social media toolsAs with any new technology, social media has spawned its share of misconceptions and myths that keep people from interacting.

It’s time to debunk the big myths that are keeping business owners and marketers on the social media sidelines.

Myth #1: My Customers Aren’t on Social Media

Wow, if I had a dollar for every time I heard this one….  Seriously, this myth keeps more businesspeople from interacting with potential customers through social media than any of the others.

The fun part is all you need is a little data to convince people that their target customers are indeed on social networks.

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social media how toSo you’ve set up your social media empire using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and you’re blogging too.

But how do you make it all work together? You want to reach potential clients and establish your authority online, but what’s your plan?

This article delivers five foolproof steps to get you on your way to finding, formulating and distributing content that will get you noticed. Content could include your own blog posts or links to others people’s work posted on your social networks.

#1: Find Your Target Audience.

The first step in social media planning is largely the first step in identifying your brand—determine who you are and who your customers are.

What unique aspect of your product or service attracts your target population?

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social media viewpointsCan ANY company or organization afford NOT to be involved in social media? It’s a fair question and one may argue that it’s a CRITICAL question!

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and others that have just joined the game—and the list goes on and on ad nauseam!

“We already have a website and we get email. Isn’t that enough?”

The words invading our vocabulary are legion… and silly at times: blogs, fans, tweets, diggs, etc. Is this trip really necessary?

PERHAPS NOT. Let’s start by exploring why NOT to participate in social media:

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social media toolsIf you’ve been using Twitter, you’ve likely checked out an app or two to make your Twitter experience more robust, or even just a bit easier.  TweetDeck, Twitpic and Tweetie are all examples of Twitter apps.

What if I told you there was a magical place that could easily be your one-stop shop for all your Twitter needs? Yes, this place really does exist. It’s called OneForty.com, the Twitter equivalent of the Apple App Store.

Twitter Still Rocks for Businesses

Before I jump in to tell you about all the benefits of OneForty, I want to point out that in recent months two reports have surfaced that show Twitter being the #1 choice of all social sites for professionals.

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social media case studiesPicturesque Lake Arrowhead, just 90 miles east of Los Angeles, has long been a peaceful refuge for celebrities, film executives and families. More than 120 movie studios have filmed here and the area hosts several big-draw events every year.

Yet the lake community does NOT have a rock-star budget.

With a small percentage of county tax dollars, the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce must support two visitor centers, multiple events and promotion for the area.

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social media how toIt’s been said visibility equals opportunity.

No matter how great your product, service or business is, if your prospective customer can’t find you on the web, it’s like you don’t exist.

As you know, anyone who has access to the Internet (at last count, there were 1.8 billion people), uses it to find solutions to their problems.

Here’s a three-step formula to get you started creating a visible presence on the web, resulting in more opportunities for your business: leads, prospects, sales, media queries, speaking gigs and joint ventures.

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social media toolsMany people feel that Twitter is only a sales broadcasting platform, but I’m sure that you’ve heard of the positive causes that have been spread via Twitter as well.

The best way to keep Twitter a valuable, viable channel is to emphasize the social aspect, and one important way to do this is to show appreciation for your Twitter friends using lists. I’ll discuss 4 easy methods below.

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social media how to articleTwitter marketing is on the edge of going mainstream, and although much of the market doesn’t quite accept it yet, the truth is that it’s coming, and now is the time to get in on the action.

I began as a direct marketer, doing business face-to-face at a kitchen table with a phone call and a handshake. Back then, getting customers was tough work. These days, they are all over, just waiting to be found.

On any given day, there are millions of people looking for something on Twitter, be it a cup of coffee, a snack, a nice book to read, or just something to help them pass the time.

Add the fact that smartphones and other mobile devices have given the average consumer the means not only to find what they want online, but also to talk about it, and you’ve got the perfect situation for finding new customers.

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social media case studiesWhen it comes to social media, it takes a lot to impress Amy Korin.

Her resume includes digital strategy for global companies like Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Sun Microsystems and Zappos.

But her local Domino’s Pizza joint left her “completely shocked.”

On a rainy Sunday night, her Domino’s Pizza order took an hour to arrive and then was the wrong pizza. She turned to Twitter to vent: “hardly any room for human error, but still a mistake.”

What followed went way beyond the mea culpa tweet increasingly more common in business today.

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