This is a lecture given by Dan Zarrella, HubSpot's social media scientist, at Harvard on January 24th 2011.

I go to a lot of social media conferences and read a lot of social media advice and most of it is what I call ‘unicorns and rainbows.’ Stuff like ‘engage in the conversation’ or ‘hug your followers.’ It’s good sounding advice, and hard to disagree with – I’m not going to tell you to punch your customers in the face. The problem is that it’s not based on anything more substantial than what ‘feels right’ typically. I like to get beyond the unicorns and rainbows into the real data, the real science about why people behave the way they do online and how we as marketers can leverage that behavior.

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