Everyone’s doing it. And when it comes to social media, you should be too. But as a newbie entrepreneur, your plate is already full. How do you navigate the online atmosphere to find out how to best use social media to market your business and which platforms make the most sense? While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, a few general guidelines will help you find your niche.

1. Start With the Most Popular Sites
The most popular social media websites include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Account setup on each platform is simple, but you’ll need to customize content for each one. Be blunt about your expertise on LinkedIn and keep it professional. Facebook allows you to be less formal and more conversational. Here you can elicit consumer feedback with polls and giveaways, for example. Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, use Twitter to post links to articles on your blog or concise snippets of information about your company or product. read more

Most brick-and-mortar business owners have some sort of code of conduct in place for their customers, employees, or perhaps both. Whether it’s something as basic as “shirt and shoes required” or as advanced as a social media community policy, most business owners get the importance of establishing expectations upfront. But are they prepared for the next big battlefield?

Google Glass, in case you’ve been trapped under a rock lately, is a wearable computer that can be worn alone or mounted on glasses, and is capable of taking photos, videos, and supplying the wearer with all kinds of information on the go. While there has been some generally good-natured ribbing of Glass wearers based on the ‘face computer’s” appearance, the real backlash has come from privacy concerns over the photo/video capabilities of the device. read more

Following the redesign of Twitter’s browser layout, the social network has taken a lot of flack for imitating Facebook too closely. Well if you were mad at Twitter for the new layout, get ready to get peeved all over again. The company announced last week that they’ve begun rolling out a new “mute” feature that might remind you of the follow/unfollow button on Facebook that allows users to hide the activity of their friends without having to un-friend them. Because who needs that awkwardness, right? read more

The success or failure of a business depends on a lot of factors, many of which are external to the business itself. Economic conditions, trends, technology – all of these can have a profound effect at any time in a business’ life cycle. And while some businesses are lucky enough to operate relatively unchanged over the years, some models require adaptability.

Such is the case with Foursquare – a relatively mature app in its industry. Foursquare’s social, discovery, and check-in features have garnered it huge success over the years. But as trends, mobile technology, and the competitive landscape  have evolved, Foursquare’s leaders have begun to see a problem in their model. According to a wonderfully in-depth piece on The Verge today, this observation of the fundamental ways in which people are using (and not using) Foursquare’s services has led to a breakthrough – and a brand new app. read more

I don’t know about you, but I find that the weather has a major effect on the enthusiasm with which I tackle my to-do list. Here in Maryland, it’s a pretty gloomy situation out there today. But lucky for me, and for all the procrastinators out there, Mashable has just released a fantastic Procrastinators Playlist to help the motivationally-challenged among us get back to business.

No matter which type of procrastinator you are, it’s almost impossible not to feel a  surge of productivity when listening to tracks like The Final Countdown, I Will Survive, and Man in The Mirror. read more

People in the business world – especially in tech fields – always talk about the importance of being a leader. Sometimes, however, it’s good to be a follower.

A Twitter follower, that is. Twitter is a fantastic and often underused resource for social media and business know-how. Many small business owners follow blogs, websites, and Facebook pages, but don’t think of Twitter as a place for reliable advice. Twitter has two major advantages for busy entrepreneurs though – speed and mobility. Rather than checking your email and all your favorite websites for the latest articles, wouldn’t it be faster to scroll through them all in one place? Twitter’s mobility also means you can multi-task by learning while waiting in line or riding public transit. read more

As we discussed last week, shameless self-promotion is among the Top 10 Most Annoying Facebook Posts. However, there is a way to talk about your company, it’s history, and its people that welcomes users in and increases their likelihood of becoming advocates for your brand.

People follow brands on Facebook hoping to have a more intimate relationship with them than they get through email or website interactions. So why would you post only the information they can find on those platforms? Facebook (and other social media) is a place where you can ‘let your hair down’ and show another side of your business that not everyone gets to see. read more

Ever feel like you have a million ideas for social media content that are all just sort of floating around out there waiting to be forgotten? A great way to get all that clutter out of your head is to use an editorial calendar to plan the content that you will share on your social media profiles and your blog. Not only will it help improve the quality of your content strategy, you’ll feel better too.

What is an editorial calendar?
Wikipedia defines it this way: “An editorial calendar is used by bloggers, publishers, businesses, and groups to control publication of content across different media.” Basically, it’s a repository in which to keep every content idea that you have, all the links and notes associated with it, and a schedule of what to post and when that will make your life easier and your content strategy more…strategic. read more

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