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Best Social Media Management Tools for Small Business Owners

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Enables users to populate multiple Twitter and Facebook feeds and Facebook pages, as well as Flickr stream, Google Reader, Digg and RSS subscriptions. By Kerry Gorgone, Contributing {grow} Columnist. Entrepreneurs are universally short on time and money. Of course, if you want more versatility (additional profiles, analytics, etc.), some services require premium subscriptions. Tweetdeck.

Ten reasons to blog – even if nobody reads it

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Digg this!  . Building an engaged community through a business blog can be extremely difficult — sometimes impossible. Look at companies like General Electric who do an amazing job with their blog and yet have almost no “community&# or comments at all. There must be some good business reason they do it, right? . There better be. Do your competitors have a blog? Why not use it? 

A fascinating “hardcore” B2B social media success

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Digg this! With many companies now engaged in social media marketing strategies for nearly two years or more, success stories are starting to emerge, even in the difficult marketing world of industrial B2B.  I discovered a great success story to share with you through a masters thesis being developed by Haakon Jenson of Norway. BACKGROUND. Limited marketing budget and employee resources.

Your Social Media Yearbook

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From Digg (the ex-best friend) to LinkedIn (the class president), this thoroughly amusing satire of web 2.0 Graduating from high school is oftentimes a major life milestone, but this hilarious infographic by Flowtown , entitled Social Media High School Class of 2011, takes that iconic landmark and hurls it into the bizarre, crowded and highly competitive realm of Web 2.0 humor

Is social media creating a generation of cowards?

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Digg this! I’ve been asked about my perspective on Malcom Gladwell’s article, “ Small change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted.&#   My take on it may surprise you … and provide uncomfortable reading if you are a parent or social media junkie. Social media and leadership. in the 1960s. Perhaps I am the only blogger around who agrees with Mr. Gladwell. 

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Social media and the big conversation “fail”

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Digg this! I am feeling sad and a bit ashamed of myself. Something happened — a wake-up call about this notion of social media “community&# and “conversation.&# It’s making me pause and reflect on what we’re really all about here on the social web. What I’m about. would have heard the coughing. would have asked her about it. could of, and should of, known.

Social media and the big conversation “fail”

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Digg this! I am feeling sad and a bit ashamed of myself. Something happened — a wake-up call about this notion of social media “community&# and “conversation.&# It’s making me pause and reflect on what we’re really all about here on the social web. What I’m about. would have heard the coughing. would have asked her about it. Twitter is not a conversation.

Get ready. Social scoring will change your life.

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This week, Klout began pulling in Facebook data to get a fuller picture of an individual’s social media footprint and they also have their sights set on LinkedIn, MySpace, Digg, and even Youtube, for future integration. There is an interesting, and perhaps alarming, trend brewing on the social media scene.  People are now curating lists of the most influential bloggers by Klout score.

What is Social Media’s Next Big Thing?

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Digg this! One possible answer:   The Enterprise. No, no. Let’s step back a minute and think about some of the benefits an individual realizes from social networking: Linking people who might not otherwise be linked. Information sharing and education. Crowd-sourced innovation and problem-resolution. Collaboration. Relationship-building through trust and community. Tweet This!

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Ten social media and technology mega-trends to watch

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Digg this! I just read a fascinating (and lengthy!) report from McKinsey on tech-enabled business trends to watch and thought it was important enough to summarize for our community.  Here are some highlights from this excellent report: 1. Crowd-sourcing moves into the mainstream. Wikipedia and a handful of open-source software developers were the pioneers. Knowledge worker productivity.

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The silent majority: Why people don’t comment on your blog

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Digg this! “Why don’t I get comments on my blog?&#. Brian O’Kane and I had a lengthy Skype call on a range of topics, including the fact that most people just don’t feel comfortable commenting … on anything. “Conventional businesses have no way of knowing how many engaged customers they have,&# he said. Engagement outside of the blog. The empty restaurant.

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Small business? THIS is how to work the social web!

