Social networking for businesses offers a couple of major advantages. Not only does it help you build a list of contacts and leads directly through the site, but it can also help to build your search engine link profile, ultimately giving you greater search engine results and an increased level of search engine traffic. Because social networking is one of the biggest phenomenon to hit the Internet there are many sites that you can use to promote your business and becoming an active and useful member of these communities will help to increase exposure for your website and business.
LinkedIn is a social networking site geared solely towards professionals and businesses. It is also structured in such a way that when you add a new member to your list of connections, it also adds their connections to your list, and the connection of their connections. This three tier structure can help you build a mammoth list of new contacts to greatly improve your exposure.
While Facebook is not geared solely towards professionals and businesses, the audience it attracts is a more mature one with a heavy slant towards business relationships. Some of the unique features and opportunities, including the Facebook marketplace and Facebook applications, also make it a powerful addition to a social media optimization campaign.
MySpace was one of the first social media websites that was tapped into by the business community. Unfortunately, it is also largely frequented by unethical advertisers meaning that you have to be extremely cautious to offer genuinely valuable content otherwise users will ignore your messages and your efforts. The MySpace Groups are, however, a genuinely useful pool of information and contacts.
Reddit is a social bookmarking website. Members can add stories, news pieces, and articles that are then read by other users and bookmarked if they are good. The more pieces you submit and the more bookmarks you receive the greater your exposure and the better you will fare with your social media optimization and your search engine rankings.
Squidoo is similar to Reddit in that it is a social bookmarking site. There is also a section that enables registered users to answer niggling questions posed by other users, further promoting your profile as being an expert in a particular field. Set up a profile page that answers users questions that they are likely to have (in your field of choice) and then set about answering questions and joining conversations that are relevant to your business.
Newsvine is a social media website that lets businesses register and then post to the general community. Employees of your business (or you) can post regular pieces and insights into your business further promoting what you do and how you help clients and customers. Newsvine isn’t as popular as other social media websites but it does have a strong following that is growing.
It would be remiss to ignore YouTube in any article pertaining to social networking and social media. Virtually any business that wants to be successful in social media optimization, or in viral marketing, has created a video and posted it to the YouTube community. Videos can be instructional, informational, educational, humorous, or commercially based. If they’re good then they will go viral to some extent and you can count on some good traffic for your efforts.