This May, some people may be getting ready for prom. Others may be getting ready for graduation. But on Wall Street, everyone’s getting ready for Facebook.

That’s right, the social network has actually set a date for an initial public offering (IPO) and it remains to be seen just how many friends Facebook will have among stockholders.

Social networks continue to gain traction elsewhere, too. Colleges are using Pinterest for educational purposes and a new study found that poor customer service on Facebook or Twitter can be a serious problem for businesses.

Learn about these topics and more in this week’s news breakdown!

1. Facebook is actually, finally going public

Facebook has been somewhat notorious for remaining private for so long, but those days are finally coming to an end. The social network is aiming to go public on May 18, which has created a frenzy of speculation about valuation, investments, and, of course, return.

Currently, Facebook says that it values each stock at $30.89 each. An original filing said that the company hopes to raise $5 billion in its IPO.

Bottom Line: It’s been a long time since an IPO has generated so much buzz, so now it’s time to see if it all lives up to the hype. Anyone worried about further changes to Facebook Page layouts shouldn’t fret – we suspect that Timeline was in preparation for anticipated investor demand.

Still, it will be interesting to see if going public affects Facebook as the social network attempts to balance return investments with consumer needs.

2. Pinning for Education

It’s not a secret that college students are preoccupied with social media. In fact, this has been a challenge for higher education institutes that have relied on message boards or mailings to discuss major campus events.

To better connect with students universities and colleges like Virginia Tech and Saint Mary’s have launched Pinterest boards: to showcase upcoming celebrations or even campus construction.

Bottom Line: Pinterest is still very new, but it has already proven to be the third most popular social network… for the right audience.

Before you get started to Pinning things left and right, remember to think of who you are targeting. While Facebook has a broad appeal, some have argued that Pinterest is more of a niche social network, at least for now.

3. Social Media Users Tell 2X The Number of People About Customer Service Experiences

A new study released by the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer shows that nine out of ten Americans say that most customer service they’ve experienced has been below their expectations.

About one in five have said that they use social media to voice complaints, which is bad news for businesses who are under-delivering: on average, these customers tell 53 people about a poor experience, compared to the average of 24.

Bottom Line: The upside to the survey is that social media users who have a positive experience tell 42 people about it, compared to the average of 15.

Complaints from customers are something that all businesses have to deal with, but social media enables other customers to see how you’re handling it.

When you’re dealing with a customer service crisis on social media, the best damage control is a response.

4. Trending Topics Boost Click-Through Rates

What are you writing in your email marketing campaigns? A new study has indicated that if you make a mention of a trending topic – something that you could possibly read in a newspaper the day of the newsletter – you attract reader attention.

Bottom Line: Since people check their email on a regular basis, anything that helps them stay up-to-date can most definitely catch their eye.

By making your newsletters a dependable and helpful resource for topics in your industry, you can almost guarantee higher open rates and click-throughs, which can help drive more traffic to your site and – hopefully – your business.

5. Yahoo! Releases a Marketing Dashboard

From Likes to click-throughs, revenue to bounces, and overhead to inventory, it can be hard for any business to keep track of marketing campaigns – especially if that isn’t even your day job.

Luckily, Yahoo! has released the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard that keeps track of search engine listings, online reputation, site traffic analysis, news & advice, and campaign results.

Bottom Line:  This dashboard could prove to be invaluable tool for small businesses trying to monitor online marketing results.

Having all of your statistics in one place can help you evaluate the initiatives you spent so much time creating in the first place.

What news topics caught your eye this week? Let us know below!