Recently I wrote about claiming and optimizing your Google Places page and analyzing and improving your website. Today we are going to explore some of the top social media sites and what you can do to use them to grow your business.
There are literally hundreds of social media websites available online today. In fact, besides all of the official “social media” sites, there are literally millions of sites that have integrated social sharing options.
So, the next step to getting your online house in order is to get your social media presence set up and optimized.
Although Facebook was originally set up for individuals, they opened things up to businesses a few years ago. From a business perspective you can set up a Facebook page for your business so you can separate your personal life from your business life. Setting up a page is pretty simple. Facebook has even created a site called Facebook for Business which will help you not only with Pages, but Ads, Sponsored Stories and the Facebook platform.
According to the site there are essentially four steps to growing your business with Facebook pages; 1) build your page, 2) engage your customers, 3) grow your community, and 4) learn and grow. For more indepth help with your pages, they have created a guide called Building Your Business with Facebook Pages (pdf opens in a new window) that talks about strategy, best practices, encouraging fan participation and building connections.
For some real world examples check out this monster post about optimizing your Facebook pages from Lori Taylor at Social Caffeine.
Twitter is really a micro-blogging platform that allows you to follow others you are interested in and they can follow you back. Twitter, unlike Facebook, allows you to follow people without becoming their friend. For this reason Twitter is a great place to begin your social media journey. It’s been likened to a cocktail party. You find people that are having conversations you are interested in and you listen. When you have something of value to add you can reply and begin a conversation with the people you are following. In turn, they can follow you back and you can start to build the relationship from there.
Hubspot recently released a new ebook called How To Use Twitter for Business – An Introductory Guide (you’ll need to provide a little bit of information to download this one). This guide includes in introduction to the basics and terminology used with Twitter and goes on to show you ways to optimize your profile and then helps explain how you can use Twitter to develop and promote your brand, interact with your customer base, track what people are saying about your brand, create buzz for upcoming events, promote content on your blog, develop relationships and generate sales leads.
LinkedIn was actually created as a business networking site and has done a very good job of sticking to their core business plan. There are still some best practices you can implement to get the most out of your participation on this platform.
LinkedIn has put together a series of short videos to show you how to use LinkedIn to grow your business. These videos look at how different types of companies can use LinkedIn to get exposure for your company, connect with others, spread your message and build a team of world-class professionals.
To build on that, last week I read an article from Search Engine Land on How to Use LinkedIn to Improve Organic Visibility. It shows step-by-step how to get the most benefit from having a company page on LinkedIn.
Google+ is the new kid on the block when it comes to social networks, but it is, of course, a part of the Google family of products and services, so it has a lot of strength behind it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the best. We’ve seen products from Google come out with a lot of fanfare and then dissipate just a quickly. However, to date, Google+ is the fastest growing social network ever launched.
A friend and social media expert, Shama Kabani of Marketing Zen has put together Google Plus: A How-To Guide (pdf opens in a new window) that will provide you with a quick and concise overview of this new platform.
As of the writing of this article, Google+ is still by invitation only. So, if you’d like to try Google+ send me your name and email and I’ll send you an invitiation and we can connect there.
If you have anything you would like to add, please do so in the comments below.
Still have questions? Put those in the comments too and I’ll be glad to answer them.
To your success!