Social networks give businesses the opportunity to engage with their customers on a personal level. Social networks need to be included in every business’s marketing strategy as a way to reach customers, expand their clientele and establish their authority in their industry. Here are ten social networks for businesses.
The biggest name in social media. Businesses create a Facebook Business page and upload relevant, interesting content to their account. Once someone “Likes” your Facebook business page, everything you post is automatically sent to their news feed. This is a powerful marketing opportunity to engage your customers.
Arguably the second biggest name in social media. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform for sharing links to interesting content. Twitter is a good place to put links to your blog to develop traffic to your website.
This is the the biggest social media platform made for business professionals. You go there to network with other people in your industry. For service-based businesses, this is a good place to develop clients. You can also establish your expertise here by answering questions in the LinkedIn Answers section. You can develop quite a reputation by answering questions with thoughtful, helpful answers.
This is a social media platform where your customers review your business. You need to claim your business on Yelp before they can start reviewing. You need to respond to negative feedback immediately to keep a positive brand image. Yelp is important because your page and reviews are indexed by the search engines. When someone looks for you on Google, you want your Yelp page to display with positive, five star reviews.
Rising star in social media sphere where customers get incentives from businesses to check-in. The customer sets his profile up to automatically update his status that he is in your store when he enters. This message is sent out to his entire network which is a marketing advertisement and recommendation to his network. In exchange, you offer discounts or coupons.
Being an alternative to Yelp, people use it to rate and review businesses. You need to claim your business on Google Places. Encourage your customers to rate your business on Google Places. Never tell them what to say. Coached testimonials sound fake and hurt your credibility.
The latest buzzword in social media pin board where customers pin interesting links, pictures and multimedia. You can use Pinterest to link to your blog posts that contain interesting pictures or stories. You can also encourage others to like your stuff on Pinterest.
If you need a blogging platform that works well for targeted niche topics Tumblr is what you are looking for. If you want a separate blog than on your website, you can set up a Tumblr blog, add multimedia and encourage your traffic to comment on your blog posts.
Social bookmarking tool for getting traffic and back links to your website. You upload your newest blog post to the StumbleUpon system. Google indexes the link and your blog post is in the search engines quicker than if Google crawled your site. This also works for other sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social bookmarking tool for generating traffic and buzz about your company. The key to getting high clicks on your links is to be involved in the Digg atmosphere, commenting on other links and bumping them up.
Social media can work wonders for building your brand image. As with all things, you have to work, be consistent and proactive in developing your online communications. Social media is the key to gaining traffic to your website, developing a customer base and establishing your expertise in your industry. You need to go where your customers are. They are on these ten social media networks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victor Daily is a blogger interested in technology and social media. Besides writing about latest news in these areas he also works as a consultant in an IT consulting Brisbane company.