Which social media sites are best for your business?

social media with social squidsIt seems that every day a new social media platform arrives on the scene. Trying to figure out which ones work best for your business can be confusing. It does not matter whether your business is business-to-business or business-to-consumer. Here are some clues to help with the decisions.

Everyone can benefit from the mass appeal of Facebook and Twitter. There are so many people on these sites that you can use the shotgun approach to finding business. That is when you send you message to so many people, a percentage of them must be interested. You Tube also has a wide appeal, but you have to have to create interesting videos that people want to see.

If your business can show before and after” photos like home improvements, makeovers, dog grooming, etc., the more visually oriented platforms will work great. Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Vine are excellent ways to let the visuals do the talking. For businesses that are creative, like illustrators, photographers and web designers, the visually oriented apps are your best bet. Show off your work!

An accountant, lawyer or medical practice can benefit from using blogs. A blog can be more targeted, especially if you use appropriate bookmarking sites to spread the word. Blogs can have a mass appeal as well, especially if you have a topic that is appropriate for a wide audience. By offering tips, you let readers know you are an expert in your field.

All social media helps you get your business name in front of an audience every time you post. Conversely, if you only post occasionally, you are losing that audience. By using the right social media platforms, you will become a household name. Once that happens, people will begin to think of your business when they need to hire someone in your field or make a purchase.

Bookmarking sites can work for you

bookmark-your-blog-and-websiteBookmarking sites are the one easy way to spread your message to the most people in a short amount of time. If you have never heard of StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, BizSugar, YahooBookmarks, GoogleBookmarks, you are missing out on a way to reach countless people. For every blog I write, website I design and article I post, I spread the word through bookmarking sites.

There are tons of these sites out there, you just have to know where to find them. For the most part, the sites are popularity contests. Like or vote for the page, and it rises in the ranks.

By using the Add This toolbar to your browser, you have a convenient way to organize all of the bookmarking and social sites. You load your favorite sites, and when you use the toolbar, all of your social sites are right there. You can just click on them one by one and share your blog, site or article. Unlike Twitter, Facebook and Google+, many bookmarking sites can only be used once per page. Each blog entry can be viewed as its own page, so you can promote each blog entry through each bookmarking site for maximum exposure of your business.

Before you sign yourself up for a whole bunch of bookmarking sites, take a look at each one and see if it is appropriate for your business blog or website. Some, like BizSugar, are more appropriate for marketing and business related sites, but not so much for others. StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg are more general and have lots of topics or subtopics from which to choose. If your business does not fit well into their custom topics, it might not be a good fit for you. Don’t waste your valuable time promoting something that is never going to be viewed. Remember to sign up for – and use – Google Analytics and see which sites and search engines are sending you the most traffic.

Another issue is how many members the sites have. Some of the bookmarking sites have limited membership, or the members may all be from foreign countries. That’s great if you market your business to foreign countries, but not if you don’t.

You have to join each bookmarking site before you can use them. But after that, it becomes easy and routine. Add This has sharing codes that are easily attached to your blog so other people can share the page too. You will see the share buttons at the bottom of each of my blog entries. Once you set up your accounts, you can add the codes to the blog. Be nice to the bloggers you like and share their page. Hint, hint…

The Add This sharing codes and toolbar both have loads of social media and bookmarking sites. That is why I chose to use their links on my blogs and websites. In order to grow your business, use these bookmarking sites as much as can. I’d love to hear about how bookmarking is helping you.

Social media in the news today from Gaga to Obama

Just when I started trying to think of something to write about today, I heard all kinds of social media news. More and more often, social media events are becoming mainstream media events. TV and radio news covers a social media topic almost every day.

This morning, as a follow-up to the school shooting in Baltimore County Monday, there was a major surge on twitter. A special needs student, Daniel Borowy, was apparently the random victim of the shooter. We are told that he is a huge fan of Lady Gaga. There has been a push to get Lady Gaga to come to Baltimore and visit this young man as he recuperates from his injuries. At this point, he is still in critical condition.

While students of the school brought painted signs saying “Pray for Daniel” today, the social media side of the story was also coming to life. Over 10,000 people are fans of a Facebook page that asks for prayers for the boy. The hashtag #GagaVisitDaniel was trending on Twitter this morning. I don’t know if Lady Gaga has any interest in visiting this boy or not, but my curiosity is definitely piqued.

Will social media put the pressure on this singer to come visit a sick special needs students? Tune in next time. It just might happen.

I figured that I had my topic today with the Lady Gaga thing and then I saw a post on Facebook where someone said President Obama was on the site Reddit. If you don’t know what Reddit is, it is a site where you can post a page or link you like and make a comment about it. People can give it thumbs up or thumbs down.

I’ve been trying to see what is going on – but guess what? President Obama crashed Reddit! So many people are trying to do exactly what I wanted to do, see what the president has to say on Reddit and they are overwhelmed.

After proofing my post, Reddit is back up and running. I urge you to check it out. There are some funny, serious and thought-provoking comments on there. Here is one from Obama himself, “…this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run.”

That’s the power of social media! Don’t you just love it?