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On June 6, Baltimore mayoral candidate Otis Rolley launched his Online Ambassador program with SocialToaster. Rolley, a regular Twitter and Facebook user, believes in social media as an effective way to connect directly with friends and supporters.
Most people think that social media for business means nothing but marketing.  But social media can play a crucial role in another area: reputation management.  While it’s not pleasant to think about, your business might find itself in the midst of bad press.  If you should ever find yourself in a defensive position, it is not the time to shy away social media.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed: Mashable, along with the United Nations Foundation and 92Y hosted Rio+Social and conversed about saving the planet with social media this week. 
So you want to start a social marketing campaign using the supporters we talked about in our last blog, great! But where should you start? By recruiting your Ambassadors and encouraging their continued engagement. What follows are some helpful tips for recruiting Ambassadors and nurturing your network once it has been established. Build Buzz
Continuing the trend for socially-connected devices, SocialToaster® 4.1 is a true innovation as the world's first kitchen appliance designed from the ground-up to allow you take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. The appliance connects to the Internet via standard WiFi connection, and a simple start-up wizard makes it easy to get online.
One of the most common questions we receive from clients, prospects and even our friends and family is, “Who are these Brand Ambassadors?” The answer is fairly simple, your Brand Ambassadors can be anyone you want!Vagueness aside, to really answer this question it is important to get to highlight the inspiration behind SocialToaster. Our approach to social marketing boils down to two simple beliefs:
While your main goal on social media should be engagement with your audience, there are other great things you can accomplish.  One of those things is ticket sales.  Whether your business is selling tickets to a conference, concert, or championship, here are some ways you can boost those sales using social media. 1. Hold a contest to win free tickets.
Pinterest defines itself as a “Virtual Pinboard” that allows you to organize and share “all the beautiful things you find on the web.” Primarily this means an ability to share photos and graphics.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the value of interesting and engaging content.  Whether it is news that people want to know, contests that get people excited, feedback requests and interaction that create community or just an update that your customers might find interesting, it is all about the content.
Social optimization is all the rage these days, and with good reason.  Businesses are well aware of how valuable social media can be in reaching large audiences, but in general have found the level of effort and number of resources required to successfully execute a social marketing campaign to be daunting and not always feasible.  Solutions that target ways to streamline social media effectiveness are therefore in great demand.
Brian Razzaque, creator and CEO of SocialToaster, will appear on Sirius XM’s “The Mario Armstrong Show” on Wednesday, November 10.  The interview will take place on channel 169 at 5:08 p.m. in the evening, and will involve a discussion about SocialToaster as a unique platform for enabling businesses and organizations to implement an integrated social marketing strategy in a way that can provide proven, measurable results.

We’ve partnered with Social Media Explorer, one of AdAge’s Top 30 Marketing blogs to help you solve your biggest challenges with online retail. We know online retailers are battling with real-time consumer demands, negative online reviews and shopping cart abandonment from busy consumers. Plus, we add in the demands of integrating social media and plates start overflowing. The challenges are real and the solutions aren’t always easy.

Who is responsible for generating revenue at your company? We took SocialToaster on the road to SXSW last month and made many good connections and are actually still following up on many of them (if you haven’t called back yet, we will find you…). Seriously, though, a thought occurred to me during the second half of the exposition/trade show while things were slow and we all started to wander the aisles to talk to other exhibitors. Who is responsible for generating revenue at these companies and any company for that matter?
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed: Breakfasts everywhere went undocumented after violent storms caused Instagram’s server to shut down Saturday.  The photo sharing company informed its users of the outage on their Facebook Fan Page. 
SocialToaster is excited to announce that it has entered into a deal to with a major motion picture to promote it in the social media space.  The film, N-Secure, is a thriller best described as Fatal Attraction meets CSI. The story involves a tragically insecure yet highly successful control freak, David Washington, who turns to murder and manipulation when his relationships swirl out of control.  The film was released on October 15, and is running in theatres nationwide.
In the July 19 edition of Augie Ray’s blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals which appeared on SmartBrief on Social Media.com, Ray proposed that while brands like Dell and P&G can track the return on investment of their social media marketing and financial results, many other brands cannot.
Many companies are working to tie in keyword research within the content creation process to ensure their content is being found on search engines when users are searching for them. This helps to create strategically written content that is designed around top searched keywords. Keyword research can be as simple or as complicated as you make it.  When it comes to keyword research for content, you can make it simple by thinking about it as a way to generate great topic ideas while also ensuring that the right audience will be able to easily find your content on search engines.
