Go beyond Google ads: Plug into the webs social networks

Facebbok, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Twitter logos with a plugIs your businesses web presence as big as you want it to be? Where other than your domain can people find out about you or contact you? Only having a website is not enough in today’s social centric Internet. You have many options when it comes to expanding your business’s exposure on the web from directories to social networks. Consider the largest of the social networks My Space and Face Book your business should at least tap into these resources and their millions of users. Their has been many success stories based on exposure on these networks. Linked In is another social network that is built around making business contacts. Building your businesses presence on these sites will require some time commitment but, the more you put in to these networks the more you will get out of them.

You may have some arguments as to how much relevance social networking sites have to your business. My reply is simply are customers or business contacts relevant to your business? Face Book and My Space are not set up to cater to businesses but rather individuals. Here is how to get around that, Is there someone that is the face of your business like a CEO or better yet a mascot? The Charleston River Dogs ( a very successful minor league baseball team) have down a very good job of doing this with their mascot. You can also just put your business name in the name field when signing up. Facebook only lets you see profiles of people you are already friends with. Some may see that as a roadblock to building their friends list and/or potential customers and business contacts. Here is the solution: Groups! You can search groups for keywords related to your industry. Are you in the auto industry search for cars in groups. The results you receive will depend on the keyword used. In case of the keyword cars your results will be over 500, with many of these groups having over a thousand members. You can join relevant groups and even start your own. Then you can begin to send requests to other group members, after all you do share similar interests. If you have some money you can even take things a step further and create an application such as a game for users to add to their profiles and share on these sites. Of course this application would be branded with your company logo. How do you feel about putting your business on a social site now?

Not all social sites operate the same, so it is important to navigate around and learn how you can best utilize it to your business’s advantage. Another notable network is Twitter, where you can post small snippets about what is happening with you or your company. You may even be surprised to find there may be a niche social network on the web that is relevant to your industry. It may be loaded with individuals or businesses already looking for your products. Search Yahoo or Google for communities related to your business or products by typing in an industry keyword and something like community or social network. Example: If you sell car parts search car community. In addition to all the social networks there are numerous directories and search engines (other than the big two) that you should submit your site to. If you have a dedicated marketing team or individual, I suggest you put them to the task of truly building your online presence. If you are a small business in which an owner or manager handles most of the marketing, you should tackle this a little everyday.
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About Doug Greathouse (aka Captian Arcimedia)