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Since 2011, the Swedish Institute has handed over the keys to the country’s official Twitter account to a new Swede every week, letting them tweet anything they please. This tradition will come to a conclusion on September 30, 2018. The goal of this was to show the country as it really existed through the eyes of various citizens. This innovative marketing strategy has won approximately 30 awards, including the international Grand Prix, two Silver Lions in Cannes Lions, and gold at the Clio Awards. At the end of this project, 365 account users will have tweeted around 200,000 tweets on @Sweden.

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Popularized by recent ride- and accommodation-sharing platforms, the sharing economy has experienced significant growth and demonstrated its potential for international scalability. The implications of this new economy are predicted to disrupt a variety of business models and industries, ultimately challenging the way we define consumption. Topics to consider include factors driving growth, potential industry risks, and future trends set to affect the way consumers capture value.

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A business reaching international audiences depends on idea sharing and connectivity for its continued success. Today, social media is increasing audience engagement even further. In fact, the key to a successful social media strategy is effective engagement. With social media's importance continuing to rise, understanding the key concepts will help give your business an edge in this increasingly connected climate. Following is a complete and global guide to navigating social media strategy.

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Today we are profiling the globalEDGE LinkedIn group. The group is open to anyone who has a LinkedIn profile and acts as a medium where the latest business news is presented and debated. To spur conversation, every week we post an article pertaining to a recent business development. We then hope to engage some of our group members in dialogue to better understand what the implications of this development mean and to hear different perspectives from others.

We hope you will take some time when you are visiting LinkedIn to stop by the globalEDGE Network and post or comment in the ongoing conversation. Our LinkedIn group can be found here!

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The Dreamforce Expo kicked off this week with a rumored 90,000 attendees from 150 countries there. Sponsored by Salesforce.com, the purpose of this expo is to help businesses around the world realize the power of cloud computing. Cloud computing uses the internet to host data and provide information and services effortlessly to consumers.  While cloud computing is not a new idea, the big revelation from Dreamforce is how important social media is going forward.

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After releasing its high IPO on March 18th, 2012, Facebook has fallen over 50% and does not seem to be headed in the right direction anytime soon. The costly mistake in the first day of trade of a computer malfunction placed millions of dollars in the wrong location, and there was no recovery after that. With social media on the rise worldwide, it was believed that this would be a hot stock early on.  The overly-optimistic buyers were waiting for an early 50%-60% increase, and little did they know it was about to be a failure. Was the IPO too high, or is Facebook just losing its popularity it once had?

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Social media has come a long way since its inception. It began as a simple way for communication as a user would send a basic email to another computer close by. Now, social media has transformed how people consume news and communicate with each other around the world. It has also empowered the masses, which before never had an outlet or an easy way to communicate and organize ideas. Before, top media companies controlled what issues would be covered, and the view that would be expressed. With social media, this idea is turned upside down. Millions of people with the same view can determine what is important and bring attention to the issue. Examples of this include the revolution in Libya, Egypt, Syria, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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As the date of the Facebook Initial Public Offering (IPO) creeps closer and closer, interest in the stocks of other social media companies has been growing.  This is especially true among social media companies that have recently begun trading their stocks publicly.  Social networking companies in the United States, as well as in Latin America and China have seen their stock prices increase significantly thus far in 2012.  As social media grows more and more popular, stocks in this industry are receiving a lot of attention.

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With many companies spending years building a brand and strong image among its customers, few would imagine this task can completed in a relatively short period of time. However, this is exactly what’s possible with social media. In the past years, businesses have increased their use of social media platforms to market products, build a dominant brand image, and interact with their customers. It has come to a point where businesses around the world are focusing less on endorsing their products in advertisements and more on promoting their Facebook page or Twitter account. Now the question is: How does the expanding social presence of companies impact business performance worldwide?

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It seems as if every recent news article and business discussion has some tie to social media. From stories going instantaneously viral due to the power of social media, to businesses using it as a marketing tool, to talks of social media companies going public; social media can be seen everywhere. What’s all the buzz about? That is what we are going to be investigating in this week’s Social Media Blog Series! The globalEDGE blog team will be exploring the impact that social media has on international business. Today’s post will provide an introduction into the world of social media and how we here at globalEDGE use social media in our new interactive site.

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While social media sites are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, there is one region in particular where social media has nearly unlimited growth potential. That region is the Middle East and although there has been much concern surrounding the use of social networks for protest demonstrations, social media sites provide great opportunities for businesses of the region. In the Middle East the number of social media users has already doubled in the past year. Now, the question is whether businesses of the region will take advantage of social networks and use them as a brand building tool.

