There is a huge number of reviews written about social media tools. Google it and you will find enough information that will keep you occupied for at least a month.

Instead, I am going to talk about how to pick your tools based on the functionality you require. Make your tool selection based on the way you work - you will save a lot of time and will enjoy using the apps. I will list all the apps I use at the end of the post.

Do not try to be everywhere. Just look at the number of available social networks and weep: Pick just one or a couple networks and find the tools that work for you.

To keep your sanity, find the most active network in your area of interest and join. For example, my Twitterverse is for my SEO friends. I talk about SEO topics, share SEO-related articles and get mostly SEO advice. If I want to share a picture of a cute kitten - that's what my Facebook is for. Well, it's just me.

Ready? Let's get started.

social media on iPhoneSocial Media is not just Twitter and Facebook. Don't forget LinkedIn and blogs. It is also social bookmarking services, like Stumbleupon, Digg, and Delicious. It is picture sharing (Flickr, PhotoBucket, etc.) and video sharing (YouTube, Vimeo, etc).

Many people get into Social Media and quickly get overwhelmed. Many proudly proclaim that Social Media is a waste of time and there is no point to it. Those who do not practice are quick to judge.

For some, indeed, Social Media is a waste of time and they should not be doing it. You have to like it to be a part of the community. You have invest in it, like you spend time on relationships with your friends. You have to contribute and help others. Also, it might not be for you. You have to decide for yourself.

To help you decide, here are tips on how to get a head start with Social Media and do not let it take over your life.

Black Hat SEO caughtNY Times broke a story about black hat SEO techniques that J.C. Penney employed to boost their rankings over the holiday season. For months, their pages were consistently ranking very high for not very relevant terms, like "home decor", "skinny jeans", "furniture", etc.

NY Times asked Doug Pierce from Blue Fountain Media to investigate the sudden ranking spike. The investigation uncovered that SearchDex - the SEO agency that J.C. Penney hired - used black hat SEO techniquest to boost the rankings for the holiday season. Simply put, they were buying links.

I have a theory on what actually happend. Here it is.

Market Motive Certification ProgramThere comes a time when you finally decided to get aggressive on promoting your website online. You decided to consolidate your internal resources to really make a push and get your company to the next level, experienced marketer level. You are ready to have a full time expert to take care of your website needs.

You are ready for the next step, but you are not sure how to get there. Let me make a recommendation for you: Market Motive.

SEO Competitive Analysis on #seochat

Taylor Pratt (@RavenPratt) is the SEOChat guest. He is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Tools. Read Taylor's Bio.

When you perform a competitive analysis for the first time, keep at it until you run out of backlinks. Revisit it once a quarter to see what they are focusing on and how much they have grown. Find out, if they have a new content strategy and what their favorite keyword is. Establish, what kind of link bait worked for them and what was not successful.

For not very competitive markets, usually not much changes. For more competitive niches, it is not only important to watch the mentioned changes, but pay attention to social paricipation. You will get insights on what your competition is currently doing. What is working for your competition? What can you make work for you? Most importantly, improve on it and take that top spot.

NetSprinter: The Internet at Your Service

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It is impossible these days to have a business without a website. And creating a good website is a tricky business. Professionally done websites have goals, strategies and impeccable structure to achieve harmony between a business and the Internet. A website should be an invaluable tool and a smart investment to help you realize your business objectives and drive your company forward.

NetSprinter will create an optimized, functional and engaging website to fit your business. We will promote your business online and submit your new website to online directories. We will manage your pay-per-click marketing campaigns to ensure they target your customers. Call us for a free consultation. Share your problems.