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11 Brands That Got Cheeky on Valentine’s Day

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FACT: Valentine’s Day is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dour New Year for retailers.

Of course it makes sense for relevant brands to develop tailored VDay social campaigns, so today we thought we’d take a look back at some of the cheekier ones we noticed last week.

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Here’s How NOT to Respond to a Copyright Issue: Magazine Sends Photographer Profanity-Laced, Threatening Email

We’ve been following Adweek‘s coverage of a he-said-she-said fiasco too bizarre to be ignored, and now that both parties have provided the news source with conflicting statements, the behavior of the magazine involved seems to have gone far past questionable and has entered the realm of actively self-destructive. In fact, if PR failures were presents, this debacle would be the gift that just keeps on giving.

Kathy Shea Mormino, who runs the popular backyard chicken website The Chicken Chick, says it all started when a fan alerted her that one of her copyrighted photos appeared on Survival Magazine‘s blog and Facebook page. As the magazine had not asked her permission to use her photograph, Mormino says she sent a Facebook message and an email to the publication, explaining the situation and requesting that her image be removed. When the magazine did not respond to her messages or take down the picture, Mormino filed a copyright infringement complaint with Facebook, which led the social network to remove the photo from the magazine’s Facebook page.

The magazine’s response to Mormino’s actions shocked her so much, that she shared it (along with the below screenshot as proof) with her fans on her own Facebook page, saying, “THIS is the email I just received from Survival Magazine. What on earth is WRONG with some people?!”

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Mark Zuckerberg Is the World’s Most Generous Man

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That’s according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which just released its list of the 50 biggest givers in the world over the past year. This ranking does include a couple of qualifiers: Zuck’s donation came in the form of Facebook stock, and the $992 billion listed only went to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which is a very local organization.

Still, that’s quite a bit of theoretical money, and the listing solidifies Zuckerberg’s reputation as an all-around good guy (while mentioning his work with Startup: Education).

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Progressive’s ‘Flo’ Parodies All Those Facebook ‘Look Back’ Videos

Flo‘s Facebook “Look Back” video is better than yours.

Why? Because like she memorably stated in a 2010 Progressive commercial, few things go so well together as “unicorns and glitter.”

After Progressive’s leading lady was conspicuously absent from the Super Bowl ad lineup, we were concerned she might be on her way out. But fear not, fellow Flo-fans! It looks as though our favorite crimson-lipped, insurance-pushing optimist is back — and ready to see your nostalgic Facebook video and raise you an epic, Unicorn-rights-centric one of her own.

And in case you somehow weren’t aware that Flo had her own Facebook page (where have you been?), the upcoming weekend is a perfect time to catch up on all the rhyming, randomness, and, of course, unicorns!

Facebook PR Really Wants Famous People to Post During the Super Bowl

TETRRF-00013166-001OK: one last Super Bowl post before the big weekend, because this one provides us with a glimpse inside the Facebook PR team’s strategic manual.

This morning Re/code posted on a letter sent by the Facebook team to a talent agency in which the network explains the rewards public personalities will receive for participating in a little pigskin experiment.

The idea: big names will start a “WatchWith Party” by simply posting Super Bowl-related stuff and using the hashtags #FBWatch and #SB48 (because everyone uses Facebook hashtags).

You want to read the conditions, don’t you?

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The 5 Most Socially Engaged Restaurant Brands

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Today we stumbled across the Restaurant Social Media Index, a three-year-old research tool measuring the performance of various restaurant brands on social media.

We were first drawn to this list of names with the greatest audience engagement levels; we found it particularly relevant considering the fact that most of its entries are fast food chains and salty, fatty fare is always popular on Super Bowl weekend.

So we figured we’d explore the top five on the list of 25 and find some examples of this all-important “engagement.”

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Facebook Responds to Princeton Naysayers: ‘I Know You’re Doomed, But What Am I?’

facebook-middle-fingerICYMI, earlier this week the nerds at Princeton University produced a study comparing social networks to viruses and predicting that Facebook would become a virtual ghost town by 2017 via dubious growth model data. It got a lot of attention for turning all those “Facebook is doomed” stories into “real science.”

Of course the Facebook team noticed it too—and yesterday data scientist Mike Develin responded with a “study” of his own that provides us with a pretty cool example of less-than-traditional damage control.

Develin and his fellow scientists created their own series of charts graphing, for example, the number of studies released by Princeton compared to its Google search rankings. Using the “correlation = causation” principle, they predicted (in jest) that the school’s student body would decline by 50% by 2018—and that it wouldn’t have any students at all by 2021.

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Here’s Why Your Facebook Engagement Numbers Are Way Down

One fact we didn’t know: the average Facebook user still shares nearly four posts every day.

One fact we did know: no one sees any of those posts anymore, especially if that user happens to be a client who doesn’t care to pay for each update.

We’ll let blogger Derek Muller explain why in greater detail:

So, while your friends may well have reached peak reproductive age, that’s still probably not the reason your personal feed is all babies and weddings right now.

You can also blame this new engagement-based algorithm for actively pushing your client’s promo posts away from the eyeballs they pay you to earn. We sort of knew this already, but we do appreciate Muller breaking it all down for us.

Now that you mention it, we’re also glad we didn’t buy any Facebook stock.

(H/T Slate; the story original appeared on Business Insider)

Facebook’s ‘Relationships Guy’ Would Like a Word with Your Clients

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You may have heard that Facebook‘s undergoing yet another series of tweaks to its news feed and advertising services, the most significant of which will be a new “what’s trending” feature that could theoretically place more of your content in front of targeted users’ eyes. We just hope it’s better than the company’s hashtag #fail.

On a more “on the ground level” level, Reuters reports that Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships for the Blue Dude Group, is on the lookout for brands and celebrities to form partnerships like the one that allowed Beyoncé to surprise everyone by announcing her new album release on Instagram.

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Top 10 Social Media Wins of 2013

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The next round of “likes” is on us…

We already shared the worst of social media in 2013, so here’s to the best…or at least our own approximation of it.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER IS OBVIOUS: Yes, this list is highly subjective and you’re going to see some repetition/glaring omissions. But such is the nature of year-end clickbait, no?

Here, then, are the stories that demonstrated what social media meant to us and our industry in 2013.

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