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A brand's friends: the best money can buy

Smac A group called the Social Media Advertising Council is trying to determine how much a "friend" is worth to brands online (in measurement terms, of course). The group's acronym, SMAC, is not very friendly, but they plan to meet every quarter and hold bimonthly conference calls, so things could get chummy fast. Their quest seems harmless and will probably yield some completely arbitrary — oops, I mean, thoroughly researched — facts and figures, similar to the undeniable assertion that word-of-mouth conversations are worth about 50 cents apiece. My conversations are pretty worthless, as I generally talk to myself, and even I can't understand what I'm trying to say. As a friend, I'm worse. I never participate in social media, unless lurking counts. In the real world, my friendship is worth about 20 cents, but only if you find two nickels and a dime in your sofa after kicking me off it. Oh, those coins were mine, and I want them back. You got a problem with that, friend?

—Posted by David Gianatasio

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