Social Media

“Why do I have to link to social media on my website?”

I’ve been asked this question many times by small business owners. After all, most would rather spend their time on customers in person than creating media posts in Facebook or Twitter.

One of the reasons social media is important for small business webpages is for search engine optimization. The more relevant links out and in from your pages, the higher ranking you will get when someone does a Google search for your business. These links can be from your own social media pages. Also having social media shows potential clients that you understand modern digital media and keep up with such things. It is free to create accounts for most social media sites. Extra promotion or advertising, though, can cost.

“So what kind of social media should I have?”

Although different types of marketing sites are often gathered under the rubric of social media, they do focus on different areas. If you want people to find your physical location and rate it, get listed on local directories. Local directories are simply business listings. You create an account, add your contact information and location, and then rarely edit it again unless you move.

If you want to let people know about upcoming events, contests, and sales, make a Facebook, GooglePlus, or Twitter site. Social networking is all about interaction among groups of people. This takes more work in that continued weekly updates are usually necessary to keep people’s interest. Starting with family and friends, it’s a quick way to freely publicize your business.

If you want people to become more knowledgeable about the business you’re in, get a Pinterest or LinkedIn site where you can share others’ images that link to a topic on the Internet or academic papers. If you want to share your own images or video, create a Instagram or YouTube account.

Local Directories

Google for Business. There are certain types of social media that everyone needs. Google for Business is essential. That’s because your business will pop up immediately on the right hand side of the page when someone searches for your businesses name in Google. It should show an image of the exterior of your business, your contact information and hours, a map with location, and a ratings area.

Yelp. Yelp is a phone app, essentially, that people use to quickly find, via a local map, businesses, such as restaurants, coffee shops, emergency clinics, car washes, etc. Even if your business doesn’t fall into one of their common categories, it can’t hurt to be on this location service. Sign up at Yelp for Business Owners.

YellowPages Marketing Solutions. YP has a number of free services, such as a local directory. Register here.

Social Networking

Facebook. Facebook pages are the most popular. “Worldwide, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users (Facebook MAUs) which is a 15 percent increase year over year.” (Source: Facebook as of 7/27/16) You don’t use a special account to create a business page in Facebook. Go into your own personal account and under the top menu, under the downward pointing arrow on the right is the menu for creating new Pages. Create a new page and it will go out to your friends who can like the pages or interact with them. You can pay to advertise more widely, under the button called Promote, on the lower, left-hand sidebar.

GooglePlus. GooglePlus is an alternate Facebook that many use.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn a primarily a professional networking site. If you have a lengthy resume or are active in your field by presenting at conferences or you publish, consider an account with LinkedIn. Not only will you be able to network with others in your field across the world, you can let your potential clients know and trust you by linking to your resume or other professional accomplishments.

Pinterest. Pinterest is a fun and easy way to collect webpages of content, because it is organized by images. Anyone can follow your collections of image links and there is usually nothing personal about postings as there can be in other social networking sites.

Twitter. If you enjoy making constant short comments about your business, go ahead and add Twitter. I lost interest years ago, since sporadic short comments, out of context, seemed more difficult to decipher than it was worth.

 

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