Content and Social Media Marketing News Update: December

As the holiday retail season ends, social media marketers have pulled out all the stops to get the attention of consumers and companies havereleased new products, designs and services to close out the year. As you prepare to celebrate the holidays,  unwrap in our latest edition of social media and marketing news.

Pope Benedict XVI kicked off the month of December by making a social media splash with his new Twitter account, and te questions soon started pouring in once people realized they had an unprecedented level of access to the world’s most prominent religious figure.

According to CNN, the bulk of the questions the Pope is getting revolve around faith, scandal and – in true Twitter tradition – lunch. Though the Pontiff has only sent 12 tweets at the time of writing and has not begun to reply to individuals, the fact that the papal office thinks Twitter is important enough to invest in should make any internet-shy CEO take note. So far, his initial tweet has been retweeted over 63,000 times and marked a favorite by 24,000 Twitter members.

In other news, companies continue to find quirky and innovative ways to brand themselves online. Apple, a veritable behemoth of marketing and PR with a healthy cash balance,  made headlines for finally spending some of its money. Industry tongues are wagging given the fact Apple’s spend on special projects has skyrocketed this year – yet no one outside of the company knows what special projects the money is funding.

Apple’s ability to make the news without being heavily invested in social media marketing depends on an aura of mystique and a loyal fan base. Since the death of icon Steve Jobs, the company has come under scrutiny for making several missteps and deviating from the corporate plan. It will be interesting to see if even this tech giant is forced by its customer base to engage in social media in coming months.

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! made a huge splash as she rolled out a Flickr mobile app that had users everywhere buzzing. According to social media shareaholics everywhere, the new Flickr app beats photography filter darling Instagram hands down for filters, sharing and other features. In a week where social media giants Twitter and Instagram argued over internet space, this surprise move could be a game changer. Will social media marketers and small business owners take advantage of Flickr’s new capabilities and will they mesh with those its customer base already knew and loved? Time will tell.

Last but not least, Google finally got to put its maps back on the iPhone – as Apple’s own map app became the first to be recommended against by a country’s police force. Maps aside, we predict a huge year for local search.

Seen an interesting or quirky social story this month? Share yours in the comments. Happy holidays!

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