social media reviewsIt’s time to open up nominations for our 3rd annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest—the blogosphere’s biggest contest for social media blogs.

We’re looking for your nomination for the Top 10 Social Media Blogs. The winners will be promoted in our 120,000-reader newsletter and announced on Social Media Examiner.

How to Nominate

Please make a single nomination of your favorite social media blog by commenting below and including why you like the blog (only your first nomination counts). Be sure to include a link to the blog.

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social media viewpoints*UPDATE: Congratulations to P.J. Jonas of Goat Milk Stuff and Erica Conroy of Coupsmart, the grand-prize and second-prize winners in the Small Biz Dream Contest. All 10 winners won a free pass to Small Biz Success Summit. P.J. also won 3 hours of consulting from John Jantsch. The top winners also won a library of marketing books and John Jantsch’s Complete Small Business Marketing System. Go see the winning entries.*

Do you own a small business?

Would you like to win free private coaching from the world’s foremost small business expert?

A creative photo can get you there.

Social Media Examiner is hosting the “Small Biz Dream Contest.”

The grand prize includes private coaching from John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing) along with free tickets to Small Biz Success Summit 2012.

What is the contest?

It’s fun and simple. You simply take a photo and post it on our special Facebook page. We used Strutta to create a contest that complies with Facebook’s standards.

mike's 2012 dream

This is Mike Stelzner's dream in 2012 (and yes he drew the sign).

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social media viewpointsSmall businesses can stand out in a big way with Facebook. If you’re looking for some creative examples of Facebook pages from the small guys, look no further!

More than 1400 nominations came in from our contest.

Our panel of Facebook experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists, analyzing their landing pages, engagement, reader involvement and creative use of promotions (among other things).

None of these businesses have huge budgets, yet they have all achieved amazing success. The following are the winners of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages for 2011:

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social media reviewsWe received over 1400 nominations for our Top 10 Small Business Facebook Page contest.

The list of 20 finalists is pretty impressive! Take a look for yourself below.

The Judges: Our judges include Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Dave Kerpen (author, Likeable Social Media) and Michael Stelzner (author, Launch).

The Finalists (in alphabetical order)

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social media viewpointsAre you thinking of using social media contests?

Do you understand how the law could impact your activities?

Keep reading to learn more…

Why Legalities?

One of the best ways to grow your business is to give stuff away.

Whether your business is a small enterprise, a website or blog, or a large multinational company, hosting giveaways is sure to increase traffic, awareness and potential new readers or customers.

Sponsoring or hosting a giveaway comes with rules and regulations that many don’t know or understand.

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Social Media Examiner is accepting nominations for its “Top 10 Small Business Facebook Page” contest.

Have you got a favorite small business Facebook page? Keep reading to learn how you can nominate them.

The winners will be promoted in our 94,000-reader newsletter and announced here.

How to Nominate

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social media how toHave you thought about running a social media contest? Wondering how to best measure your return on investment (ROI)?

This article will help with three case studies.

But first, about that ROI… It took some time after the advent of online advertising before marketers started asking, “What are these ‘eyeballs’ worth that I’m paying for?”

With social media, the tough questions around metrics started being asked much sooner. As marketing budgets stay tight, it’s no surprise that the need to show results is high.

So when it comes to contests on the social web, how do we go about evaluating ROI?

Investing in Your Social Media Contest

Before you can demonstrate a return, you must first make an investment!

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social media how toDo you want to build a following? Are you using free stuff to build your brand? Do you want to learn how?

From Lady Gaga to Oreo, brands have been using freebies to build a social media following for years. The details may change, but the approach is still the same—build a following by giving something away.

In this article, I’ll cover five methods to grow your following using freebies.

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social media how toAre you familiar with crowdsourcing? Do you know what the benefits are?

Social media has changed the way businesses engage with consumers—fans and followers don’t want to be told, they want to discover. It’s no longer a one-way (or even a two-way) conversation.

It’s now a multiplayer experience that relies on collective, thoughtful engagement.

Consumers have the tools, time and desire to be involved on a much deeper level than we’ve ever seen before. There are several distinct ways that you can take these ideas and build social media campaigns that use existing tools and technologies to achieve powerful results.

Today, brands big and small are homing in on the tactic of crowdsourcing, defined as the act of outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call. Hidden within this utilitarian definition are powerful cultural drivers that can be catalyzed to achieve powerful social engagement and activation.

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