#DearKen: What Social Media Marketers Can Learn About Cause Marketing From Lady Gaga & The Disaster In Japan

This week has seen both large tech firms (Bing) and small startup companies come under fire after their initiatives to solicit donations for Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims in exchange for social support of their brands were viewed more as opportunistic PR than genuine efforts to help victims. How should marketers use social media for social good?

We welcome Ken Herron, social marketing authority and CMO at social applications and solutions company SocialGrow Inc., who will author a regular new social marketing advice column, #DearKen, to provide our readers with answers to their questions about social marketing technologies, tools, and best practices. To submit a question, tweet it with the hashtag "#DearKen". All tweets will be acknowledged, and considered as being submitted for publication.

Five Great Ways Operators Can get More Mileage Out Of Social Media

social bookmarksIn the app store space, social conversations and connections can mean the difference between notoriety and obscurity for apps on offer. In this scenario it makes good business sense for mobile operators (and app store owners) to improve content discovery, allowing consumers to rate, recommend and gift products to their friends just like Amazon does.

But why limit that approach to storefronts and app stores?

Mobile operators can refine this approach to insert themselves at the center of our social media exchange, a trusted position that is the cornerstone of a sustainable business.

The Countdown Starts; See You @ M-Days Frankfurt

m-days 2010There's no better way to kick off the Mobile Year in Europe - and connect with Germany's best and brightest mobile companies, developers, agencies and brands. A week from today major players from across the mobile business ecosystem (and from Western, Central and Eastern Europe) will gather in Frankfurt (January 27- 28) for M-Days to network and discuss topics ranging from mobile commerce and marketing to mobile apps and cloud computing.

The event, organized by 11 Prozent – Communication, expects a whopping 2,100+ attendees, making M-days the largest mobile event in Europe outside the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Submit Your App; Last Call For Mobile Premier Awards 2011!

Mobile premier awardDevelopers: You have one more day to submit your best mobile app and qualify for the Mobile Premier Awards (February 14, Barcelona). The MPA is not only the largest open and global cross-platform app competition in the mobile industry; it's THE place to network, do deals and connect with professionals and practitioners from around the world. (Last year saw 600+ developers submitted their apps, earning the MPA a reputation as a "the point of reference for the startup and developer community."

Participation is free and open to any startup or developer with a mobile app. You can submit as many apps as you want and you can find more details on how register further down in this post. From news and arts & culture to social change and medical & health, the MPA recognizes the best in mobile apps, so stand up and be counted.

AOL Bets On Social Navigation & Open Source; Why People Will Power Location Apps

navigation strategies USASocial and mobile are combining to create some amazing experiences. From location-linked games to social shopping schemes, there is money - and competitive advantage - in harnessing location information to power our interactions with the people and communities around us. This trend also turns up the pressure on companies to focus on the quality of the data and develop new ways to get us involved in creating and curating our own local maps and information.

This is just one of the topics heading the agenda at Navigation Strategies USA,

Mobile Meets Multimedia: Mobile Giving Foundation Expects Increase In Donations & Engagement

mobile givingA year ago this month the world witnessed a massive earthquake shook Haiti, and the citizens of the world, to their core. The extent of the damage following the disaster on January 12, 2010, quickly reached cataclysmic proportions. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. The Haitian government also reported 230 thousand people died, 300 thousand were injured and 1 million were made homeless.

The earthquake also triggered a global response and a mobile awakening, moving mobile giving -- using our mobile phones to make donations to causes such as earthquake relief -- to the top of our minds and to the fore of the mobile industry agenda.