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“We are also excited to bring a greater focus on social media and connectivity to the latest version of globalEDGE with numerous RSS feeds, opportunities to connect with globalEDGE via LinkedIn and Facebook, and to follow us on Twitter and by reading our blog.” – The globalEDGE Team

globalEDGE has certainly transformed into a more interactive and social site. Our new Get Connected portal is the best place to find all of the ways to stay up to date with globalEDGE. From here you will be able to access the Blog, the globalEDGE Business Review, the Newsletter, and quick links to all of our social media pages. With our Facebook and Twitter feeds streaming on the side of the page, it is easier than ever to stay on top of all that globalEDGE has to offer!

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With millions of people using the Internet each day, the World Wide Web has been a very important place for companies looking to market their products. Online advertising has followed a fairly standard path as Internet uses evolved over the years. Marketers first bought digital ads and then went even further by building their own Web sites to promote their products. These marketing tools are still being used but a new factor is beginning to change the way companies advertise online. That factor is social media.

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The world is changing rapidly.  People are becoming more interconnected than ever.  Information is increasingly easier and cheaper to come by.  Whether it's texting, social media, emailing, faster logistics, or finding information on the internet, it all leads to one thing, making a faster paced and more competitive business environment.  Here are some top trends in business that are already happening but will play a significant role in the future.

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Social media has became an extremely important business trend worldwide. It took time for social media to morph from purely a social tool into a business tool, and the transition into the classroom has had its challenges as well. To many professors the words Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube probably provoke some form of frustration. Until recently, social networking sites like these meant nothing in the academic world except distractions. Now, with the business prevalence of social media becoming more apparent, many business schools are starting to see the importance of including social media into their curriculums.

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At a large annual conference of marketing, the words “tweet”, “fans” and “like” were used almost as often as “touch points”, “benchmark” and “prioritize.” Why? The reason for this is rather simple: The importance of social media is expanding considerably in today’s modern business world. Holding its 100th anniversary meeting, the Association of National Advertising discussed marketing gains by companies that are using social media to amplify their brand name and advertise more effectively.

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China currently exists as one of the most desired markets in the global business world. With E-Commerce on its current rise globally, the key then, is finding a way to reach China’s online customer base. As of 2009, China had roughly 384 million internet users, and that number is expected to hit 650 million in 2015. It’s safe to say that many online retailers around the globe are seeking a way to penetrate China’s market. The best way to do this is to gain a better understanding of the consumers they’re trying to sell to.

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As many travelers still feel the pinch of the recession on their wallets, a new market begs for attention as it couples the price tag of a hostel, convenience of a hotel and the homey feel of a bed and breakfast. This new way of travel accommodations is basically a social networking bed and breakfast and has expanded in the past years in Europe. Half a dozen startup companies have emerged in this market in the past two years including the likes of Crashpadder.com, iStopOver.com, ArBnB.com, and Roomorama.com. With this new market opening up, international businesses are looking to reap the rewards of this new type of traveler and hoping it will increase business abroad.

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A couple of years ago, customers were delighted because they were able to order products online from their living rooms. It is easy to compare prices and products online using different websites.
 
Now, the way we shop is changing once again. Companies are not waiting for shoppers to find them; instead they are approaching people online using social media such as facebook and twitter. Imagine just making a post whether to buy a new car or not, and an offer to test drive a car is sent to you in your mail box. This is one way GM is trying to gain more customers.

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I recently stumbled upon a television commercial showing a great website. There are multiple great social networking sites online and many opportunities to meet other business people in the world, but this is a great opportunity. OPEN Forum is a community of small business owners, and gives the tools to connect and collaborate. It gives the chance for small business owners to help small business owners. There are multiple tools available to users, which can do anything from help generate new leads by intelligently matching businesses with similar needs and interests to having a digital trading post of ideas and insights from industry experts and owners. This is a great website for businesses to get informed and inspired.
 
I’ll give you a reminder that we too have a network system. You can sign up for a members only globalEDGE Network™ which allows other globalEDGE Network members to contact you. You can search people by industry or country to possibly find prospective collaboration partners and industry experts. Whether you are trying to expand your company into a new location or just need expert feedback, the globalEDGE Network allows all of our users to find the right person in the right place. The globalEDGE Network is free, and members will have exclusive usage of the members directory (searchable by industry or country) and email service via globalEDGE. If you are already a member of globalEDGE, please login above and update your profile, clicking the check box next to the globalEDGE Network™. Once your profile is updated, you will be a part of this new network. If you are not already a member of globalEDGE, join the network of opportunity!

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Recently, social networking giant Twitter posted it's Twitter 101 for Business Guide, which is designed to enlighten both consumers and businesses to ways they can use Twitter's micro-blogging service. The guide offers advice on how businesses can use Twitter to market products and boost sales, and will also help consumers who are curious about the site but don't know how to use it or where to even begin.