Figure 1 Robert Scoble Got This Message on Facebook This Week We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
This blog post is in no way an endorsement of today’s reclamation of the House of Representatives by Republicans. However, all of us can stand to learn from TV Network C-SPAN’s use of social media to get the word out about the transition of power, and use of the social space for the purpose of political engagement.
If you’re not using Google Analytics to its fullest (or not at all) to track your website’s traffic, then you are missing out on crucial information when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.  The following are five important things you can learn with the right Google Analytics setup beyond how many visits your website receives.  
The Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania divisions of Clifton Gunderson, LLP, a nationwide firm of certified public accountants and consultants, is an example of a professional services company that routinely produces Thought Leadership pieces including white papers, webinars, and E-blasts to communicate with its customers.  Yet the company struggles with cutting edge, innovative methods of effectively distributing these ideas to its target audience.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed: Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 along with some Twitter fans. The driver added 4,700 new followers and was mentioned 30,000 times over the weekend.

With 180 languages spoken at the Olympics, misinterpretations of the Latin motto are expected. NBC executives translate it as “Higher, Stronger, tape-delayed.” What has angered audiences further is the network’s frequent spoilers, including an Olympic-sized blunder when, just moments before airing Missy Franklin’s time-delayed win in the 100-meter backstroke, NBC ran a Today show promo which revealed that the athlete had won the gold. Doh!

Last week Twitter announced on its blog that it would be rolling out its own link shortener this summer in an effort to streamline and better track the link sharing process on the social network. This new shortener will also provide transparency in the links sharing system by allowing followers to see where the shortened link will take them and reassure them the links are not malicious or spam.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
Things are very busy here at the SocialToaster offices as our staff prepares to ship out tomorrow for the SXSW Interactive Trade Show in Austin, TX this weekend. For those who don’t know, South by Southwest (SXSW) is a collection of interactive, film and music festivals that take place each spring in Austin. Many of you probably have heard of the music portion of the conference, with performers like The Killers, Willie Nelson, Kings of Leon, and the Black Eyed Peas taking to the stage to perform in years past. 
Over the past few weeks, there has been an epic amount of buzz in the social media world about the many Facebook enhancements announced at F8, the social network’s developer’s summit held on April 21. 
Hi there! You’ve come a long way from having a regular Facebook page. Now that your personal profile is customized and circulating, what’s next?Well...it’s good to build with what you have. If you’ve already laid down the business foundation for your Facebook page, here are a few tips on maintaining your account and moving along.
This has become the big question, right? You’ve worked hard to build an audience on your social channels and now you want to know how you leverage that audience to generate revenue. It’s a real challenge for marketers as executives are demanding to understand the return on investment (ROI) from the social channel. Bazaarvoice reported that 74% of CMO’s predicted they would finally be able to tie social to hard ROI in 2011. Unfortunately, the reality is that many are still trying to figure out where social is impacting the bottom-line.
In a recent post to our social pages we noted that the nation’s largest property and casualty insurer, State Farm launched a Facebook page for its Latino customers called State Farm Latino.  The company recognized that there are 13.5 million Latinos on Facebook, and cited this sizeable number as a key reason for launching the dedicated page.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
(September 10, 2010) SocialToaster, a revolutionary social marketing platform, has been named one of the top 15 finalists for the Greater Baltimore Technology Council’s Hottest Tech in Town competition.  For the designation, SocialToaster, created and developed by VMT, LLC, a top web and software development firm in Baltimore, will be featured at the GBTC’s TechNite on Thursday, October 7th from 5:30 – 830 p.m.   According to the GBTC, being named one of the top 15 finalists is: “quite an accomplishment as we could only select 15 from among the 45+ applications that were submitte
Today we are asking a very interesting question. We are curious as to how much social networking could impact the 2012 election. So we set up a poll to find out. Please vote and share it with your friends so we can see how much social media is going to drive the results of this year's election. Happy voting!
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
Last week, we talked about customizing your personal Facebook page for business. If you’re ready to start promoting, here are a few steps to help spread the word about your business-ready page – and your business!
If you have ever wanted to partner with other businesses and corporations in a major way, then sponsorship may be the route to go.  By inviting sponsors to help with your latest promotions, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship where they help you in exchange for your willingness to introduce them to your audience.  Why You Need Sponsors Why would you consider adding sponsors to your strategy?  Sponsors can help you with the following.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
Our recent attendance at the SXSW Interactive conference was a great reminder of all of the ways you can keep your audience engaged using social media. The folks at SXSW used these tips masterfully, and we used some of them ourselves. Although all business events are not of the scale as a SXSW, we thought we would share them with our audience as you consider your participation in future events. Before the Conference
When we think of Facebook, we think of friends. Games. Vacation photos. But did you know that you can use your personal Facebook page for business?Creating a Facebook page for your company can be useful, but limited in terms of reach and connectivity. If you’ve already tried suggesting your company page to all of your friends and sharing its content on your Wall, here are a few tips on customizing your personal account to share personally and directly with your friends. 
