Social Media Websites You Need to Know as a Business
Collected by Martin Brossman – (919) 847-4757 Facebook: http://BrossmanOnFB.com

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org c2010 Wicipedia with exception of the inSideAreaCodes write up by Martin Brossman.  All these sites offer full service free levels of membership.

Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies  to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”[1] Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media utilization is believed[who?] to be a driving force in defining the current time period as the Attention Age[citation needed]. A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

is a social network service and website launched in February 2004 that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.[1] As of July 2010[update] Facebook has more than 500 million active users,[6] which is about one person for every fourteen in the world.[7][N 1]  Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, organized by workplace, school, or college, or other characteristics. The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book  given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better. Facebook allows anyone who declares themselves to be at least 13 years old to become a registered user of the website.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

Facebook Wall: A place where “Friends” and you can post comment, pictures, links or video. The idea came from the small bulletin board  outside many dorm rooms in college where you may post things or your friends can.

Twitter is a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read other users’ messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile  page. Tweets are publicly visible by default, however senders can restrict message delivery to their friends list. Users may subscribe to other author tweets—this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers. As of late 2009, users can follow lists of authors instead of just following individual authors.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005.[3]    The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, BBC, VEVO and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program.[4]   Unregistered users can watch the videos, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users 18 and older. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and now operates as a subsidiary of Google.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube

LinkedIn (pronounced /ˌlɪŋkt.ˈɪn/) is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003,[2] it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 9 August 2010, LinkedIn had more than 75 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.[3] The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.[4] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linkedin

inSideAreaCodes (first one was inSide919) is a free micro-business and small business networking site that lets businesses build business allies with other businesses in their area, grouped by their area code. It is 100% transparent to Google, allowing for a way to produce local content that can be viewed by anyone. This open system allows a business to increase its local web presence at no cost, but you must be a member to comment on a post. Since the people of a small business are often the best competitive advantage they have, inSideAreaCodes requires that you sign up under your real name and use a real picture (there is a separate place for your business name by your picture). All the inSideAreaCodes.com are built on the Ning platform (see following definition from Wickipedia). See http://www.inSideAreaCodes.com to find one near you or to see the founding group: http://www.inSide919.com

Ning is an online platform for people to create their own social networks,[3] launched in October 2005.[1] Ning was co-founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini. Ning is Andreessen’s third company (after Netscape and Opsware). The word “Ning” is Chinese for “peace” (simplified Chinese: 宁; traditional Chinese: 寧; pinyin: níng), as explained by Gina Bianchini on the company blog.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ning_(website).

Connect with Martin Brossman on Facebook at http://BrossmanOnFB.com
Learn more about Small Business Training and Chambers of Commerce Trainning at www.SBCSpeakers.com or his Business training at www.ProNetworkingOnLine.com

New World Coffee - RaleighFive Reasons for Buying Local

By Martin Brossman – Success Coach and Author of Social Media & On-line Resource Directory for Business

You can’t help noticing the current buzz about buying local, re-inspired by deep concern for the environment and the necessities of the economic slowdown.   Restaurants are proudly announcing more locally-grown foods on their menu, and many of our friends announce their decision to shop smaller specialty retailers instead of chain discount stores.

Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping your neighbor, there are some strong tangible benefits to buying from local merchants.  Buying local is beneficial to the environment in a number of different ways, while at the same time boosting the local economy. There are also political implications to your buying choices. Here are a few of the ways your family wins when you buy local.

1. Reduced shipping distance equals lower environmental impact

When you buy goods in your home town, you reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption by virtue of the simple fact that no one has to ship the goods to you from a long distance. When you purchase industrially-grown produce, for example, it typically travels 1,500 miles1 or more before reaching your dinner table. The environmental impact is staggering. A 2009 study2 revealed that in the state of Iowa alone, fuel consumption could be reduced by up to 346,000 gallons per year if 10% more of the state’s food were grown locally. The same study stated that annual carbon dioxide emissions would likely decrease by up to 7.9 million pounds.

2.Local dollars stay in your community

When your dollars go to local merchants, they are much more likely to buy from other local merchants than large corporate-owned stores. Most larger merchants are contractually obligated to buy from suppliers outside the towns where they operate. They often buy in bulk from central locations. The increased number of steps in the supply chain not only adds no intrinsic value, but often results in lower product quality. The reinvestment of business revenues into other local businesses generates local tax revenues.

