Articles on social media topics related to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and social CRM:

Social networking sites have given non-profits an incredible portfolio of free tools to use to boost their public image, garner new volunteers, and raise money. Did I mention they’re free?

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Shopping on social networks is barely in its infancy yet new reports expect social commerce sales to rise 6-fold by 2015 (Booz & Co., Feb 2011). With the sector poised to be a key revenue driver in the coming years, Facebook is ideally positioned as the dominant leader and there’s little reason for businesses to wait to tap into this new B2C channel.

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One of the fantastic things about social networking is that it is still evolving. But it’s not evolving because the social media sites themselves are trying to change in any way, but rather because users behavior is changing and adapting to these new systems. In the social networking landscape, it is not the networks that drive innovation; it is the users who drive the network toward change.

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What’s interesting about the growth of social media is that it has grown largely independent of search engines. That is, social networks have been fairly closed off places for the majority of their existence. That means that all the information and links shared through social networks wasn’t directly boosting your SEO. It was helping boost your brand name recognition and perhaps helping customers find ways to engage with you brand, but it wasn’t helping your Google rank.

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LinkedIn is a resume-based website for business professionals looking to network—or is it?

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Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s ascent to Internet royalty, Facebook isn’t the only social network around. In fact second tier social sites like Tagged, Hi5, BlackPlanet and Bebo receive 3-6 million unique page views every month. Some second tier networks even rival Facebook’s quality; BlackPlanet users spend an average of 3.6 minutes longer on their site than Facebook users spend on Facebook and MyYearbook and Tagged users spent 3 minutes longer on the site than MySpace users on MySpace. Second tier is here.

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Social media integration on websites and blogs is critical today,  serving to broaden reach and engage users. A side effect, however, is that various widgets can easily convolute an otherwise sleek website without giving much in return. Even worse, social media plugins can lure users away to their social networks just when they should be staying put. Enter Wibiya.

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Thanks to some 50 million Americans carrying around smartphones, location based services are among the most prominent applications in today’s social technology sector with players big and small getting in on the action. San Francisco-based PlacePop is one such location based service that focuses on social CRM services through its unique virtual loyalty card iPhone app.

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Social CRM offers a different set of challenges from those related to common IT or CRM projects. In order to achieve success it’s important that people learn and understand these differences enabling them to make decisions for their own organization.

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Google is no longer a search engine; Google’s zeitgeist has permeated very aspect of online life, including social media. To speak to the breadth of Google’s online influence, it is foreseeable that in the very-near future we might all be using Google’s cloud-based Chrome operating system to load our Google Chrome browser to do a Google search or to check our Gmail email, all the while social networking on Google Buzz. Needless to say, Google is an important part of our Internet-based lives.

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