OK you have a website, and you like how it looks. Great. But before you sit down for that congratulatory pina colada, consider that there is still more Internet real estate of yours that should be claimed by you before someone else claims it. Let’s look at just a few:
Notice that I’ve said “blogs” here and not just “blog”. It is possible, depending on how ambitious you are or your company is, to have more than one blog on more than one topic. Blogs are so important as a source of current content that Google has a separate blog search option. Your opportunity is to create an ongoing conversation about your industry that, even if not popular with visitors, can be attractive to search engine bots which can boost your ranking for desired keywords. Yes, these are a challenge to maintain on a regular basis, but there are real benefits to the stature of your website.
By establishing your presence inside of these social media sites, you can accomplish the following goals:
- You can converse with potential customers inside the walls of the social media site itself. Such customer interaction can often be more intimate than through search.
- Engaging customers on your social media site can help drive traffic to your web site. This can also work the other way around. More traffic could boost your standings in the search engine results.
Facebook has become a phenomena that is unavoidable to many businesses. There are over 120 million Facebook users who use the service regularly – sometimes daily. Facebook gives you several opportunities to market to potential customers. There is an easy to use ad system where you can target users on a number of different attributes. You can establish a company page that allows your fans to be updated regularly on news, events, or special offers from your company. Your employees can drive traffic to your site by listing your company’s website in their own profile.
LinkedIn is a business networking site that has about 40 million users. It is more of a “resume” type site, but is indispensable to professionals of all types around the world. LinkedIn, like Facebook, has its own easy to use ad network. Here again, your employees can
Ork who? Orkut is Google’s social media site like Facebook. Much less popular than Facebook, Orkut still boasts over 100 million users. Through my dealings with an Indian fashions site, I’ve become aware that Orkut is widely used in India. That information will become more useful over time.
MySpace is still an important social media site, although Facebook seems to have more growth. I know some who prefer MySpace over Facebook, and probably should be if you have a band or music to feature on your page.
Ignore Twitter at your peril. The ruling mullahs in Iran are all too familiar with the tremendous power that Twitter can have. On the negative side, if people are Twittering about you in a negative way, your reputation could be going down the tube without you knowing about it. You may not be glued to a Twitter feed but you need to find a way to be aware of the chatter. If you are sophisticated enough, you can create your own chatter. My feeling is that Twitter has only just begun its trajectory as a social media powerhouse. Younger generations of users have already embraced the technology. Those are your future customers.
In March, Google served up nearly 6 billion (with a b) videos. Video is an important new medium to get your message out, as young people prefer it over the traditional wall of words on most websites. Your company can create their own page on YouTube with links to your website. And if done well, your YouTube channel could improve your chances of high search listings for your desired keywords.
The local directories inside the search engines are both important and free. for those reasons, I can’t imagine why would pass these up, except that a lot of people still don’t know about them.
There are hundreds of additional social media sites on which you can establish your personal, group, or company identity. Here is another, more definitive list of social media sites. Be careful. Your head may explode.
A little browsing of these sites may impress you enough to embrace the technology. Those organizations and companies that have embraced social networking have hired agencies or in-house social networking specialists. If nothing else, be aware of what is going on in these media.
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