3. The economic boom and bust cycle stabilizes over the long term

A locally-based economic infrastructure is less likely to suffer radical oscillations, due to the fact that it doesn’t depend on a small number of large businesses for the majority of its revenue. For example, suppose a factory moves into town and employs a large number of the town’s residents. The newly created jobs will attract more people and create a swell in house prices. Then, if economic conditions force the factory to close down or move offshore, there will be no cushion to absorb the economic impact of these lost jobs. The real estate market will decline, leaving affected families underwater on their mortgages.

When a local economy derives its income from a large number of small businesses, economic recessions are less extreme. Since small businesses move into town one by one, and economic growth occurs at a slow, natural pace, the likelihood of a sudden “gold rush” drops off, and prices are less likely to artificially spike.

4. Communities have a greater say in their own future

Economic dependency on a few large businesses shifts political leverage away from the local community. Companies who dominate local economies tend to get their way, whether citizens of their host communities like it or not.  Your everyday decision to buy from small grassroots entrepreneurs or big-box stores has an impact on the power structure governing your home town.

5. Local  pride increases as revenues improve the local environment

A Google search can show you exciting evidence of nationwide support for local independents.  Innovative Chambers of Commerce and merchants’ associations are implementing downtown revitalization projects, local currencies, networking events, joint advertising and community education efforts to bring small towns back to life.

“Shop Local” campaigns are so successful that Corporate marketers are climbing onto the local message bandwagon.  They may use terms like  “shop nearby” or “your local _____.”   It’s a trend that’s widespread enough to have gained the name “local washing.”

So how can you tell who is REALLY LOCAL in your home town? They are locally-owned AND independent,–and committed to making their community a better place to live. There are also many franchises with local owners that are important to support as well, keeping money in the community.

Just pause and think before you shop–can I get this from a locally-owned business? Help others become aware of the value of buying locally.  If you see the value, share it with a friend. I just invited a friend to lunch and said, “Let’s go to New World Coffee House for lunch; it’s good food and local-owned.”  Share your stories of buying  local!


  1. URL: http://www.localharvest.org/buylocal.jsp
  2. “What Exactly Is Local Food?” Sustainable Table, January 2009. URL: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/eatlocal/
  3. Schuman, Micheal. “Why Buy Local?” Helios Resource Network. URL: http://www.heliosnetwork.org/Why_Buy_Local.pdf

Contact Martin Brossman: martin@coachingsupport.com or (919)847-4757. His business coaching and training website is www.ProNetworkingOnline.com . Thanks to Dave Baldwin for his help with this article. To learn more about classes offered for Small Business Centers and Chambers of Commerce see: www.SBCSpeakers.com and select Courses

Click here for a printable PDF of this article.

Facebook for BusinessGreat Resources for Small Businesses in North Carolina:  Small Business Centers

Are you considering starting a business?

Are you a small business owner that would like more business?

Do you have a business running but find it hard to find and afford resources to really build your business?

If you answered yes to either question, take a moment and imagine the existence of a remarkable resource center, right in your local area, one that offers you free or very affordable high-quality support. You can go there for help with creating your business; building your business or selling your business. No business it too small or too large to gain access to the resources offered.  Instead of having to locate and pay for high-quality training for yourself and employees, this center makes it easy to attend ongoing training tailored to your business needs. And, to your delight, the center is staffed with highly- trained consultants who are well-networked with community resources all over the state.

If you haven’t already discovered it, this “imaginary” resource center exists in North Carolina, and there are 58 of them from mountains to coast.  They are called Small Business Centers (SBC), part of the Community College System and supported by your tax dollars—truly an investment in the economic development of businesses in the state.  They are “right in our backyard” and all you have to do is show up and take advantage of them!

I have been training in Small Business Centers since 2006 and have been moved and inspired by the wonderful people who have attended my classes. One man who invented a unique machine for bailing pine straw was using his website to successfully sell the several thousand dollar device across the country.  Another man, who had lost his job, was building a business helping children’s book authors speak in high schools, as well as making their books available to schools online. A director of a center doing wonderful work with children with disabilities found a way to sell donated items on eBay that allows the non-profit center to expand its services .And in one rural area I had the privilege of teaching conflict management skills to a room full of managers who oversee large farms; discussing real world problems and finding real world solutions. It’s wonderful to see the greatness of our communities at work.

