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May 31, 2011 (04:05 PM EDT)

B to B's Social Media Marketing Awards cites's engagement strategy as best practice for social business media

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As business-to-business media companies look for new ways to grow their social media assets, Cygnus Business Media's may have unlocked the secret to engaging niche audiences using a few simple initiatives.  Strategies born out of the brand's marketing program – "Operation Engagement" – helped to more than double's Facebook fan audience to over 135,000, earning Publisher Mike Natchipolsky and Editor-in-Chief Peter Matthews a coveted spot at the top of this year's B to B Social Media Marketing Awards in the Facebook category.

"Social media requires consistent engagement, and a sincere attachment to the marketplace," says Natchipolsky.  "While we use our Facebook "LIKE" links in nearly all of our portal media, print it in our magazine and promote it at our tradeshows, fan conversion is not easy, or a given.  "Operation Engagement" was a marketing program we tested and were pleased at the results."

Paul Gillin, author of three books on social media, was one of the award judges who cited as a "visually stunning website" during this week's award ceremony in New York.  The program included a panel of other top winners including Matthews and executives from Cisco Systems and LexisNexis Group, companies that were both honored as People's Choice winners.  

"Facebook keeps us connected with daily topics and trends from firefighters around the country," adds Matthews.  "Engaging with this public safety audience has been a unique experience that goes well beyond the numbers." is the leading fire and emergency services portal, serving nearly 500,000 unique visitors monthly.  The site has also received international acclaim for its interactive coverage.  This year, it celebrates 12 years of serving First Responders.  Together with Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, Firehouse Magazine, Firehouse Central, the Firehouse franchise remains number one in the fire and EMS marketplace and one of Cygnus Business Media's most extensive B2B footprints.

Cygnus Business Media reaches millions of professionals annually. As one of America's top business-to-business media companies, Cygnus is leading the way in providing targeted content to top decision-makers and organizations. The company's corporate initiatives and organizational architecture are built with one goal: fully engaging audiences in Aviation, Building & Construction and Public Safety & Security, as well as Diversified Industries such as agriculture, transportation, printing, accounting and vending.