Small Businesses Benefit Most From Social Media, Study Reveals

social media researchDo you wonder if you have what it takes to compete in the social media marketplace? Who, after all, has the time or the budget to mimic Disney or Starbucks? Certainly not a small business!

Well, maybe that’s the wrong set of questions.

In fact, the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report has some good news for small business marketers. Small business owners are seeing the greatest results from social media marketing.

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7 Growing Social Bookmarking Sites Worth Exploration

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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Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. MyTown: Which Is Better for Business?

social media toolsYou know the location wars are heating up when a simple search for “Foursquare vs. Gowalla” returns millions of results. And then there’s MyTown.  Which of these is right for your helping your local business?

The two hottest location-based social networks—Foursquare and Gowalla—are taking different approaches to the market, and seeing unique uptake patterns as a result.  While these companies have repeatedly said they don’t view each other as competitors, the activities on networks are similar.

What’s more, several other companies are making the case to be included in the discussion about the top location-based network, including Booyah’s MyTown, which has more users than Foursquare and Gowalla combined.

Let’s take a look at how the location wars are unfolding and which of these services might be ideal for your marketing strategy.

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5 Easy Ways to Drive Social Media Fans to Action

social media how toDo you know how your social media activities are driving offline sales? How many customers came into your store or called for more information after viewing your social media profiles?

Here’s one of the biggest questions for businesses: Will the time they spend interacting on Facebook and Twitter affect their sales? Though they spend the considerable effort necessary to create thriving social media communities, small business owners and marketers often fail to drive floor traffic, inbound calls, store sales, and other offline business success metrics.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Savvy marketers will begin to tie the development of communities on social media networks to increased revenue if they implement a few of these simple steps that make sense for their specific business.

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Why Foursquare Drives Business: What You Need to Know

social media how toFor the first time in history, the Internet is focusing in on local business in a major way. And Foursquare is leading the trend.

Instead of competing in a “global marketplace,” local business owners now have access to geotagging, local search, and location-based services. All of which make the Internet more useful to small business than it has ever been before.

Imagine being a hotel owner with several rooms available at 8 o’clock one evening. You know there are a couple of big events happening in town and people are going to be looking for rooms to “sleep it off.” Because of location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla, you can now advertise a special for those rooms to people who are close enough to take advantage of it.

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5 Small Business Tips for Social Media Success

social media how toBy now, you have probably heard the success stories of companies like Dell and Starbucks, which have created hugely successful social media presences that serve millions of fans and generate millions of dollars of revenue.  The only problem is, your small business doesn’t have 1/1000th of the brand recognition these companies have.  You run a solid small business that is well known in your niche or your region, but not beyond.

How can social networks become useful marketing and operations tools for smaller businesses that don’t have a large customer base?

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3 New Studies Prove Social Media Marketing Growth

social media researchSocial media networks are fields of dreams for marketers.  With over 500 million active users on Facebook today, there’s no doubt that Facebook is a social media powerhouse.  And although Facebook is a social networking favorite, it’s not alone.

Marketers are taking note of many different social media opportunities and beginning to implement new social initiatives at a higher rate than ever before. Here are 3 new studies that show social media is still on the rise:

#1: Small Business Doubles Social Media Adoption

One positive result from the economic downturn is the rapid growth of social media marketing.

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Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn

Did you join LinkedIn because someone you know invited you and you didn’t want to hurt his or her feelings, but now you’re wondering why you did it?

Guess what? If you wrinkle your nose in disgust when someone mentions “social media,” LinkedIn is for you!

Because LinkedIn is not like MySpace and Facebook. It’s not where teenagers post pictures of their high school prom or their latest beach party.

LinkedIn was built for professionals who want to use their existing and future social networks to build a career. And for companies that want to find qualified employees. And for job-hunters.

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3 New Studies Show Value of Social Media & Businesses Slow Response

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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