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Here’s a surprising fact from a recent Fast Company article on the return on investment (ROI) of social media: among the CEOs of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, only 20 have Twitter accounts – illustrating the resistance from C-level executives, for a myriad of reasons, to adopt social media. Here’s another surprising piece of data: according to an analysis of 4,200 companies by the McKinsey Global Institute, social technologies have the potential to create between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value. Tell that to your executive team the next time you need to prove the worth of social media and the platforms discussed below in this week’s Weekly Reads.


CNET: LinkedIn Adds Facebook-Like Alerts
This week, LinkedIn rolled out a notification stream on its site that will probably remind you a bit of Facebook’s design. Along with the improved stream, you’ll be notified in real-time when someone interacts with your profile – either by viewing it, accepting an invitation to connect, etc. The professional networking site is obviously trying to become much more user-friendly, intuitive, and social. They do say imitation (of Facebook) is the highest form of flattery.


GigaOm: What Newspapers and Other Media Could Learn From Reddit
While it’s possible you weren’t familiar with Reddit a few weeks ago, it’s likely you’ve now heard about this social platform thanks to President Obama’s recent “Ask Me Anything” appearance on the crowdsourced site. Still not sure what to make of this community of hardcore social natives? Here’s a must-read on what we can all learn from Reddit’s respect of its self-sustaining online community.


FastCoDesign: With Its Classier Branding, Twitter Broadcasts Big Ambitions
Noticed anything different about Twitter recently? The brand has ditched its old bubbly font and logo and is now all about the simple bird heading skyward. While it may seem slight, this new branding signals a much larger positioning of the company from start-up to serious corporation that can be recognized by a simple graphic and not a word. Move over Nike and the infamous swoosh!


PR Daily: 25 Brands that are using Instagram effectively
If your company hasn’t claimed its Instagram account yet, it’s time to do so! With approximately 100 million users, this social channel is now prime real estate for brands hoping to engage more with their fans using visual media. Here are 25 brands doing it right.

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