The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Social Media

Adding social media to your marketing strategy isn’t just an option anymore, it’s a necessity for most businesses. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Churchill Downs and even presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama are all using social media to promote their brand.

“Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words and pictures. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning, as people share their stories, and understandings.” (Wikipedia)

Here is a list of resources to get you started as you integrate social media into your business strategy.

Creating Conversations in Social Circles: A basic overview of the effectiveness of social media and the power of converting marketers thinking about creating a conversation strategies as opposed to communications strategies for their brands.

Basics of Social Media: Consumers have always found ways to share their thoughts and feelings about the products and services they’ve purchased and used. However, the emergence of inexpensive devices and software that allow consumers to easily capture, create, distribute and share those thoughts and feelings has dramatically changed the equation.

15 Fundamental Truths About Social Media Marketing: These fifteen important truths are vital to building foundation to engaging in social media.

The power of social media is that there are new platforms being built on a daily basis. The tools listed below will help you launch into the social media arena.

LinkedIn: This is the premier tool to use in business social networking. This is the first place to start.

MySpace/Facebook: MySpace and Facebook are no longer the gather place for teens. Companies are using these platforms to reach a targeted audience.

Twitter: A simple way to converse, connect and promote in 140 characters or less.

YouTube: It’s a great place to share videos online. Innovative minds are using this platform for far greater things than bike crashes and blood curling wanna-be singers.

Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Mixx: These platforms are community based news sharing opportunities. These tools are great to discover what certain niches are reading and exploring.

Flickr: A picture is worth a thousand words. By sharing photos it allows others to connect with you and your business as a community member rather than just a customer.

Wikipedia: A great example of a social media site, Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project that is written by volunteers.

WordPress/Typepad/Blogger: Blogging software that you can use to begin developing content as well as starting two way conversations.

Profilactic/FriendFeed: These tools are ideal for using as an lifestreaming platform that can link together just about everything that is being created online.

BlogTalkRadio/Talkshoe: Phone based applications that are being used by many to launch into the world of podcasting.

PRWeb: This is the leader for press release distribution service for small and medium-sized businesses and corporate communications.

Don’t let the tools trip you up, it’s all about engaging a community. Sit down and map out a strategy that you and your business can use make social media work for you. Don’t hesitate to become a part of the conversation today.

Written by Jeff Springer

Jeff Spring is the Finance & Markets Editor at He's currently spending his days backpacking across Europe. While he may be living outside of the United States, he stays connected to American financial markets and M&A's more than is probably healthy for any single person. His love of a good book and a Bloomberg terminal can't be understated.