Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes a look at how teachers are using social media, the top 20 social networks, how to build your brand online, the mobile social photo explosion and how social sharing is expected to make a huge impact on Cyber Monday shopping.

Here are our top 10 Twitter stories of the week.

1. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest – How Teachers Use Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

The massive growth in social media over the past decade or so has been hugely influential on almost every industry, and the teaching profession is certainly no exception – channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have quickly become very popular in the classroom. Indeed, some 45 percent of K-12 (kindergarten through twelfth grade) teachers update a social networking site for work purposes – almost two-thirds (65 percent) have used YouTube to upload videos and eight percent use Twitter for professional tasks.

2. From GetGlue And Path To Twitter And Facebook – The Top 20 Social Networks [INFOGRAPHIC]

While the roots of social media can be traced back to email, USENET and the launch of the World Wide Web in the 1970s and 1980s, the phenomenon that we know and enjoy today found life with Friendster and Myspace (in 2002 and 2003 respectively), and then really took off when Facebook launched in 2004. Since then, and over the past ten years, these platforms, alongside Twitter, Foursquare, Pinerest and Instagram have revolutionised how billions of people use these tools in their personal and professional lives, and the continuous emergence of new social networks continues to refine and advance our understanding of this space.

3. Loyalty, Consistency And Social Media – How To Build Your Brand Online [INFOGRAPHIC]

The internet has given businesses of all shapes and sizes in virtually every industry almost limitless options, and for new ventures the wealth of opportunity – and decisions – can be overwhelming. So here’s the big question: where on earth do you begin?

4. The Mobile Social Photo Explosion [INFOGRAPHIC]

The birth of camera photography can be traced back to 1826, when the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photograph, entitled View from the Window at Le Gras. Fast forward to the present, and a staggering 3.5 trillion photos have been taken in the past 185 years. But this is absolutely the tip of the iceberg – at the current rate of 380 billion new images being captured every year, the total amount of photographs ever made should double to 7 trillion in less than a decade from now.

5. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – How Social Sharing Will Boost Cyber Monday Shopping [INFOGRAPHIC]

Since its inception in 2005, Cyber Monday – the Monday immediately following Black Friday when U.S. customers shop heavily online – has seen extreme growth every year, with a further 14 percent expected to be added to the coffers in 2012, and a heady $1.42 billion of sales expected. This year, social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are expected to play a major role, and some 57 percent of Americans are expected to shop from home on November 26th.

6. Does Your Company Have A Social Media Strategy? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social media has empowered businesses of all shapes and sizes across almost every industry to raise brand awareness, engage a global audience, boost website footfall and drive sales – providing they put in the work. But it’s all about the conversation. Social networking by definition implies a two-way relationship, and brands need to be prepared to manage the bad with the good. No business model is perfect, and companies make mistakes. Are you ready to deal with the criticism?

7. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – The 2012 Social Media All Stars [VIDEO]

It’s been a heck of a year for social media, but which social networks had their best-ever season? Which laggards have suddenly found themselves filling the role of benchwarmer? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all made the starting line-up in 2012, while YouTube, LinkedIn and Reddit provided strong support. But what about 2013 – is there ever going to be room on the team for Foursquare, Path and born-again Myspace… or even (gasp) Google+?

8. Consumers Vs Marketers – What Do We Really Want From Brands On Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Brands around the world are placing a greater emphasis on social media than ever before, but the disconnect between what consumers want, and what marketers think they want, has perhaps never been more apparent. While more than two-thirds (68 percent) of adult consumers are now online, just 26 percent say that they use social media to follow brands. Conversely, three-quarters (75 percent) of marketers think consumers are positive about social media marketing, to the extent that 25 percent of marketing budgets are expected to be allocated towards social media in 2013.

9. Social Travel Takes To The Skies [INFOGRAPHIC]

Today’s social traveller is savvy, using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, plus hotel and restaurant reviews, to update their itinerary on the fly, and they won’t hesitate to switch allegiances or change their plans altogether. Conversely, social travelers who are highly satisfied will engage with the top travel brands and share their positive experiences with their friends and followers, boosting brand awareness, website traffic and sales.

10. #Tweetbeat Shows Where Negative Tweeters Live

Planning a vacation any time soon? Well, you may want to refer to this #tweetbeat heat map to see which areas in the U.S. (and around the world) to avoid, so you can stay away from the angries.

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