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Digg this! Over the past year, some of the most powerful marketing lessons I’ve learned haven’t come from a book, a guru or a webinar. They’ve come from Chandra Michaels. Chandra is an Austin-based entrepreneur and artist who hasn’t just created an audience of customers, friends and followers for her Sugarluxe brand –  She’s created a MOVEMENT. Tweet This!

How to become a Google whore

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Digg this! This week I wrote about my struggles to balance the time needed for SEO with the organic attention I might get through the social web. Through the encouragement of others, I’ve decided I need to get on board with SEO and aggressively populate my posts with key words to drive hoards of people to my blog. Damn how many things can you do to underwear?  I mean really.

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Snooping on Facebook: Not just for stalkers any more

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Digg this! I have one of the world’s best points of brand differentiation — I’m the only business blogger you know old enough to have a daughter-blogger! Lauren is entering her senior year as a journalism major and has been having some intriguing social media experiences. Hope you have all been doing well. But my hiatus is beside the point. The hunt begins. 2,000 entries.

Creating a content marketing plan — without any content

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Digg this! When somebody talks about “content marketing,&# they’re really talking about “content engineering&# — scientifically optimizing documents such as blogs, case studies and white papers to create search engine results and sales leads. This can be an extremely complicated, time-consuming and expensive proposition! LinkedIn forums. Twitter. Comments. Tweet This!

A simple strategy to increase your influence on Twitter

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Digg this! “How do I increase my influence on Twitter?&#. business colleague asked me this question and I figured if it was on his mind, it might be on yours too.  While it remains to be seen if I have actual influence anywhere, I have undoubtedly created substantial, tangible business benefits through Twitter and the social web.  So here’s my strategy. think. Who really knows?

Twitter time-savers: Tweet success in just 20 minutes a day

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Digg this! “How much time should I spend on Twitter?&# is a question I get asked repeatedly. And last week one person upped the game by asking, “But what if I only have 20 minutes a day?&#. OK, I accept the challenge!  The 20-minute challenge for beginners. Twitter is simply boring if you’re only following 12 people and you’ll probably quit. That will come in time.

This is what happens when Barbie joins Twitter

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Digg this! This week Mattel announced a new video Barbie that has a tiny camera embedded in her chest (YouBoob?).  The iconic doll has fully joined the social media movement by leading her fans through a Foursquare scavenger hunt, Facebook puzzles and YouTube adventures.  She even has a Twitter account. Check out her tweet stream: So here I am laying in a pile of naked Barbies again.  Later!

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How to use Twitter to crowd-source creativity

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Digg this! I have a “virtual&# company. Well, it’s a real company, but I don’t have a building and employees and all that traditional stuff. work with a posse of freelancers who might be spread out all over the country. So I have the best of both worlds. Great company, great people, but no worries about payroll and HR issues. You can’t brainstorm by yourself.

The clash of the social media know-nothings

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Digg this! The know-nothings. You know who I’m talking about right?  Social media “marketers&# who have never practiced marketing.  Maybe have never even had a sales job or a college-level marketing class. But they’ve created a Facebook page and have 500 followers on Twitter so somehow that makes them a guru. Enough has been written about that. billion. Every Cash flow.

Twitter success stories: Explaining the ROI of Twitter

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Digg this! Measurement and ROI are constant themes in the social media world.  How do you PROVE the value of Twitter?  Like most questions in business, the answer is, “it depends,&#   but I’d like to offer a couple practical ideas that might help you when this inevitably comes up at your company. First, let’s establish a crucial point. So how do you break the ice?  Balance. 

Three reasons why the “experts” are wrong about social media measurement

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Digg this!  . There is an argument around the blogosphere that is DRIVING ME CRAZY.  . Their point is that you just need to accept the social web as something ubiquitous and necessary, so why worry about it?  . This is lunacy.  Here are three reasons why this “no need to measure&# view is an irresponsible position:  . 1) Never get caught with your stats down  . What do you think? .

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The most powerful leadership lesson I’ve learned

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Digg this! In graduate school I took a class on “Leaders and Leadership&# that I hoped would give me respite from the grind of finance and economics. It turned out to be one of the most interesting classes I ever attended and it set me on life-long study of leaders. When I worked for Alcoa, there was one Group President who seemed to personify the best theoretical aspects of a leader.

