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I bet you only use YouTube when your 10-year-old daughter wants you to watch some cute pet videos, right?

But you would never think of using it to market your business.

If I told you that YouTube has a ‘Science & Technology’ category, a ‘How To’ category, and an ‘Education’ category, can you begin to see the possibilities?

Whether you work for a high-tech company, a hardware store, or a university, you might want to learn more about using YouTube to publicize your operation.

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social media interviews

Have you ever wondered how a business handles more than a million Twitter fans? Want the inside scoop from the largest retailer on Twitter?

Even if you’re a small business, there’s some great insight to be gained from Marla Erwin, Interactive Art Director for Whole Foods Market. Marla was instrumental in creating Whole Foods’ acclaimed social media program and the results have been phenomenal! For example, in the first year, Twitter.com/Wholefoods gained a million Twitter followers. It has now surpassed 1.75 million people.

If you’re not familiar with Whole Foods, it’s the leading natural and organic food store in the world with nearly 300 locations in North America and the United Kingdom.

Whole Foods Market is the most popular retailer on Twitter and is a leading example of Twitter’s power to build millions of relationships a single customer at a time.  Here are key excerpts from our interview (you can listen to the entire exchange at the end of this article).

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Twitter is a networking haven for businesses. But is there an easy way to draw the right people to you with Twitter?

The answer is yes and there’s a great Twitter feature that can help you: Twitter lists.  Twitter lists can grab the interest of people you most want to meet, help you make a great first impression and can help you with marketing segmentation.

Below I’ll show you some unique ways to use Twitter lists.  But first…

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social media researchThere are some interesting studies surfacing lately in the world of social media.  Here’s a summary of three recent research findings covering the benefits of social media marketing, how forums help brands and how businesses are employing social media marketing.

#1: 50% of Small Businesses Say Lead Generation is Biggest Benefit of Social Networking

According to the “Small Business Marketing Forecast 2010” from Ad-ology, lead generation is the biggest benefit of social networking for U.S. small businesses.

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When people hear the word design, they sometimes think only of making something look good, using colors and graphics to add interest. But on the web, and especially on a blog, design has a purpose: to grab readers when they arrive, make it easy for them to get what they want, and create trust through a consistent and professional look.

A well-designed business blog:

  1. Uses visual interest to make posts easy to read
  2. Brands your business in a consistent way
  3. Places useful information in places where it is easy to find
  4. Isn’t cluttered with things that aren’t helping you promote your business
  5. Makes it easy for readers to do what you want them to do

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Are you using Twitter and wondering whether it’s doing anything for your business?

Do you have a strategy? Or do you find yourself haphazardly tweeting at all hours of the day about everything from what you had for breakfast to news in your industry?

If so, you need a tweet plan.

What Is a Tweet Plan?

A tweet plan is a series of scheduled tweets used in conjunction with your real-time tweeting. The tweets in your tweet plan are carefully crafted to target your preferred audience. The result: Every day you consistently brand your Twitter presence and attract the attention of the people you want to reach, providing them useful information.

And because your tweets are evergreen, they can be scheduled in advance. This means you only spend a couple of hours writing and scheduling up to 4 weeks’ worth of tweets at a time.  Here’s how it works:

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social media case studies“Be yourself.”  It’s one of the rules of social media. If you’re blogging, tweeting or Facebooking for business, be real—or you won’t be followed.

Yet, how do you pull off “authentic” while maintaining the company brand message?

It’s tough enough for a small business. What if you’re #2 on Business Week‘s best global brands list, with nearly 400,000 employees across 170 countries?

At IBM, it’s about losing control.

“We don’t have a corporate blog or a corporate Twitter ID because we want the ‘IBMers’ in aggregate to be the corporate blog and the corporate Twitter ID,” says Adam Christensen, social media communications at IBM Corporation.

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Social media is the talk of the planet.  But where do you go to learn the best tips and tactics?  Look no further…

Tons of nominations came in.  Our panel of social media experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists. What follows are the winners of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs for 2010.

If you’re looking to reap the rewards of social media, these rich blogs need to be at the top of your reading list.

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Real-time search is bringing social media to search engines. And that means a whole new dynamic for businesses using the social web.

With Twitter and Facebook updates appearing in Google search results, many businesses are trying to figure if this is good or bad—and what to do next.  Ziff Davis featured this blog post a while back.  It got me thinking about the implications of the real-time web and how businesses can navigate through these rough waters.

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