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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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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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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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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