Should You Advertise on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?

social media viewpointsAre you wondering if it makes sense to advertise on your favorite social network? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have different demographic profiles and use cases that may provide good advertising opportunities.

All three platforms are also developing new and innovative ways to target advertising messages, based on the overwhelming amount of data they possess about their users. Marketers should explore the paid opportunities social networks offer with as much thought and effort as they experiment with the “earned” and “owned” aspects that these networks provide.

Depending on your business objective, one platform will likely prove more useful than others. In this article, I will explore the functionality each provides and how you can integrate the paid activity for maximum impact and return.

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5 Ways to Use Social Data to Grow Your Business

social media how toAre you tapping the social media data stream? Inside that river of data lives great insight that can give your business an edge.

Social media allows you to match data generated by social interactions with individual’s preferences and general interests. This creates useful profiles that give marketers insight into how to tailor future offers and products to their customer base.

In this article I’ll show you five ways to use the data generated by your social network profiles—and those of your competitors—to expand your reach and sales.

#1: Listening Data

Nearly every social media plan tells you to begin by “listening,” but what are you listening for? Monitoring news related to your local business environment and industry can give you a sense of the conversation around your products or services, but social listening allows you to expand this information and make it more relevant.

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How to Control Your Privacy With Foursquare and Other Geoloaction Services

social media toolsGeolocation is one of the hottest trends in social networking today. Users enjoy connecting with friends at nearby locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the opportunity to tie their brick-and-mortar locations to their online marketing.

In addition to the main local social networking applications—Foursquare and GowallaGoogle, Facebook and Twitter have added geolocation features to their services to tap into this trend.

As users provide more information about their location, serious privacy implications are beginning to surface. For instance, a Webroot study released in July 2010 found that more than half of survey respondents who used geolocation services were worried their privacy was at risk.

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How to Turn Your WordPress Blog Into a Social Network

social media toolsWant to create your own social network? Are you familiar with WordPress? From the makers of WordPress comes BuddyPress, a tool that will enable you to make your own social network.

While major social networks offer tremendous reach and millions of users, sometimes that scope can actually be distracting for certain interest groups that have a more narrow focus. BuddyPress is a great solution for groups that want to set up their own social network to concentrate interactions around a shared cause.

BuddyPress allows users the opportunity to create a social network with specific membership and publishing rules. These features make the BuddyPress platform useful for all sorts of organizations and groups.

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3 Real-Time Search Engines Discover Social Media Trends

social media toolsGoogle and Yahoo transformed how we find information. But now social media is creating real-time content that requires special search engines.

As online publishing platforms and social networks have exploded in popularity, there is a new need to aggregate and search the dynamic “real-time” web.

New platforms hold much promise for marketers who want to understand trends and customer problems in real time. In this article I review three of the top real-time search engines (in no particular order), and each has a unique profile that fits certain use cases particularly well.

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New Social Network for Businesses From Salesforce.com

social media reviewsSalesforce is the dominant customer resource management (CRM) system, and according to the company, it’s used by more than 77,000 businesses.

In response to the increasingly social nature of the web and the need for collaboration, Salesforce has introduced a social and collaborative function for its users called “Chatter.”

Similar to a combination of Google Wave, Twitter and Facebook, Chatter allows users to form a community within their business that can be used for secure collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

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Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. MyTown: Which Is Better for Business?

social media toolsYou know the location wars are heating up when a simple search for “Foursquare vs. Gowalla” returns millions of results. And then there’s MyTown.  Which of these is right for your helping your local business?

The two hottest location-based social networks—Foursquare and Gowalla—are taking different approaches to the market, and seeing unique uptake patterns as a result.  While these companies have repeatedly said they don’t view each other as competitors, the activities on networks are similar.

What’s more, several other companies are making the case to be included in the discussion about the top location-based network, including Booyah’s MyTown, which has more users than Foursquare and Gowalla combined.

Let’s take a look at how the location wars are unfolding and which of these services might be ideal for your marketing strategy.

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Top 5 Social Media Myths Debunked

social media toolsAs with any new technology, social media has spawned its share of misconceptions and myths that keep people from interacting.

It’s time to debunk the big myths that are keeping business owners and marketers on the social media sidelines.

Myth #1: My Customers Aren’t on Social Media

Wow, if I had a dollar for every time I heard this one….  Seriously, this myth keeps more businesspeople from interacting with potential customers through social media than any of the others.

The fun part is all you need is a little data to convince people that their target customers are indeed on social networks.

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5 Easy Ways to Drive Social Media Fans to Action

social media how toDo you know how your social media activities are driving offline sales? How many customers came into your store or called for more information after viewing your social media profiles?

Here’s one of the biggest questions for businesses: Will the time they spend interacting on Facebook and Twitter affect their sales? Though they spend the considerable effort necessary to create thriving social media communities, small business owners and marketers often fail to drive floor traffic, inbound calls, store sales, and other offline business success metrics.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Savvy marketers will begin to tie the development of communities on social media networks to increased revenue if they implement a few of these simple steps that make sense for their specific business.

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