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed: Tiger Woods opted out of his Tuesday Press Conference and held a social media event on his website instead. 
When it comes to social media marketing, one of your goals should not be just to increase Facebook fans and Twitter followers.  It should be to increase targeted Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and other social connections.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
One of the best ways to increase engagement with your brand amongst your fans and followers is through social sharing.  When you make it easy for others to find and share your content, it opens the door for more discussion about and engagement with your brand through the information you provide.  The following are ways you can make social sharing of your content easy so you grow your audience and increase engagement.
It’s a common misconception that for video to be hilarious it must include a bear.
One of the most challenging aspects of using SocialToaster is determining what the text should be for your Ambassador status updates that you create for each piece of content that you are promoting.  Creating a status update is often daunting enough for an individual to figure out for themselves.  In fact, we often hear from our customers' Ambassadors that it is too hard for them to figure out what to say, so they don't say anything at all.
A July 7th article on OPENForum.com, a community of business owners that offers tools to connect and collaborate, poses an all-important question for companies looking to social marketing to bring in top tier leads.  "Is Social Media Failing to Produce Business Leads?" explores an assertion of Andrew Heyward as published in an issue of the Harvard Business Review: "'every company is a media company'" and marketing is shifting to an environment in w
Have you ever wished you could plaster your face on a billboard in Times Square by which thousands of people could travel daily and admire your visage?  Well with Corona’s newest marking strategy, which couples traditional marketing with social media, it could happen as soon as today or tomorrow. 
Coined by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the Booz, Allen & Hamilton magazine, Strategy & Business, the term “Thought leader” is business jargon for an entity that is recognized for having innovative ideas.  A related subject, Thought Leadership Marketing, has emerged as the strategic positioning of a company or brand to differentiate itself from other brands in the area of intellectual property; intangible property that is the result of creativity.
Media companies provide value to their advertisers by helping to get advertiser messaging in front of audiences.  When looking at digital media, advertisers have historically paid for placement on websites that generate a lot of traffic, as well as to be included on email blasts that target a large number of people. The traditional value proposition for such advertising is that:
What if one day soon, there was a fundamental change in the ways in which we get information, making Google no longer the “go to” resource it is now?  Hard to imagine, right? While enjoying my coffee and the ride into work on a cool spring morning, I was listening to my local NPR station. The news story was about a recent change Google had made to their search algorithm.
Yesterday Twitter announced that it will be following in the footsteps of Facebook in terms of restricting third-party advertisements being injected into a user's feed.
While increasing your fans and followers on social networks is a great goal to strive for, your next goal should be to get those fans and followers into your customer database.  This way, you will be able contact them outside of social networks and inside their email inbox.  It is important to prepare yourself in case the social network you spent so much time developing a following on, suddenly falls out of favor. Think about what has happened to MySpace.
Check back frequently for the latest and greatest in all things related to social marketing and SocialToaster!
One of the core goals of most of our customers is to be able to drive brand awareness around their product offerings or services.  One tactic for doing this is to leverage support for an existing brand, and parlaying that into support for a new initiative.  Good examples of companies that do this well come from some of our media clients.
  If you want to increase your engagement with fans through social sharing, then you will want make sure that sharing your message is as easy as possible.  Here are five ways to mobilize your fans to share your message and increase your brand’s reach on the social sphere.   1. Make It Easy to Follow You   In order to share your messages, your fans must be following you to hear it.  Make it easy for your fans to follow you by employing the following.  
You’re a savvy business professional building on years of sales success, and accustomed to driving results by pitching your business and its products to anyone who will listen.  Special offers, deals, and end of season sales are the phrases you use in all your advertising as you try to recruit new customers.  The question is, how do these business tactics translate to your ability to compete in the social media world?
 Area band, Crossfire will perform at B Lounge, a Towson restaurant and entertainment venue, on Tuesday, October 26th during a pre-concert party for Sony Music Entertainment recording artists,
You’re a Thought Leader in your chosen profession who has built a business that has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally by your peers and other colleagues.  You are hitting your profit margins even in this recession, and you are primed for growth.  But where are you in the social space?
You’ve finally created a blog for your business and or product, and you are updating it regularly with hot topics your readers want to know about.  Now what do you do?  Allow your blog posts to exist in cyberspace hoping that someone will stumble upon them, find value and forward them to a friend?
