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RISMEDIA, November 8, 2010—The explosion of the Web and social media is the fastest change in human history. No longer are people passively listening and viewing advertisements; now they are “tweeting” and posting their opinions on Facebook and other social media sites. For small businesses, social media’s ever-emerging presence is a dramatic game-changer that can have a big impact on their bottom line.

“The stats document a revolution. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; one in six higher education students enrolled in an online course; YouTube became the second largest search engine in the world and about 80% of companies use LinkedIn to find employees,” states Mitch Meyerson, author of Success Secrets of The Social Media Marketing Superstars. “Businesses can’t afford to ignore the rise of social media marketing.”

Meyerson offers these tips for maximizing social media success:

1. Begin Strategically with Your End Result in Mind
The use of social media is definitely on the rise and it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are jumping on board to become “social” businesses. To use social media and make a profit, though, you need to know exactly why you’re using it. What are you hoping to accomplish with social media? Do you want to connect with prospects, develop conversations, build your brand, build your mailing list, or generate revenue? Perhaps you want to do all of these things. Which is the most important for your company and how will you manage your efforts?

2. Build the Human Connection
At the other end of every social media conversation is a person just like you. They have specific concerns, hopes and dreams that affect their daily lives.

Listen to what they are saying, be empathetic and build bonds. Examples of this include acknowledging personal details, such as birthdays or providing warm introductions to likeminded friends and colleagues.

3. Track and Measure Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
To reach your goals, it is essential that you monitor the progress of your social media marketing efforts. You can most quickly improve what you measure.

If your goal is to measure traffic, sales or SEO ranking, here are some other free tools that can help:
• Google Analytics and are essential, free tools to help analyze your company’s web site or blog traffic, subscriber count, keyword optimization, as well as additional trends.
• allows you to shorten your links and track the click-throughs.
• compares rankings and other information on up to three websites at a time.
• is great for adding a URL and receiving a load of useful statistics ranging from search engine optimization (SEO) to social bookmarking and more.