One of the big concerns about using social media for business and marketing is time. Social media activities do pose a risk of drawing you in and taking up a huge amount of your day just interacting with people.

Add that the technology is changing all the time.  It can seem impossible to keep up with all the tools, software, techniques, etiquette, and social media best practices.

It’s hardly surprising that people are looking to social media consultants, agencies and contractors to take on their social media activity. But should you? Let’s explore this.

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If you look at most Twitter users’ Favorites, this feature is often completely empty or seldom used. Many people simply don’t know the power of this tiny tool! There are so many creative and useful ways to get mileage out of selecting tweets to favorite (others’ and your own).

With the constant stream (river!) of information rushing by on Twitter, here are five fun ways to capture your favorite tweets and have a way to archive/refer back to them.

First, let’s make sure you know how to favorite tweets, what types of tweets to favorite, and where to find your Favorites URL/RSS Feed:

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Can you see me now?  Yes, seeing faces is really at the core of social media. New tools have recently emerged that allow you to broadcast multiple live talking heads over the Internet.

Here’s the cool part.  They cost next to nothing and allow you to instantly communicate with hundreds of people.  The marketing upside is huge here: quick video chats with groups of prospects, organized events and much more.

We conducted four live multi-guest video broadcasts for the launch of Social Media Examiner. In this article I’ll explain how we did it and share the tools we used so you can do this on your own.

How it Works

Are you launching a product or service?  Looking to create a big social media splash?   A new and powerful marketing idea is live video broadcasts with multiple guests. Think videophones with multiple people who the entire world can see. Then add public chat and integration with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

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Looking to grow your blog following? You might be surprised that the best way to gain a following is to focus on other people’s blogs.

Outreach is key to having a blog that actually works for your business, yet it’s the one element many professionals ignore. And it’s contrary to most competitive thinking because it involves spending time away from your blog.

Done correctly, however, reaching out to other bloggers in your field will actually create more business opportunities, increase traffic to your own blog, and enhance your business brand more than any other tactic you could employ.

Here’s how:

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social media case studies

Imagine marveling at Peru’s Machu Picchu ruins, and a guy nearby asks if you’ll take his picture. But it’s not just him; he’s proudly holding a paper cutout of a smiling tomato.

What, exactly, inspired this traveler to carry a cartoon tomato to one of the wonders of the world?

In a word, fun.

He’s just one of nearly 140 people who vacationed with the tomato, named “Sweetie.” These fans of the restaurant Souplantation, or Sweet Tomatoes in some markets, were enthusiastically participating in the chain’s latest social media promotion, “Where’s Sweetie?”

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Do you know how to use social media to target a global audience?  After all, social media provides a low-cost solution to engage your prospects, customers and partners located in different regions of the world.

As Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, says, “U.S. brands looking to leverage social networks internationally know that while their messages need to stay consistent regardless of the region, the language, cultural reference points, platform and tactics, all need to be tailored for each market.”

He continues, “Whether it is customer service, IT, HR or product development, there are a number of uses for social media. And when you add to that all of our constituents—customers, employees, shareholders, dealers, retirees—it becomes a very complex assignment.”

Here’s a look at a few of the difficulties and how you can overcome them…

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One of the major objections I hear about social media is about time.

Do any of these sound familiar? “Who has time?” “You expect me to do all this on top of my normal duties?” “How do you fit everything in?” … and so on.

I am not going to lie to you. Social media does take time. In fact, time is going to be one of your major hidden costs of doing business on the Internet.  And for some of us, that time could be wasted if we are not careful.

You need to watch where your time goes to ensure you’re spending it efficiently and with the desired impact.  Here are five tips to help you.

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Have you ever wondered, “How do I promote my Facebook fan page?” This article reveals 5 ways to use the power of Facebook to grow your fan base.

Why Do You Need a Facebook Fan Page? You may ask, “Why do I even need a Facebook fan page?” Here’s why: Facebook currently has an Alexa ranking of 2. They are the second most trafficked website next only to Google!

This means your Facebook page will be indexed faster on Google and other search engines, so if you don’t have a fan page, be sure to add one and promote it.

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social media case studiesAvaya can hear you. Maybe you just praised the communications giant online – or took its name in vain. Whatever you said, it’s on the company’s radar.

At a time when businesses are using social media to promote content and start discussions, Avaya has found that listening trumps talking.

“We’re listening to social media and responding,” said Paul Dunay, Avaya’s social media ringleader, who is global managing director of services and social media marketing.

There is no Tweet that goes unturned. No forum post that goes unturned where our name is mentioned.”

What began as a way to engage and support customers has evolved beyond even Avaya’s expectations. And if Avaya ever doubted its investment in social media, those concerns are now put to rest.

A recent quarter-million–dollar sale, which began on Twitter, soundly answered that question.

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