This week on Sprout Social Insights we tackled guides for Facebook, Twitter, and small business to help you better reach your customers with the social media tools that make a difference.

Check out our articles below to find out more about each one and how they can help you with your social media goals.

And check in every day to Sprout Social Insights for more how to guides and breaking social media news.

Chick-Fil-A vs. Oreo: Should You Advocate Issues on Social Media?

If you follow U.S. politics at all, one thing is clear — a seemingly intractable cultural divide has emerged in the United States around social issues. And social media is drawing individuals with similar opinions into ongoing conversations with each other. Moreover, consumers now have the ability and the capacity to influence brands based on where those brands stand in relation to one’s political position.

Perhaps as a result, many brands have publicly taken political stances on divisive issues to identify with the values of their customers. In fact, over the past year many brands faced major scrutiny as their political positions took center stage on social media. Let’s take a look at a few examples and see what lessons can be learned from brands that are considering taking a public political stance on social issues. [ Read More... ]

Check Out Sprout Insights’ Top 12 Twitter Tips of 2012

2012It’s Twitter Tip Tuesday — and since it’s also the last Twitter Tip Tuesday of 2012, we’re doing things a little differently this week. We’re listing the Top 12 Twitter Tip articles of 2012, highlighting the Twitter Tips that are most likely to have a positive impact for your business on Twitter.

Check out the articles below to find out how each tip can help you with your social media goals. And stay tuned to Twitter Tip Tuesday in 2013 — we’ll be featuring even more of your Twitter Success Stories in upcoming Twitter Tip Tuesday articles. [ Read More... ]

Your 2013 Social Media Strategy Should Be Fearless, Here’s How

Feel like you played it safe with your social media strategy in 2012? A new year is upon us, and there’s never been a better time to step up your game and start getting serious about social. It’s definitely not a passing fad (Facebook is almost 9 years old). Social media is here to stay and it’s time to embrace it!

Many brands are keeping their social media strategies safe, but they’re certainly not turning any heads. If leveraged correctly, a consistently bold social media strategy can play a role in your marketing efforts and allow you to connect with customers simply and effectively. Here are a few ways to kick start your new plan, take some risks, and grab your customers’ attention. [ Read More... ]

Check Out Sprout Insights’ Top 12 Startups of 2012

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At Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

And since this is the last Spotlight on Startups article in 2012, we thought we’d highlight 12 of the most popular startups we’ve featured this year. Of course, you can check out the entire complement of startups we’ve featured so you don’t miss out on any opportunities to partner with these innovative companies. [ Read More... ]

4 Strategies for Avoiding Twitter Hashtag Hijackings

Every couple of months or so, another story about a Twitter hashtag campaign gone awry infiltrates the Internet, and we all feel sorry for the poor saps who gave it the green light. You can’t help but wonder how they didn’t see the potential hijacking disaster that lay ahead, but it’s not as easy to predict as one may think.

Brands spend millions to promote their hashtags through various channels. The most successful implementations however, are from companies that have made sure to cover all their bases before taking the leap. Here are a few tips to help avoid the worst case scenario, and to keep your hashtag campaign on the right track. [ Read More... ]

3 Facebook Tools That Have Your Customers Concerned About Privacy

It’s Facebook Friday — each week we’ll offer one tip for leveraging Facebook to increase customer awareness of and engagement with your brand or business.

Privacy is one of the biggest buzzwords in social media. As people become more attached to their online networks and services, they have also become more aware of the importance of protecting themselves. Unfortunately, this concern for privacy can sometimes manifest in irrational claims about when and how a social media entity can access personal data.

Many people are concerned about guarding their privacy or having information shared without their knowledge. The worries about businesses buying up individuals’ data is one of the more rampant accusations, and it is important for a brand on social media to assuage those concerns.
[ Read More... ]

[Image credits: Mark Turnauckas, Daniel Moyle, Bill Wilson, Jimmy Snell, Liz Jones]