Six ideas to build social media momentum

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Digg this! My bike ride started me thinking about the importance of building social media momentum. Here’s what I mean. My wife and I recently completed a lengthy mountain biking adventure.  At the end of the trail, there was quaint yellow cottage offering sandwiches, ice cream and drinks. Hidden farther down the trail was another bistro. What?? You haven’t used Twellow?

An eye-popping integration of digital media

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Digg this! This short video was a total “wow&# for me — and a digital best practice to share with you. The case study shows an inventive way of integrating several digital technologies to engage people in a charitable cause  … people on the street actually interact with a digital projection of a homeless man through text messages. The only thing missing here is results.

Twitter’s Biggest Scams Part 4: The Trump Network

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Digg this! Yes, it’s THAT Trump.  “The Donald&# is actually behind this Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) program.  A key difference between this and the other MLM programs explained this week is that there is an actual product exchanging hands – nutritional aids. They sell vitamins and supplements, which are popular with many other recruiting MLM companies. Part 2:  The teeth whiteners.

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Wait a minute. It’s not about engagement after all!

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Digg this! I’ve been invited to be a presenter on an upcoming B2B Blogging webinar (announcement forthcoming!) so I’ve been studying many company blogs that I regard as best practices.  As I moved from site to site, I noticed something surprising.  There were very few comments.  In fact, there were virtually none.  It was kind of an “a-ha moment.&#. Spread out the workload.

Ten social media problems that drive marketers nuts

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Marketing for producing votes – Users of sites like Digg and Reddit rate links, allowing some to soar and others to languish in obscurity. Digg this! Trying to deliver measurable business results from social media marketing can be frustrating. Converting followers – I have hundreds, perhaps thousands of followers: Now what? The ideas are one thing.  Tweet This!

Hilarious video, serious marketing lessons

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Digg this! I wanted to show you this awesome music video because it’s creative, hilarious and it also reinforces a theme I’ve been writing about over several months … Toyota paid big bucks to produce this YouTube video. It’s not meant for TV. It’s meant for the viral web … and viral it went. Point one: The big guns are pouring on to the social web. And they will dominate. This video is about a minivan. But it is a ton of fun.  Doesn’t it just make you forget all those annoying little Toyota brake problems? Get ready. Seriously. Viva La Twitter. 

The best creativity technique known to mankind

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Digg this! OK, so my headlines tend to be a little sensational sometimes.  Not this one. want to share with you the absolute best, can’t-miss technique for truly breakthrough thinking I have ever used.  That sounds like a cheesy affiliate ad or something, but there’s no catch here. I am simply giving you one of my best leadership ideas. But it gets better. Do this one more time.

Social media measurement: Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand tweets

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Digg this! In all of the posts I’ve read about social media measurement, very few address the possible role of qualitative research — measuring when you don’t have data — so let’s take a look at that today, shall we?  This will not be boring, I promise. These are the facts and figures that get all the headlines. . Story time. Sound familiar? What are your ideas? 

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The NEW “Four P’s” of marketing

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Digg this! Place, product, price and promotion. We all learned these basic marketing principles in college and they still stand up today. But the social web is a true shift in the way we communicate and go to market.  For the first time, mankind has access to real-time, free, instantaneous, two-way, global communication — and the good old marketing mantra needs a little updating. 

Can your website pass the 20 second test?

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Digg this! Twenty seconds. That’s about the amount of time you have to grab a visitor’s attention on your website. To keep them there, you better have something great to say and it better be quick!  There are four messages you need to deliver in those precious moments that will determine whether somebody is a sales lead or a passerby: 1) Graphic impact. Is it buttoned up?

How do you measure a personal brand?

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Digg this! I am so proud and happy to shine a spotlight on Rebecca Denison in today’s Community Week post. She was one of the first true fans of {grow} and one of my first guest bloggers, while she was still a student at UNC. Ideally value equals sales or dollars for most campaigns or projects, but is that really applicable to social media? Not exactly. Probably not. Blog comments.