As the saying goes…if you’re going to do something, do it right.

This tried and true philosophy rings just as true today for any businesses entering into social media marketing.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, it is not uncommon to find the owners and employees wearing many hats — from new business development to accounting to customer service. And now, if they don’t also dawn the social media marketing cap…they’ll be left behind.

According to Maria Veltre, Executive Vice President of Citi’s Small Business Segment…

“While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them.”

Social Media Marketing is more vital than ever for businesses of any size to gain exposure and compete in the marketplace. When a business attempts to undertake this type of marketing themselves, they can set themselves up for failure and summarily dismiss an impactful, powerful marketing tool.
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Writing effectively for online media and social networks is an evolving art.   As print becomes redundant, social media emerges to fill the gap with its short form communication style that is meant to engage non-readers.   There are numerous articles with tips on writing for the web and writing-guides and rules for individual platforms like Twitter and Blogs.   But there is definite dearth of information on the actual process of writing:

OK, so you have set up a Twitter account.   What next? What should you talk about 4 times a day? What language and style should you use? Where do you get the ideas?

Instant messaging. Twittering. Facebook updates, Blog posts, all   provide social platforms for businesses to communicate with their customers in a more informal environment while effectively promoting their cause.   For the social media writer it can be an onerous task to consistently deliver such effective messages   in a conversational style.   Here are some tips on making the process a little easier.

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What are the top five things beginners should know about social media?

The question was asked in one of the social media groups that I belong to on LinkedIn:

“I’m giving a speech for … and would like to know five hot topics you think
beginners would like to know.”

This is a very good question which got a lot of response from many members (me included). Following are some of the more insightful responses:

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If you’re using Twitter as a tool to promote your brand or products, it’s crucial that you write retweetable tweets. The shareability of your message makes it viral and extends the reach of your message beyond your own Twitter followers. The trick is to make sure that the content you are writing provides immediate payoff by entertaining, giving useful information, provoking or sharing experiences that help your followers. If your tweet provides some kind of value and is not another “me-too” , it has a good chance of being passed on. Once it’s passed on, your message gains momentum through a wider audience and increases your influence. If you use your 140 characters wisely you can compel your followers to spread the message and help you develop your following.

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Social media isn’t always the right tool for the job. Not every company needs a blog. YouTube worked for BlendTec, but it might not work for your company. And yet, there’s something to this. Over the last three days, I’ve spoken to four HUGE brands in America that are considering social media for one project or another, and there are many more out there working on how these tools might integrate into their business needs. Here’s a list of 50 ideas (in no particular order) to help move the conversation along.

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