Through teaching at various Community College locations, I have gotten to know the talented SBC Directors who bring an abundance of personal experience and networked resources to everything they do.  They not only have connections in your community to help you, but also have access to all 58 SBC networks. They have connections with the local Chamber of Commerce and many other contacts they draw on to help you with your business success.

At every SBC I have been to, they have a rich resource center with books, CD’s, government resource publications and often computers loaded with software that you can use for your business. These centers are free for your use and provide tools for planning, research, cash flow projections and budget analysis.

One director told me how he has had the opportunity of helping an individual create a machinist business, aid in staff development as the employees grew, and is now assisting them with landing a major aerospace contract. Another director mentioned how someone came to her to start a greenhouse. She did not have a local resource to help so she used her statewide resources and found a greenhouse business in another area that was successful and able to help this new business. A local bed-and- breakfast got networked through the Small Business Center to work with other bed-and-breakfasts in other areas of the state to help each other.

I want to list a few of the great resources just waiting for you to take advantage of them:

  • Confidential one-on-one and group business counseling. Including advisory councils to help businesses learn from other businesses.
  • Free or low-cost seminars to help start new businesses to get going in the right direction.
  • Resources to help existing businesses with personal issues, hiring, motivation, product development, pricing, competitive analysis, market – product and customer retention.
  • A massive network of contacts and information to address just about any questions a business has, as well as helping the business know the right questions to ask.
  • Assistance from SBC Directors in finding financing resources for your business with their contacts in the community and around the state.

If you want to keep a competitive advantage, you can’t afford not to use the Small Business Center in your area.  If you gain value from these resources, be sure to tell a friend.  The win-win goal we can all help achieve is to increase the community usage of the SBC classes and resources.  It is vital for the Centers to operate at full capability to help keep the funding strong and our communities vibrant. Find out what your SBC has to offer, get involved and let them know how they can help you.  If you have not been to a Small Business Center in NC, or not been in a while, you can find the one in your area at:  www.sbcn.nc.gov

Do you have a story of being helped by a Small Business Center?  Let us know for a future article.

Looking forward to hearing your stories of success!
Martin Brossman
Senior Instructor at NCSmallBusinessTraining.com 

(919) 847-4757
See all my training and coaching at: ProNetworkingOnLine.com and CoachingSupport.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MartinWBrossman
Podcast: http://www.InquireOnLine.info
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/martinbrossman
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/martinbrossman
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/martinbrossman

Click here for a printable PDF of this article.

Benefit for Directors of Small Business Centers and Students to be on Linkedin

October 20th, 2009 | Posted by martinbrossman in Linkedin | Small Business Center Directors - (Comments Off on Benefit for Directors of Small Business Centers and Students to be on Linkedin)

10 reason’s Directors of Small Business Center Directors and Students would benefit by being on Linkedin. – Martin Brossman

LinkedIn is a free resource that lets you build and maintain a global and local network. It is a powerful tool in a world where higher transparency is required for trust. It basically is a tool for solving business task. For the Directors of the Small Business Centers it directly increases the schools web presence while giving an easy way to share information with individuals in small and large industry. For Students and small business owners it has the same value and lets them learn from other professionals in business around the world. LinkedIn allows you to keep in touch with not only what people are doing but who they are connecting with. It is a social medium that is professional and businesslike. If you have not spent time with it and you care about your career and your clients’ trust, it’s time to start allotting some hours to it. Different from Facebook it is all business!

Here are just a few reasons to invest time in LinkedIn.com:

1. More than 50 Million people you can search.
LinkedIn lets you research 50+ million professional people with almost 100% accuracy and gives YOU permission to know the information posted on the profile. For example, if you met someone for the first time and mentioned you saw in their LinkedIn profile that they went to the same school you went to, that would build rapport. If you gained this information from a private paid database, that might make them feel uncomfortable.

2. Free quality consulting advice.
Use the Answers area of LinkedIn to obtain valuable free information as you need it—it’s often comparable to thousands of dollars of consulting advice. One way people are motivated to give you quality answers is because they have a chance of you voting their answer to you as the most useful answer increasing their status as an expert.

3. Establishing yourself as an expert.
Receiving authentic recommendations from past or present associates and co-workers which appear in your LinkedIn profile can help position you as an expert. Of course recommendations have to be earned by quality work, generally building over time to enrich your LinkedIn presence, and are often inspired by your giving sincere recommendation to others. At the same time, answering questions offers you a further opportunity to be seen as an expert by responding to questions posed in your field. When your answer reveals your expertise, you have the possibility of being voted “expert answer.”

