Creating a solid online presence is invaluable to any business. One of the many things that is often argued over in regards to this is which social networking sites are worth all the trouble.After all, truly being involved in the social media for your company can take a great deal of time and effort.
Large corporations sometimes even have departments of employees that Tweet, post to Facebook and then reply to mentions and comments all day long. There is a reason for this madness though, and it is entirely due to how much value the public places on your online presence. The Internet is a completely open forum, and if someone wants to do harm to your company, blasting you on the web is a great way for them to deter customers from giving you their business. Closely monitoring your online presence is vital, and choosing the right social networking sites to affiliate yourself with is just as important.
Below are the top 5 sites that when combined can create the strongest online presence for a business.
- Facebook – Facebook has been the top social networking site for a couple of years now. Simply on the basis of its popularity, it is a good idea to make a business page on Facebook. It is also easy to share photos, videos and links to drive visitors to your website.
- Twitter – Twitter is also extremely popular and is a great way to get out quick, simple information. Since each post cannot exceed 140 characters, keeping up with Twitter can be very easy. Another great feature of Twitter is #hashtagging. Including popular hashtags into your posts when appropriate will allow for more potential clients to stumble upon your Twitter page.
- Yelp – Yelp is most popular for restaurants and retail stores, but it is becoming increasingly popular for all businesses due to its user-friendly design and ratings system. The ratings system allows people to rate your business on a 5-star scale and also leave quick tips and reviews. Your rating on Yelp can be very helpful or very damaging, so be sure to check it often. Patron feedback can be brutal sometimes, but it will give you ideas to improve your business.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn really helps with your professional image. You can create a personal profile, as well as a business profile. It is also good practice to urge employees to create personal accounts, so they will show up on the business page. This can show clients that there are real people behind the scenes and give them an idea of your employees’ credentials and accolades. You can also post status updates in a similar fashion to Twitter and Facebook.
- YouTube – YouTube may seem like a strange addition to this list, but it will help build the visual value of your business. Creating a channel with jovial, but relevant videos, either informing or entertaining the customer, builds loyalty. You also share your videos on other social networks.
And just one last important thing to note about social networking: Many of these sites can be linked, so that by posting on one site you will automatically post the same information to all of them.
Some of these may be surprising to you, while some were probably expected. Feel free to comment and let us know about other social networking sites you feel have helped your business.