Monthly Archives: March 2013

Social networks – the rundown

Last post we discussed building links on social media profiles, so we thought we’d follow-up with a brief run down on a variety of social media sites and how they can help promote your small business.

Facebook

The biggest and most popular social media site, Facebook has been around since 2004. It’s a great tool for a small business, when used properly.

Once you set up a business page (not profile), you can attract likers, post specials, link to your blog, publish product images, share4 information about upcoming sales and so much more.

You can also respond to customer queries, seek feedback, and generally interact with customers  – and prospective customers.

And while they won’t all head from your Facebook page to your actual website when you post a link, some will, generating valuable traffic and attracting the attention of Google.

Twitter

Around since 2006, Twitter is another great platform to promote your business – and there’s not even any pressure to post pictures or videos!

One of the mistakes, however, that some people make on Twitter is to only tweet their links, or promote their business. No one likes a one-sided tweeter.

Some of your best promotions on Twitter will come from other people tweeting – or re-tweeting your material – but if you never interact with anyone, they are less likely to do this.

And remember, every time someone tweets your blog post, you earn a back link.

YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the second highest search engine after Google? That’s right, people are looking on YouTube for your product or service. And if you are not there, you are pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.

It’s relatively simple to set up a YouTube channel and start spruiking. And if you don’t have the time, or the technology puts you off, Direct Sites Online can help.

Linked In

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is considered a more “professional” social network. Some believe that LinkedIn is just for professionals who want a job (or want someone to fill a job), but it is so much more than that.

Like Facebook, you can post updates, share in groups, keep up with industry news and more. And it’s particularly good for promotion if you happen to be a B2B business – especially if you have great, industry-relevant content to share.

Pinterest

A relative newcomer to the social media scene, Pinterest is gaining a lot of traction with those in the hand-made or design business. It’s the perfect place to showcase your wares and hope someone will “repin” them.

And like any social media network, Google loves fresh content from Pinterest

Google +

Google + came out on 2011 and, since it’s Google, it’s great for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO experts love it, but it has a long way to go before it can truly compete with Facebook.

Google + uses circles that you can create and share content with, and your contacts can be on more than one circle. This makes it fantastic if you need to segment your audience.

Foursquare

If you have bricks and mortar premises, Foursquare is a great tool that allows people to “check-in” and businesses can offer promotions such as “free coffee for each 10th check-in” to encourage customers to use Foursquare.

It’s also great for generating quality local search results.

There are other social media networks, such as Instagram, Stumbleupon, MySpace(which just unveiled a new look), and Tumblr.

As mentioned in the previous post, the key to good social media promotion is to stick to a couple (where you audience is likely to be), and use them well.

If you need help setting up or managing social media accounts, contact Direct Sites Online on 02 9557 7623 or info@directsitesonline.com.

Link building using social media

Link building with social mediaIf you have been reading our blog posts here at Direct Sites Online, you would know by now that we are big fans of using social media to market your small business.

Social media is an incredibly valuable tool when used properly. Pretty much every man and his dog (seriously) are on Facebook; heaps are on Twitter; and then there’s LinkedIn, Pinterest, Googl+, Foursquare, Instagram. The list goes on.

We’ve told you that social media is about relationship building, two-way communication with customers and developing trust.

But here’s one thing we haven’t discussed – the value of social media link building, which really is just another form of relationship management. After all, the best way to get a good link is through being a trusted brand.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook are trusted sites, which is why a profile link to your website from one of them is a good link (in Google’s eyes and in the eyes of your target audience). Especially if you have a good number of REAL likers and/or followers, that comment and interact.

It’s a pretty efficient and effectively way to promote your website, your brand and yourself.

So how do you build links socially?

The simplest way is to promote your site through your own social media profile. And if you constantly publish great, original content, you will find others reposting, or re-tweeting – firming up those links even more. And make sure you link to your webpage regularly.

Don’t forget that having someone repost, or re-tweet, is almost like a real-life referral. Their likers or followers will see it as an endorsement of your brand. Which means those links might even bring new prospect – and perhaps new conversions.

And what are the benefits?

As far as we are concerned, the main benefit is brand visibility. And not only do real people see you brand interacting and being trusted, so does Google.

A great social media profile will hopefully encourage more people to being customers, just as it will encourage Google to improve your ranking.

Social network profiles also give the opportunity to link back to your main site – which carries the same benefits as any other back-linking strategy.

One thing to remember however, is that it’s best to concentrate on one or two social networks where you target audience is, and not to try and be all things to all people.

Next post, we will go through the various social networks and how they can benefit your brand.

Direct Sites Online can give your social media profiles the boost they need to help build links to your main site. Contact us today on 02 9557 7623 or info@directsitesonline.com