Monday, May 16, 2011

73 Essential Social Media & Tech Resources for Small Businesses





As a small business owner, your time is limited. Each week we put together a roundup of essential social media resources to help you stay on top.
We wanted to give you even more of a leg up with this megalist of our top small business resources from the past few months, including social media, tech, startups, marketing & advertising, dev & design and mobile posts that were written with small business in mind.
Of course, if you’re still hungry for more business resources, you can follow Mashable‘s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Happy reading!

Social Media


§ HOW TO: Poll Consumers on Facebook
We collected some simple ways to poll your consumers on Facebook, as well as a mini-list of best practices.
§ HOW TO: Set Up a Foursquare Special
There are now seven types of specials available on Foursquare — here’s an explanation of each special, along with some tips to help you get started.
§ 10 Proven Strategies for Greater Likeability on Facebook
Here are 10 universal laws for brand likeability in social media.
§ HOW TO: Get Your Employees On Board With Your Social Media Policy
It’s not an easy job to help people reconcile their public and private lives on social media, and it all comes down to training, mentorship, and establishing guidelines and best practices. Here are some tips.
§ 5 Best Practices for Travel & Tourism Brands on Facebook
Best practices for travel and tourism brands on Facebook — borrowed from the big players in the industry — that will help you attract gadling jetsetters and secure more reservations.
§ HOW TO: Create a Group Tumblr Blog
Want to set up a company blog that contributors can post to from multiple accounts? Want to use a password-protected Tumblr internally? Here we show you how.
§ 5 Tips for Closing a Sale on Facebook
How can you maximize the social network to close sales for your own business? Here are five tips to help you design a Facebook presence that makes buying your products more desirable and easy.
§ 14 Best Practices for Long-Term Social Media Success
Following these best practices will prevent your brand from falling victim to the coming wave of customer unlikes and unfollows. But more importantly, focusing social channels and investing in the value of each will improve the customer experience and encourage greater engagement.
§ HOW TO: Start Marketing on Foursquare
The most recent iteration of the location-based app, Foursquare 3.0, expanded the features and made it much easier for businesses to jump on the bandwagon and start marketing. Get started here.
§ HOW TO: Get Started With Photo Blogging
We consume so much content in our digital lives, it seems we’ve developed a need for it to be presented in the simplest, most efficient way possible. Enter: the photo blog.
§ Social Media for Small Businesses: 6 Effective Strategies
Many small business owners are either too busy for social media, or they don’t truly understand Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter. So they choose to delegate these tools to interns or specialists. This may not always be in the best interest of the company.
§ How Tasti D-Lite Has Raised the Bar for Social Media Success
Frozen dessert shop Tasti D-Lite has been heating up the social space over the past few years, introducing a series of innovative digital programs and campaigns. We spoke with Chief Marketing Officer Bill Zinke to get a taste for what the company is up to lately and what digital and social projects it’s working on next.
§ How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media for Customer Service [INTERVIEW]
Customer relationship management isn’t just the domain of big brands, and these days, more and more companies are offering free online tools to make it easier for SMBs to keep track of and reach out to their customers.
§ HOW TO: Start Marketing With HootSuite
As social media increasingly becomes optimized for brands, marketers are finding themselves juggling multiple accounts across a variety of networks. With so many statuses to update and so little time, keeping yourself organized is key.
§ 5 YouTube Marketing Tips for Better Engagement
In addition to its incredible success as the de facto portal for video uploads and viewing, YouTube is itself a community. For brands, it provides an additional viable opportunities to spark discussion with followers. It’s a place to build relationships and create a space for users to converse with each other about branded content.
§ 5 Tips for Recruiting College Students via Social Media
More and more companies are recognizing the value of social media in building their employer brand in the minds of college students. From the Department of State (@DOScareers) to Google (@GoogleStudents) to MTV (@MTVNetworksJobs), organizations across many industries are taking to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs to enhance their image and build a pipeline of talent from college campuses.
§ HOW TO: Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Website
For many sites, adding social sharing buttons is a simple and effective way to quickly boost pageviews and sharing stats. Unfortunately, it can also be a way to clutter up your pages, confuse your users, and cause massive bugs and layout issues. Here’s a quick guide to best practices for adding social sharing buttons to your site or blog.
§ Should You Outsource Your Social Media Efforts?
Hiring a social media consultant may not be as straightforward as hiring other types of professional service providers, such as a web designer or an accountant. Here are four questions to consider when deciding whether to outsource your social media.
§ How The Pros Measure Social Media Marketing Success
The notion that marketing costs can’t always be understood is an ancient one. John Wanamaker, a department store mogul who died in 1922, once mused, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Here are some tips to help you figure it out.
§ HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Facebook and Twitter Promotions
As social media has worked its way into every aspect of our lives, we as a culture have come to expect that our favorite brands — from “Big Gay Ice Cream” trucks to national airlines and fashion houses — are easily accessible on the most popular social networks.
§ 9 Digital Marketing Lessons From Top Social Brands
Big brands have already blazed trails in the digital marketing world. We spoke to social media and marketing experts at MTV, American Express, Xbox, NBA and AT&T to get the scoop on how they learned to hit the mark.
§ HOW TO: Use Facebook Social Plugins on Your Website
One of the easiest ways to make your online presence more social is by adding Facebook social plugins to your website. There are many different Facebook social plugins to choose from — here are four of the top plugins for business and tips on how and when to use them.
§ How Businesses Can Survive a Product Recall Using Social Media
These five tips will help companies maximize the potential of social media to protect consumers and their brands in the midst of any product recall situation.
§ HOW TO: Avoid and Prevent Facebook Spam
Facebook is doing a lot to help curb app-generated spam, with platform spam down 95% in 2010, but no automated system is perfect. Here are some tips to reduce the amount of spam that you see on Facebook — and avoid contributing to the problem yourself.
§ 6 Common Email Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make
For small businesses, email still represents a cheap, effective way to establish or maintain a relationship with clients. But the content has the power to either attract or repel — check out these tips before you hit “send.”
§ HOW TO: Launch Any Product Using Social Media
Guy Kawasaki shares 12 things he did to launch his new book, including information about costs, vendors and analytics.
§ 5 Excellent Small Business Blogs To Learn From
Here are five small businesses that are using a blog to reach local communities and showcase the company’s experience and expertise. We’ve outlined exactly what they’re doing right as a guide for other small businesses to improve their own blogging activities.
§ 10 Tips for Posting on Your Brand’s Facebook Page
Once your brand is on Facebook, the question becomes: How you engage those fans and sustain a meaningful online dialogue with your customers?
§ Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Company Blog
Corporate websites are often little more than interactive brochures that display basic information and describe what the business offers. But if you’re looking to do more, then a company blog is a much better choice.
§ 5 Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Social Media
As the recent foibles of Aflac, Chrysler and Kenneth Cole and others demonstrate, keeping an up-to-date, 24/7 presence on social media has its risks. A bigger risk though, is to ignore social media. So what is a brand to do?
§ The Pros and Cons Of Tumblr For Small Business
More and more businesses have been getting hip to social blogging platform Tumblr, which may have you wondering, “Should I be on Tumblr, too?”