Tavanberg's monthly round-up of ideas
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Hi everyone,
Do you ever just miss reading on paper?

Don’t get us wrong: we love the immediacy and variety that we get online, and don't even try to peel our fingers off our smartphones. But the gloss of a fresh magazine and the slightly musty smell of a paperback from the library fill our word-nerd hearts with joy. So to relive the joys of our student years, we’re launching a reading week of our own. Here’s what's currently stacked on our bedside tables:

• A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (oldie but goodie)
A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan (2011 Pulitzer Prize winner...we know, we're behind)
Grit by Angela Duckworth (a MacArthur genius's look at perseverance)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (a historical primer)

What should we add to our reading list? We’re taking reccos via Twitter and Facebook (or just reply to this email).

Now on to the digital stories that captured our attention this month:

Why social matters for SEO
What’s the mysterious connection between search and social? Like all intriguing relationships, it’s complicated. While no one really knows exactly how Google measures the impact of social, it’s clear to most experts that strong profiles correlate with good search rankings. That’s because branded – and well-used – social media profiles prove to Google that your business is legit. Here Contently tells us what experts know about the social-search connection.
Are you ready for the future?
As 2017 marketing plans finalize and roll out into action, Google asked a dozen marketing bigwigs—from Sephora, Starcom, Carat, and more—the questions marketers should be asking themselves: Are your metrics focused for a mobile-first world? Is your business built for the mobile screen first? Are you ready for the divide between TV and online video to disappear? All quandaries worth a ponder in the year ahead.
[Think With Google]
It's hip to be square
Remember something called a dictionary? A generation ago, it was a massive tome collecting dust on your bookshelf. These days, with dictionaries gone digital like everything else, our old friend Merriam-Webster has modernized and taken to social media – and is way better at Twitter burns than you are. Most of all, it seems, @MerriamWebster loves taking stabs at everyone’s favourite Twitter-loving president: “The ‪#WordOfTheDay is...not 'unpresidented,'” wrote 33-year-old Lauren Naturale, the brand’s social media manager, who’s doing very, very well at her job. Read a Q&A about how she does it.
Last year saw a 20-percent bump in emoji use on Instagram, and love 'em or hate 'em, a full 56 percent of accounts have embraced yellow bees and piles of smiling poop to accessorize messages to followers. The kicker is, they work – posts with emojis enjoy a 17-percent higher interaction rate than those without. That said, those little smiley faces need to be used judiciously. This post from ClickZ gives an overview of when to throw in a crying cat face and when to hold back.
The tweet that shook the world
It’s the stuff of marketing legend: right in the middle of a frantic football emergency – a stadium blackout during the Super Bowl in 2013 left both Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers fans flipping out – the marketing brains behind @oreo got creative. “You can still dunk in the dark,” they tweeted within mere minutes. With hordes of fans refreshing their accounts during the commotion, Oreo’s well-placed chuckle scored 15,000 retweets and became one of the year’s best examples of real-time marketing. But it wasn’t just right-time-right-place blind luck by a solo social media manager. This Digiday piece gives an oral history of the award-winning moment.

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