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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social media how toAre you planning to run a social media contest (like this one)?

Today it’s possible for anyone to achieve success engaging consumers online, thanks to the growing popularity and relative ease of execution of social media promotions.

The fact that anyone can run a promotion doesn’t mean that everyone should, and it certainly doesn’t mean that a promotion guarantees social media success. However, if executed as part of a comprehensive social media strategy, social media contests can produce tremendous results no matter how large or small your business.

So if you’re thinking of running a contest or sweepstakes, here are some key considerations.

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social media case studiesWashington Redskins fans are some of the most devoted when it comes to supporting their team, donning full Native American headdresses, painted faces and hog noses.

These loyal fans now have an arguably easier way of showing their support—and connecting with each other—through Foursquare.

In a pilot for the 2010 football season, the NFL team rolled out Foursquare as a way to reward fans for attending home games or rallies during out-of-town games.

The results beat expectations. By December, Redskins fans had logged more than 20,000 check-ins at the home stadium FedExField and tens of thousands more at venues across the D.C. metro area.

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It’s time to open up nominations for our 2nd annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest—the blogosphere’s biggest contest for social media blogs.

I’m looking for your nomination for the Top 10 Social Media Blogs. The winners will be promoted in our 48,000-reader newsletter and announced here.

How to Nominate

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

To make the cut, a blog must be nominated more than onceMake your nomination by 1/5/2011.

The Judges: Our judges include David Armano (Edelman), Debbie Weil (author, The Corporate Blogging Book) and Rick Calvert (CEO, BlogWorld).

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social media how toAre you looking for fresh ideas to enhance your Facebook efforts? Do you ever have days when you’re not sure what to post on your Facebook page?

This can be a real problem if you’ve made Facebook updates an integral part of your communications strategy.

These are the times when having a ready-and-waiting list of Facebook ideas will come in handy. In this post I’ll show you 26 practical ways to use good content for your Facebook pages, everything from A to Z.

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social media case studiesIce cream has always been social. But Cold Stone Creamery has found a way to make it even more so—with Facebook.

The American ice cream retailer, known for pounding and slapping customized creations on a “cold stone,” has long been a favorite of ice cream lovers – enthusiasm that has helped churn out 1,459 locations in the U.S. and 16 countries.

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social media how toSocial Media Examiner is officially one year old today!

In honor of this special day, I would like to help you grow your blog by sharing some tips we have learned over our last 12 months of explosive growth.

Before I share my tips, I would like to reveal the name of our mascot…

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social media examiner's little dudeWhen you’re a new parent, you have a name all picked out for your little bundle of joy, right?

But we never got around to giving our mascot a name. And his first birthday is just around the corner! And that’s where you come in…

Would you help us name our mascot? We affectionately call him “the little dude” around the Social Media Examiner offices. We want to make this fun, so we’ve got some great prizes we’ll give away to the readers who come up with the best names. See below for details.

The Dude’s Wild Ride

It’s hard to believe that Social Media Examiner is not yet even a year old! With the help of outstanding writers and a brilliant reader base (yep, that’s you!), we’ve achieved a lot.

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Wow!  We received over 150 nominations for our Top 10 Social Media Blogs for 2010 contest!

There are some real gems among these 21 finalists. Our judges Scott Monty (Ford), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs) and David Meerman Scott (author New Rules of Marketing and PR) are finishing up their reviews of these sites.


The judges

Here are the finalists:

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