social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Liz Strauss, founder and business strategist at SOBCon.

Liz shares why businesses need a community to exist today and what you need to know to successfully build one to develop your business.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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social media reviewsAre you curious what small businesses are doing to achieve success with social media marketing? Look no further.

This article highlights nine small businesses of various sizes and industries that have transformed their online presence with innovative social media marketing practices.

You’re guaranteed to find inspiration for your social media marketing efforts here.

These tactics will work for just about any business—from solopreneur to multi-employee manufacturer. So let’s dive in!

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social media case studiesJust over two years ago, Ana White wasn’t quite sure what a blog was.

Today, she runs her own rapidly growing destination, drawing nearly three million page views every month.

Successful professional bloggers aren’t hard to find, but a few things are remarkable about White’s success:

  1. She writes a do-it-yourself carpentry blog. With White’s help, droves of women are discovering they can build beautiful, stylish things.
  2. She started with dial-up Internet and does it all from her home in the Alaskan interior (where record-smashing temps recently hit -40° F).
  3. White succeeded accidentally. She never expected that simply sharing what she loves could support her entire family.

This self-described “homemaker” has an innate knack not only for woodworking but for business as well.

Turns out, this blog Cinderella tale is all about sharing your personal story. Oh, and relentless blogging.

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social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Mark Yolton, senior vice president of the SAP Community Network.

Mark shares how SAP’s community of 2 million members from 200 countries is organized around business roles (such as developers, IT professionals and business process experts) to better engage with customers.

You’ll find out how SAP puts together content focused on specific needs to build their community. Listen to the tips to learn how you can get customers to participate in your community.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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social media how toAre you considering building an online community? In order to build a strong community, there are a few key factors every business should take into consideration.

This article will assist you in gathering the building blocks for a strong online community.

#1: Know Your Audience

Every business should begin its focus on its audience, the customers. No online community can exist without a firm foundation and if your online community is to truly succeed, you need to know the demographics of your target audience.

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social media how toDo you want to grow your blog? Are you looking for new ways to attract and retain more readers? We asked the finalists of our Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest for their best tips on how to grow your list of blog subscribers.

Here are their best tips. I think you’ll agree there are some excellent ideas here.

#1: Be Active in Other Communities First

Here’s what Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation and the blog at Twist Image, recommends:

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social media toolsAre you considering using Quora? Has all the buzz got you wondering if it’s worth it? Keep reading for my full review.

When I first heard about Quora, the conversation went a little like this:

Jill: “Have you heard of Quora? It’s a question and answer site.”
Jack: “You mean like Yahoo Answers?”
Jill: “No, it’s full of experts who give you the best answers.”
Jack: “You mean like LinkedIn Answers?”
Jill: “No, the community votes for the best answer and they can hide irrelevant answers.”

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social media how toIf you have a medium- to large-sized online network, you might have noticed some of your contacts have been developing their own communities in the form of private groups, forums or social networks that are a mixture of free or paid memberships.

The Pros of Creating Your Own Community

So with all of the existing communities out there, what’s the benefit of creating your own?

Driving Traffic to Your Site – Let’s say that you start a forum on your own domain. If you’re successful in creating a popular community, you’ll be driving a lot of traffic to your website. The traffic, in turn, will lead to the next benefit.

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social media toolsWhen you think of social bookmarking, big names like Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious likely come to mind first. But are these the only ones you should focus on?

Depending on your niche or industry, you may find that channeling all of your energy into broad social bookmarking networks that cover almost every topic imaginable may not benefit you.

Instead of targeting networks that only have a percentage of users interested in your topic, why not find a network whose members and visitors are 100% interested in your niche?

The following are popular niche social bookmarking networks for bloggers, business professionals, developers and designers.

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