Phew! Can you believe it’s already March? Time has been flying by and we’ve been working furiously to get everything for Social 2011, our first annual user conference, wrapped up and ready for you! We won’t get too crazy with the user conference talk (more on that later), but if you’d like to get an idea of what you’re in for as an attendee, click on that link, hop on over to the event site and take a peek around — we’ve got all sorts of sessions planned to feed your social media curiosities and help you put theory into practice.

If you’ve got any questions about Social 2011 or just want to share your excitement about it, you know where to find us, but enough of that, we’ve got great reading material to share with you!

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Fantastic Friday (Social Media) Reading post for you, but we’re back to it and feel like the five we rounded up today make up for our gap in content sharing. Today’s selection runs the gamut of topics, but all of it is useful. We stepped away from theory a bit and tried to give you some concrete tactical stuff to absorb and apply quickly. We hope you enjoy the reading, and if you’ve got any particular articles you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments!

An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette, by Chris Brogan

If you’re doing the social media “thing” it’s almost impossible to do it and not have some of Chris Brogan’s sage marketing advice make its way into the mix. Mr. Brogan is well-known for his social media marketing acumen, and has shared a tiny bit of it in this post. No matter who you are or what you’re representing, online social networks have implicit behavior codes and participants have expectations for how people and brands should present themselves in these networks. In this post, Chris shares specific and easy tips for creating an inviting social media presence that your customers and community will want to pay attention to. How many of his tips are you already heeding?

The High Price of Free, by Deploying Volunteer Marketing Armies With Internal Social Media, by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund

When shaped well, the culture you create inside the walls of your company can and should reflect externally in your employees’ social media interactions. In this post by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, authors of The NOW Revolution (Amber is also our VP of Social Strategy), give you just the method to foster an internal social media culture in which employees share their successes, questions and news on a closed, internal social network to create a living, breathing company history that will help shape external messaging.

Reaching Influencers In a New Way, by Emily Peterson of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence

Influence is a big thing in the world of social media. Finding and connecting with influential bloggers, Tweeters, YouTubers, you name it, is key to developing powerful word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. Mind you, connecting with these online influencers is not just about having an ongoing conversation with them over Twitter; sometimes you need to put a face to your name, and Emily Peterson shares how the Ogilvy 360DI team did just that, and gives you some tips for making those face-to-face moments successful.

Media Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, by Dorie Clark for Harvard Business Review

Facing the media can be a daunting task, especially nowadays, when a seemingly harmless statement can be misconstrued and spread across countless media outlets for the world to see, judge and ridicule. The stress level of media meetings spikes for executives, as they’re the backbones of their companies — all eyes are on them. While it’s impossible to predict how the media will interpret a C-Suiter’s comments, in this article Dorie Clark shares three basic mistakes many executives make when speaking with the media — and how they can be avoided.

Have more to share? Want to leave your thoughts about one of these articles? You know what to do!

Disclaimer: Some of the folks here are friends of ours and there’s a good chance we’ve worked with them in some sense or another. In light of that, we have to say we’re just sharing great writing today, with nothing else wrapped into that sharing. Enjoy!