Social Media

Top Social Networking Sites

For the past week, we’ve been talking about how to use social networking to grow your business.

How to Promote Your Business With LinkedIn

How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business

How to Use Twitter to Promote Your Business

How Social Networking Grows Your Business

5 Minute Social Media Tactics for Businesses

Here are just some of the many popular social networking sites you can use to grow your business:

1.         MySpace.com

2.         Facebook

3.         Classmates

4.         StumbleUpon

5.         Flickr

6.         YouTube

7.         MyLife.com

8.         Buzznet

9.         Yahoo Buzz

10.       Del.icio.us

11.       Meetup

12.       Xing

13.       LinkedIn

14.       Orkut

15.       Digg

16.       Bebo

17.       Tagged

18.       DeviantART

19.       Twitter

20.       hi5 Networks

21.       CaringBridge

22.       BlackPlanet.com

23.       Gaia Online

24.       AddThis

25.       SodaHead.com

26.       Multiply

27.       Friendster

28.       Xomba

29.       Propeller

30.       MSN Groups

The benefits to using social networking to promote your business have a wide reach. You’ll not only connect with your audience on a new and more personal level, which is required in today’s competitive market, you’ll also reach a whole new group of people.  Couple that with the fact that social networking is extremely cost effective and your return on investment is like nothing else in your marketing toolbox.

8 Social Networking Do’s

1.  Do write attention grabbing posts. Attention grabbing posts can be created a number of ways including:

•  Ask Questions – Asking a question helps engage your reader immediately.

Arouse curiosity – Make them have to click through to find out what you’re talking about.

Provide value – For example a “How to” statement demonstrates value and benefit.

2. Do Integrate Social Networking Into Your Company Website.

Add a find me/follow me button. Most website and blogging platforms offer widgets, modules, or plugins that help you promote your social networking profiles

•  Add it to your signature. Do you have an email signature?  Do you send newsletters, autoresponders, and promotions?  Add your social networking link or name to your signature.

3. Do Choose the Right Social Networking Sites

With more than 200 mainstream social networking sites, and that’s not including all the forums, chat rooms and blogs, it can be difficult to decide which site is the right site to invest your time and energy in. Evaluate them based on:

Popularity – How many active members does the site have?

•  User Statistics – Is your audience participating on this site?

•  Features – Does the site offer business promotion friendly features?

•  Your Profile Options – Are you able to build a profile to build brand awareness and promote your business?

4. Do Create a Social Networking Strategy. Before you begin comparing social networking sites, spend a few hours or days creating a plan. Write down:

•  Who your target audience is

•  What your social networking goals are

• What image you want to convey

•  What options you need to achieve your goals and create your ideal profile

5. Do Test and Track your efforts – Social networking is like any other marketing strategy. It’s important to have a goal, a plan and a system to measure and track. That way you can be sure you’re spending your time and marketing budget wisely.

6. Do Update frequently – Like blogging your social networking results are only as good as your efforts. You can also make use of tools like HootSuite that allow you to schedule your posts on Twitter and let you track several Twitter accounts at once.

7. Do remember to be professional. Talk with your audience as if they were customers because they are potential customers. They’re also potential partners and valuable resources. What impression do you want them to have of you?

8. Do Start small. It’s easy to overextend yourself and join too many social networking sites. Start with one or two, build great profiles and actively engaged followers before you begin marketing and promoting on another site

How to Promote Your Business With LinkedIn

Designed for professionals to network with other professionals, LinkedIn isn’t like other social networking sites. It’s ideal for finding service based companies to work with and if you’re a service company, it’s a great place to be represented. Like many social networking sites, users can invite, create and join groups and search for like minded individuals. However, LinkedIn offers much more.

LinkedIn allows business owners to:

Receive Recommendations – Other business owners can boost your profile by recommending you and your business.

Create Groups – Like Facebook, you can create a group for your target audience to join. This gives you the ability to connect with and market directly to them.

Utilize Applications – LinkedIn offers applications like Blog Link, Polls, and Reading Lists to help you enhance your profile and connect with others.

Advertise your business on LinkedIn for more awareness, traffic and exposure.

LinkedIn is a fantastic opportunity to build your professional network. Along with Facebook and Twitter, and any other social networking tools you choose to use, promoting and growing your business just got easier.

How Social Networking Grows Your Business

social networking

There’s no doubt, social networking gives you access to your audience but what else can you accomplish with this tool?

Social gives business owners the ability to:

• Build an online presence
• Increase website traffic
• Boost SEO
• Establish credibility
• Connect with your audience
• Glean valuable information to grow your business

Whether your online business is just starting out, or you’re a large corporation, adding social networking to your marketing strategy will help you promote and grow your business.

Options to Use Social Networking to Promote Your Business

There are a number of ways you can use social networking to promote your business. Let’s take a look at the most popular and powerful.

Drive Traffic to Your Blog or Website – Post a curiosity generating or attention grabbing headline and include a link to your website.
Promote – Launching a new product? Announce it via social networking sites. Offering a huge holiday discount? Let people know.
Share Lessons and Experiences – Social networking is about connecting. If you have something relevant to your industry to share, share it. Start conversations and partake in them.
Share Pictures, Audio and Video – Many social networking sites embrace visual forms of posting as well. YouTube of course is a video social networking site but even Facebook lets you link to and post audio and video messages. And Twitter developers have created picture and video sharing applications.
Share Information – Post interesting and relevant statistics, quotes, or headlines and start a conversation. When appropriate, link to your company website.
Advertise – Many social networking sites also sell advertising space.

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