social media how toAre you seeking a bigger Facebook presence, but have a small budget?

You may see your small business efforts on Facebook like David compared to the Goliath presence big businesses enjoy.

There’s a lot that small businesses can learn from the way big businesses approach Facebook, but the separation between your little company and international corporations isn’t as vast as it may sometimes appear.

In this article, I’ll show you six ways you can model your efforts after the successful campaigns run by big businesses, and some ways you can even get a leg up on the big guys.

#1: Have a plan and a strategy

Big businesses have plans for their Facebook endeavors. They’re focused on strategizing, plotting and forecasting. They have goals in mind and they know the hurdles they’re going to have to jump en route to achieving those goals.

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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 case studiesMost of us know Facebook marketing is working when more sales roll in or site traffic grows.

But for Alex Morrissey of JamaicansMusic.com, that moment came when a party in Indonesia ran out of goats.

“We invited 200 people to the launch party, but because we’re on Facebook, 1,000 people came,” he said. “We had enough rice and peas, but we had to get more goats.”

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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 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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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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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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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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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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