4. Enhancing your brand and presence on the web.
LinkedIn is a site that builds more credibility than your own website. It is well-indexed by Google. When people see a recommendation given to you on LinkedIn, they can choose to see the full profile of the person that gave the recommendation, giving it more credibility.

5. Direct introductions to a large number of quality people.
Through LinkedIn you can be directly introduced to and have access to people who may not take your call directly. By properly using LinkedIn’s direct introduction system, you can get introduced to people that you are connected to as well as people that your contacts are connected to. You can also learn who your contacts are connected to, and how they are connected. Important note: When you make the reach to contact them, always have a reason in their best interest.

6. Allowing people to prescreen YOU to build faster trust.
With higher demands for greater transparency, LinkedIn offers a credible way for your customers to prescreen you by seeing recommendations without having to bother people. This also applies for people looking for a job. People can see recommendations to you without your having to repeatedly bother your references to pre-screen you.

7. Professional groups that let you connect with a common interest.
Connect with people that share a common interest by joining a group and participating in group discussions on the group’s discussion board. There is a group for everyone, such as local networking groups like Linking Raleigh, NC, school and corporate alumni groups, or groups related to an industry or profession.

8. Providing valuable changing resources to attract multiple visits to your information.
Use the LinkedIn applications to do things like display your WordPress or TypePad blog in your profile so that visitors can learn more about you. Add the Amazon book app so you can share with others what you are reading and recommend they read. Promote your events or find an event through the events app. Make a presentation by uploading a PowerPoint slide show about your business or even yourself.

9. The ability to recognize good people that the world can see.
LinkedIn lets you give recommendations to people throughout your entire life, and that can be a better use of your time then the usual mode of interrupting people to ask for a job or a sale. LinkedIn not only allows you to build trust and credibility with local people but people all over the world. Since you can search in your vicinity or anywhere, you can have local contacts and global ones very easily. By providing deeper information, LinkedIn can enhance existing relationships and deepen new ones. Spending some of your time appreciating good people in your life is the avenue to fostering friends and associates who care about YOU.

10. Keeping track of your direct and indirect network.
Use LinkedIn as an easy way to keep track of your contacts, their contacts, and changes in status. For example, if someone you know got promoted or received an award, this could by a way to acknowledge them for their accomplishment. You may find that a good friend wanting to help you just connected with an important person you want to meet.

Like anything in life, you do have to spend some time with LinkedIn to gain value from it. The time you spend building your profile will reap its return when you put yourself out there to expand your professional network and build your reputation through this rapidly expanding social media tool. Simply by sending and receiving recommendations, using apps, answering and asking questions, and helping others along the way, you can be remembered and made memorable by using LinkedIn. Take full advantage of what LinkedIn has provided for free and bring yourself to the forefront of a crowded room.

To learn more about SBCSpeakers and see all the training for Small Business Centers of Community Colleges and Chambers of Commerce: http://www.ncsmallbusinesstraining.com
or all of the Success Coaching, Training and Consultant with Martin Brossman at: http://www.ProNetworkingOnLine.com

About the contributors of this article Martin & Greg:

-Hello, I am Martin Brossman. As a success coach, I believe almost everyone should be on LinkedIn since it has given so much value to myself and to my coaching clients when they spend the right amount of time with it. If you Google my name in quotes, you will see the second item listed is my LinkedIn profile–all possible with the free LinkedIn service. I currently use their paid service, but that evolved after I gained value from the basic free service. (Our post above refers to all that is possible with the free service.) I have been offering group LinkedIn training in the Triangle since 2006, and in response to requests, I now offer customized LinkedIn training for individuals and small groups. My LinkedIn profile: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/martinbrossman

-Hello I am Greg Hyer. As a local networking advocate, I feel strongly that LinkedIn is the ideal tool and service to use to enhance your professional brand and manage your professional relationships. The benefits to using LinkedIn are significant, yet it does not require that you devote that much time to it. As a founder of a LinkedIn Group and corresponding website, LinkingRaleighNC.com, I help local professionals build a quality network and provide some resources to improve their chances of finding the connection for the next opportunity. My LinkedIn profile: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/greghyer