  When it comes to social media, there are a ton of different things that you can measure.  In fact, if you get consumed by the numbers, you could easily spend more time measuring your social media and less time actually being social.  The following are different metrics that can be measured when it comes to social media and tools you can use to gather them. Social Engagement Metrics
Earlier today Twitter's Director of Platform, Ryan Sarver, announced some significant changes to Twitter's Terms of Service.  These changes essentially shut down any service or solution that competes with Twitter in terms of acting as a consumer Twitter client.  Specifically, they are now placing significant constraints on any service providing "a Twitter-like end-user experience."
When it comes to social media, one of the big things is ROI, or how much money am I making through my use of social media.  If you’re using Google Analytics to measure the results of your online marketing campaigns, then you will be able to track the effectiveness of your efforts on social media.  The following are ways to help the bottom line by increasing online sales with social media,  1. Allow Social Sharing of Product Pages
As a business owner, you are probably already aware that prospective employees are trolling your website right now trying to get more information on your open positions.  It is assumed that job seekers often review the corporate websites of companies where they would like to find themselves employed to learn more about a company's corporate culture, mission and vision, and how to sell themselves to the company as their ideal candidate.
Many non-profits have been struggling through this economy and are looking for new ways to increase donations, sign up new members and improve attendance to their fund raising events.  Most use social media in traditional ways to try to boost the participation in any way possible, which usually means setting up fan pages and asking their constituents to share that page with their friends.  Content is posted regularly to keep subscribers updated on the initiatives of the organization and quite often gets lost in the deluge of updates from similar Facebook pages.
  We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed: Last week’s rumor that Salesforce was developing the Social CRM you’ve been waiting for was confirmed this week with a $745 million transaction. 
Our parent company, VMT, recently built the brand new Drupal website for Santé, the annual fundraiser event for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Maryland. This "Epicurean Adventure" brings together exceptional craft beers and wines and pairs them with delicious food from Baltimore's most exciting restaurants.
In these last few days before holiday vacation officially begins, you have probably noticed a steep decline in chatter on your social sites. That's because although they may not be telling you, your customers are probably “checked out.”  While they may be trying to focus on business, in their minds, they are probably sitting by the fireside at their family home in the woods, sipping on spiked egg nog and waiting for a memorable visit from Santa. So what do you do?  The old cliche is true - if you can't beat them, join them.
New York City has played host to some of history’s most spectacular brawls. For most folks, top of mind Manhattan mêlées include Yanks vs Mets in the subway series and the “Fight of the Century” – Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden, and King Kong vs Fay Ray.  Also, the Jets vs. the Giants, the Jets vs the Geese, and Jets vs Sharks.
Before Mitt Romney retroactively retired from Bain Capital, he purchased Domino’s Pizza in September 1998 for $1.1 billion. Romney may have learned at Harvard a fundamental law of economics that fueled his acquisition decision: people like to eat pizza. Over five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year, and each person in America eats about 46 pizza slices annually.
Link building is the process companies use to get incoming links to your website from a variety of web sources.  Because inbound links have been cited as a large piece of the Google algorithm that determines where you rank when people search it has become a large focus for many companies. While there are mixed reports of how much inbound links effects Google results, the bottom line is that every link can help drive more traffic to your website, even if it is only from the original source.
Movies have been made about the larger than life company Facebook and its founders. Twitter is leading the charge into interactive TV.  LinkedIn is the place to be if you are an executive. YouTube is creating its own stars, and there are hundreds if not thousands of other social media outlets where hundreds of millions of people gather every hour of every day to share and be a part of a community. Companies, brands, associations, non-profits and others are racing to ‘be a part of it’ whatever that means.
When evaluating the effectiveness of a TV show's social engagement, a fair proxy is the TV network's tagline. AMC's slogan "Story Matter's Here" suggests a stronger commitment to artistic integrity than Bravo TV's "We film catfights." Both properties offer well-toasted social tools and outposts loaded with content, but the more complex and fascinating characters in Mad Men have a much more compelling pull in recruiting social ambassadors.
Your company is cooking with gas in the social space.  You have 50,000 Likes on Facebook and 10,000 followers on Twitter.  You are engaging your customers in the social space, and many of your Likes and followers seem so interested in the content of your posts, they come back to comment on your page on a regular basis.  Yes, it appears that you may now sit back and relax as life on the social front is going unbelievably well.
We’ve gathered the most relevant, noteworthy, interesting (and sometimes ridiculous) social media stories and tips of the week to keep you in the loop. Here’s what you missed:
One of the top questions that comes up when a marketer is thinking about content, blogging, and social media is how often should they publish content?  How many videos, blog posts, and status updates are really enough?  The answer depends based on the industry.  Here are three steps tfor determining the right content publishing schedule for your online marketing campaign. Step One: Research the Competition

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