Social media is a big subject. If you’re looking for some reliable places to go for the best tips and social media tactics, look no further!

Our second-annual contest generated more than 300 nominations. Our panel of social media experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists, analyzing the quality of their content, the frequency of posts and reader involvement (among other things).

The following are the winners of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs for 2011.

If you’re looking to master all that social media has to offer, these rich blogs need to be at the top of your reading list.

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social media viewpointsHow will social media impact marketers and businesses in 2011? We sought expert opinions from a wide range of pros you’re likely familiar with.

Since we started Social Media Examiner in October 2009, we’ve published more than 280 articles. These original posts were written by dozens of social media professionals.

We decided to tap their knowledge and expertise to see what’s likely coming next year. Here are their predictions for where social media is headed in the next 12 months.

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social media how toPeople who say social media isn’t measurable aren’t looking very hard.

The truth is there are dozens of viable metrics you can use to gauge the success of your social media efforts. The challenge isn’t measurability; it’s knowing which measures are meaningful.

Here are the 6 undervalued social media success metrics you should be tracking:

#1: Daily Story Feedback

Instead of just counting the number of Facebook “likes” you accrue, which signifies nothing more than digital bumper-stickering, track how often your fans click “like” and comment on the status updates you post.

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social media how toUnless you can get people to click your “Like” button, your Facebook strategy will be as limp and lifeless as Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends career.

That’s because the vast majority of consumer Facebook interactions don’t occur on your fan page, but rather in the newsfeeds of your fans. In fact, research from Jeff Widman of Facebook fan page consultancy BrandGlue (and a presenter at Facebook Success Summit) estimates that 199 out of every 200 interactions (99.5%) come from the user’s wall (or newsfeeds). This means that almost nobody is coming back to your fan page after they visit it the first time.

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social media tools

If you use Twitter, chances are you’ve tweeted from a live event.  But there’s so much more Twitter can offer.  In this article, I’ll share three secrets you’ve likely never heard of…

But first, why do you attend offline events? Is it the lunch (invariably chicken and rice)? Maybe the dorky name tag? Or perhaps you’re lured to the junk contained in a $5 laptop bag made in China?

No, no and no. You go to events and conferences for something more than a snack and some SWAG.  You go to learn something and grow your personal network.

And in that regard, Twitter has a starring role.

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social media how toFor many companies, the conversation has shifted from “why” or “should” we do social media, to “where” and “how” social media should be done.

A major component of answering those questions effectively is understanding in which social outposts your customers are concentrated, because there really is no benefit in beating your customers to the punch. Companies should follow, not lead, their customers across the social web.

At conferences, I’m often asked something along these lines: “My boss thinks none of our customers are on Facebook, but I think they are. What do I do?”

Here are 4 ways to find out where your customers are in social media:

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social media how toOne of the hallmarks of social media is content:  creating it, sharing it and engaging with it.

The best content in social media inspires, informs, educates or entertains (and if you’re really lucky, it does all four!).  But how do you create content that goes viral?

What follows are seven strategies you can employ to help your content succeed.

The idea for this post came from Jay Baer’s excellent article on creating reusable social media content, which defined how companies can generate more value by repurposing existing content.

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social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Jay Baer of Convince And Convert. Jay provides social media consulting to leading businesses.

In this video, Jay offers social media tips to help businesses succeed.

You’ll learn why Jay talks of “Noah’s ark” in social media and why Twitter and Facebook are not a social media strategy. He shares a wealth of information. Be sure to see the other takeaways below.

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social media how toWant to expand your Twitter business network?  Looking for a way to get to know someone better before connecting with them outside of Twitter?

Twitter interviews are the answer.   Twitter interviews are simply interviews where the conversation is carried out entirely in tweets. Here’s a few of the benefits of Twitter interviews:

  • You learn more about the people you interview.
  • You show your Twitter audience whom you are interested in connecting with.
  • You give others the opportunity to share more about themselves.

Twitter interviews can be fun for everyone when you do them right.

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