The virtual world has and is being flooded with a wave of social interaction. In the past it was all a monologue where people put up websites and people then viewed the information and that was about it. But with the invention of blogs, the ability to comment and most notably huge social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the Internet is now a very different place to do business and interact in. So it makes sense that your business should adapt to include this new dynamic of social interaction online. Let’s have a look at a few options and why they help.
Facebook Fan Page www.facebook.com
Over a billion people now use Facebook. You want a facebook fan page because you tap directly into all that traffic. People can easily share your business fan page to their “friends” and these “friends” can share to their “friends”. Another bonus is you can share your website link to these people as well. Another great benefit is that your Facebook fan page will have a lot of power in Google's eyes and it might rank on the search engines by itself. Try to get a keyword into your Facebook Fan Page title! You will also find that by inputting your business address into Facebook that it will help with your Google map listing.
If you want to invest money, Facebook also offers a great advertising opportunity. You can purchase ads on the Facebook network that you can target to people in any geographical area, and base it on any of their “likes. For example you can target it to people in the UK who are 18-35 and interested in weight loss. The advertising options are really endless when it comes to Facebook.
All local business should have a Twitter account too. Twitter is another super popular social site. It is a great place to get up to the minute information. To really tap into Twitter, you need to devote time to it and for most small business owners that is impossible. My recommendation would be to get a member of staff to really focus in on this or get outside help.
It allows you to keep track of anyone talking about you or your business in real time. You can also respond instantly to people who have questions about your general area of business. Finally you can also monitor what people are saying about your competition and instantly woo the ones who are complaining that their requirements are not being met by your competitor.
Digg is a social bookmarking site. At it's most basic level it is a place for people to share interesting links. You are going to want to create an account here and submit all of your webpages to Digg. Even if this doesn't result in traffic, it can give you a boost in your Google rankings. If you have a blog you should submit every post you make to Digg once you publish, this will help Google find your new content quickly.
Similar to digg where you can share interesting links, so it makes sense to share yours here too. It has been growing in popularity again, so would be wise to check it out.
Another popular social bookmarking website to add to your list.
Chime In www.chime.in
Our final one is Chime.in is which is a bookmarking site that will provide you with a solid backlink to your website (and blog posts). Just like the others you can join and submit your website but make sure to use keywords in the “title” field.
These sites are a great way to get started in the social media world. You can be assured of a steady stream of web traffic if you are active on all of them. If you don't have time to manage these yourself, think about educating one of your tech savvy staff. Staff will often be motivated by these type of jobs if they are already active on these sites.
- Create accounts at all of the above social sites and make sure to include links back to your website
- For the social bookmarking websites it is good to get in the habit of submitting each new piece of content you create to them consistently.
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Course Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Market Research
Chapter 2: Optimising Your Website
Chapter 3: Off Page Optimisation
Chapter 4: Social Factors
Chapter 5: Measuring Google Local Success
Chapter 6: Getting a helping hand
BONUS Members Chapter (Contains Cheat Sheet)