For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
Mining Social Media Gold
The 2012 Summer Olympics held in London earlier this month generated a record- breaking 150 million tweets on Twitter related to the once-every-four years global extravaganza.
Nike's Facebook fans increased by 166,718 people during the London games, that's a whole bunch of new eyes on the sneaker giant's ads and promotions.
This frenetic activity on sites like Twitter and Facebook serves as further confirmation that social media is continuing to play an increasingly important role in everyday life, and businesses, both large and small, are taking notice.
Restaurants and other retailers are using social media to drum up business. Customers who interact with companies through social media are getting solicited through special discounts and coupon codes. Users are now encouraged to share or like a Facebook page in exchange for a small reward or incentive. As a result, the company's customers are now marketing to thousands of their followers with the potential for exponential growth.
Public relations officials involved with more traditional types of marketing and communications are scrambling to learn as much as they can about how to maximize social media for their business clients. New York-based Fair Media Council hosts a social media boot camp to help companies understand how they can benefit from using social media. The daylong event includes keynote speakers discussing topics such as brand development, building followers, and creating effective social media campaigns.
The trend is also spawning a slew of new businesses related to social media, including consulting firms that help companies promote their brand by expanding their use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
While many businesses typically spend a fortune on traditional forms of advertising, one such consultant, Cle Andrea Hayden, insists they shouldn't overlook social media, if they want to medal in marketing.
"Social media should be a component of your marketing mix and carry just as much weight and importance as devising a robust advertising campaign," she said.