Social Gaming: A Review of Empire Avenue

social media reviewsWhen someone brings up social gaming, a few things may pop into your head: Angry Birds, Mafia Wars, Farmville…

What if social gaming wasn’t all about beating levels, planting crops or killing bosses? What if the players were real and their actions drove your success or failure? If that were ever the case, the social game you come up with might be called Empire Avenue.

Empire Avenue is a social game where you can buy stock in real people whose values rise and fall depending on their interaction. Think Klout meets SimCity.

empire avenue

Buy virtual shares in your favorite people on Empire Avenue.

While the idea of buying ownership in people originally gave me pause, I noticed that a TON of people were absolutely raving about Empire Avenue, so I decided to dig in and set up an account for myself.

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How to Create Your Own Social Networking Community

social media how toIf you have a medium- to large-sized online network, you might have noticed some of your contacts have been developing their own communities in the form of private groups, forums or social networks that are a mixture of free or paid memberships.

The Pros of Creating Your Own Community

So with all of the existing communities out there, what’s the benefit of creating your own?

Driving Traffic to Your Site – Let’s say that you start a forum on your own domain. If you’re successful in creating a popular community, you’ll be driving a lot of traffic to your website. The traffic, in turn, will lead to the next benefit.

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5 Ways to Use Social Data to Grow Your Business

social media how toAre you tapping the social media data stream? Inside that river of data lives great insight that can give your business an edge.

Social media allows you to match data generated by social interactions with individual’s preferences and general interests. This creates useful profiles that give marketers insight into how to tailor future offers and products to their customer base.

In this article I’ll show you five ways to use the data generated by your social network profiles—and those of your competitors—to expand your reach and sales.

#1: Listening Data

Nearly every social media plan tells you to begin by “listening,” but what are you listening for? Monitoring news related to your local business environment and industry can give you a sense of the conversation around your products or services, but social listening allows you to expand this information and make it more relevant.

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Is HootSuite Pro a Smart Investment?

social media toolsHave you been wondering what’s so great about HootSuite’s new freemium model? Are you wondering if it’s worth the investment? Are you upset about having to pay for something that used to be free?

HootSuite just announced that they’ve passed their millionth user at the end of November, so it’s time to take a deep dive to see what HootSuite is doing and how it’s going to impact the social media space. Here’s a review of the latest and greatest with HootSuite’s new freemium service model.

Last fall, HootSuite announced that they were changing their business model to offer new “premium” services for business customers. All HootSuite users received a message asking them to choose a plan when they attempted to log in for the first time after the change.

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What Your Business Needs to Know About Social Graphs

social media toolsAre you familiar with the term social graph? Can you easily describe what one is, and better yet, why they’re significant to the marketing of your business on the social web?

Understanding the concept of social graphs will not only enhance your proficiency with social media marketing today, it will also help you foresee emerging trends. This will significantly help you be fully prepared when new web technologies are launched.

The term social graph was first used a few years ago by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, specifically in reference to the Facebook platform. Your social graph is a digital map of your personal identity, your primary Facebook friends and everything you share with them.

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3 Ways to Close the Gap Between Social Media and Direct Response

social media viewpointsDoes the phrase direct marketer conjure up sleazy images? If you thought yes, you’re not alone.

Both social media marketing and direct response marketing place a focused pitch on the right list (prospects) and understanding what they want in order to engage them with relevant information that will get them to buy from you.

So why are social media and direct response considered mutually exclusive?

Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, put a stake into the hearts of social media “purists” when he said, “Those making the most money with social media marketing today are doing so by turning it into direct-response 2.0.”

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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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How to Control Your Privacy With Foursquare and Other Geoloaction Services

social media toolsGeolocation is one of the hottest trends in social networking today. Users enjoy connecting with friends at nearby locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the opportunity to tie their brick-and-mortar locations to their online marketing.

In addition to the main local social networking applications—Foursquare and GowallaGoogle, Facebook and Twitter have added geolocation features to their services to tap into this trend.

As users provide more information about their location, serious privacy implications are beginning to surface. For instance, a Webroot study released in July 2010 found that more than half of survey respondents who used geolocation services were worried their privacy was at risk.

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7 Twitter Strategies for Growing a Great Following

social media how to

You’re likely on Twitter. But are you connecting with the right people? Do you want to build a quality Twitter following? If so, keep reading.

In this post we will explore sometimes obvious, yet seldom implemented, techniques of building a following on Twitter as well as few methodologies you may have not considered but should find quite useful.

The inspiration for this post came from the book Twitter Power by Joel Comm.

Let’s get started.

#1: Look for people you already know

This one is a no-brainer but it often goes unexecuted.

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