Participating in Social Media and Social Networking websites have never been more important when it comes to marketing your website in 2013. Not only do they help you network with new potential clients and drive traffic to your website they also play an increasingly vital role in your SEO performance.
With literally hundreds to options to choose from however it’s tough to know which ones to focus on without spreading yourself too thin. With that being said these are my top six personal choices for which social media/networking sites you should focus on most to maximize your online marketing efforts. If even six sounds like a lot however remember doing two or three well still has much better value then doing too many poorly.
Facebook: It goes without saying Facebook is the most popular and recognized social networking website on the planet. If you haven’t yet created a Facebook fan page for your business it is simple to create and can be done within minutes. Once your page is up and running you want to invite friends, family and colleagues to click on your “like button” or share your page with their contact list. Facebook likes now effect on your overall SEO rankings as well so building up a strong Facebook fanbase has benefits beyond just added exposure. You may also want to give Facebook Ads a try to give your fan page a boost if you’re struggling to add followers. You pay only when and if someone clicks on your ad and Facebook Ads allows you to set a monthly budget based on what you can comfortably afford. Also be sure to add your Facebook link or icon wherever possible including your website, business cards, advertising material and email signature.
Twitter: Wrapping your head around Twitter and “tweeting” can sometimes be a little confusing to those new to the platform but it’s overall networking potential is truly impressive. On Twitter you can poke your nose into the private lives of literally anyone you choose with an active account. That could include celebrities, sports athletes, politicians and yes of course other businesses. Twitter allows you to follow anyone you choose without them having to grant you permission first which gives it a unique advantage over many other social networking sites. When building your Twitter base don’t just contact people randomly try and follow people or businesses with a logical connection to your type of service. Also try to participate in discussions by commenting on other people’s posts (a.k.a.tweets) and retweeting any information you like from others. Be sure to stay active with your tweets as well and try to post something new and interesting at least once a day if you can.
YouTube: If the thought of creating and posting videos for the world to see can be a little intimidating don’t worry we’re all a little shy at first. YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world next to Google and is arguably today’s best online resource for finding information. Although many people visit YouTube for recreational use only its equally valuable for business related purposes as well. If someone wants to find instructions on how to do something watching a live video tutorial is often much easier than scrolling through paragraphs of text. Making your own video may take a little time an effort but Hollywood production values aren’t expected. Recording yourself through your cell phone or digital camera will do just fine or try investing a little money in a mic or headset for your computer. There are several free screen capturing programs you can download that will allow you to create video tutorials right off your own monitor. Once you’ve uploaded a video remember to use your YouTube account options well. Give your video a SEO friendly title and description and include as many relevant keywords as possible.
Google+: If anything is made by Google you had best welcome it with open arms if you value your long term SEO success. Google has officially jumped into the social networking market introducing Google+ which is their answer to sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others. Google+ is an add on extension to your Gmail account where you can build your own personal or business page for others to view. These pages allows you to post comments, photos and videos and also add your email contacts to your “Google Circles” if they have a Gmail account. The most relevant part of the new Google+ feature is the ability to add a +1 button to your website and other online media. The +1 button works similar to the Facebook “like” button where users can click on it and give their approval to your website or other web content. Google has already stated that your Google Circles and +1 count will play a role in future SEO rankings so that should be reason enough to sign up as soon as possible.
Pinterest: Pin Interest wasn’t on people’s radar even a year ago but has picked up a lot of momentum due to its unique premise and visual appeal. Pin Interest works like an office pinup board where you can post pictures of anything that you may find interesting. Your followers can then in turn “repin” those same photos for their contacts to view which could include personal pics or pics you’ve grabbed from the internet. On Pinterest it’s fine to post a little bit of everything from your work portfolio to any hobbies or interests you may have. The idea is you want to show people all things you are into and find others who enjoy a few or many of the same things. Be sure to do a strategic search for topics or categories that relate to your business and follow people who could be a useful contact in the future. Pinterest is a great way to meet people on a personal level which can then turn to business at a later time.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn still stands out amongst its peers as the top social networking dedicated to business professionals only. The whole point of LinkedIn is to expand your professional network and make new connections on a purely business level. If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of contacts building your list of connections list on LinkedIn will take a little while at first. Try approaching people to start in a similar market or niche to you and also try joining groups and participating in discussions. Don’t ever try to make a sales pitch to someone you’ve just connected with be very patient with your approach. Work on building a strong LinkedIn profile and make sure people are aware of you by posting information about your business regularly. Once somebody gets to know and trust you as an authority on your industry they will come to you if they want to do business in the future. Also make sure your LinkedIn URL and icon are featured everywhere possible.
Jeff Moyer is a professional web designer in calgary with over a decade of experience on the web development industry. Jeff also specializes in internet marketing, graphic design and business consulting for companies throughout Alberta.