions could nonetheless position themselves as a thought leader in their field by aggregating industry-related posts. It’s particularly important for smaller companies to recognize that they don’t need to produce all of their own material; content written by others can be very helpful to their prospects’ decision making. Direct Message Lab has increased its exposure by sponsoring Social Media Informer.

Publishers: traditional news organizations are losing clout and their audiences to citizen journalists and bloggers with deep expertise, and industry trade magazines face declining influence due to the explosion in content marketing. The cost of maintaining large news and content producing/gathering  staffs is becoming more difficult to justify and monetize. Content aggregation offers publishers a way to maintain their position as destination sites, serve readers a larger selection of news at a lower cost, and incentivize bloggers to contribute.

PR firms: as the influence of bloggers increases at the expense of traditional news outlets, PR firms are increasingly pitching bloggers with their “story ideas” about clients, in some cases cleverly, in others more ham-handed. Even many writers of relatively small blogs are now overwhelmed with such pitches. Content aggregation offers PR firms a way to build relationships with bloggers, increase exposure for their clients through more social media coverage, increase billings by providing clients with a differentiated offering, and serve the market by collecting relevant, independent third-party content on one site.

News and content “consumers” no longer want to rely on one or just a few sources for information; they want to hear a variety of voices. Yet they are time-strapped and still value convenience. Bloggers and content marketers want traffic. Publishers want eyeballs. Content aggregation and curation will become increasingly popular as a way to give everyone what they want.

For more on this topic, check out Automated Filtering vs Human-Powered Curation from Tony Karrer.

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