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It should be obvious, given Boulder County’s abundance of coffee shops and brewpubs: Local residents like to get social.

Knowledge is shared, startups are launched, and many deals are done over a dark-roast espresso or a glass of Buffalo Gold.

So it should be no surprise that most of the business leaders I encounter also are looking to explore the social-media aspects of the Internet. They view it as the latest craze, a way to engage with new audiences — and, well, something that they’re just expected to do these days.

The problem? Most have no idea where to start.

Even in a Boulder Valley with more social-media experts than Sunday bicyclists on a county road, many business owners struggle with taking even tentative steps into social media. Oh, they might try Facebook, but Twitter? What’s the point? LinkedIn? What do you do with it? Google+? Who uses it?

Those aforementioned experts that dot the Boulder Valley are in a far better position than I to answer those questions. Far be it from me to tell others what they should be doing — especially when the Boulder County Business Report has lagged far behind where it should be in this area.

But I can share some things that our editors, webmasters and other staff members have been discussing, as we seek to build our presence in the social-media sphere:

• LinkedIn. We haven’t been totally inept at LinkedIn, but our BCBR group has been largely inactive, except for informing members of an event now and then. Our corporate page has been undeveloped. No more. We will be engaging our group members regularly, and we’ll use the corporate page to tell the story of our company, including job postings, new hires, product announcements, etc.

• Twitter: A former reporter was a Twitter master, and our Twitter presence has suffered from neglect for a couple of years. Linking to an RSS feed of our headlines isn’t enough. Look for our reporters and editors to more fully engage with Twitter, making full use of the immediacy that it provides for news reporting and engagement with our audience.

• Facebook: Once more of a personal social-media tool, we’ve been pleased with the growth that our BCBR group has seen, and it also will be a chance to engage with our audience about issues of the day, in a very informal way.

• Google+: Frankly, this was a pretty lonely place initially. At first, most of the people I encountered on the site were from the tech sector. Now, I’m starting to see more individuals from other business sectors. Look for us to also try out some Google+ Hangouts.

• YouTube: Our publication will be producing more video content in 2013, and we will post all of it on YouTube, the top video website.

It will take us awhile to make full use of the above sites, and we see each playing a different role in how we engage with our readers and advertisers. Now, if we can just get to Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Yelp and … .

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-440-4950 or via email at cwood@bcbr.com.

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