If you feel your business is lacking with its online presence or social media presence you don’t have to worry. You can find numerous social media tips and articles online to help you learn and understand social media.
But with new social media sites being developed every day, it's hard to determine which site you should create an account on, which you should learn and which you should skip completely. Some businesses think, "it's free, sign up for them all!" and it's a very common mistake that many businesses make. Businesses may think that social media is free, but it's actually not. It will cost them time and if they're managing their social media properly, a lot of time. Companies that understand that social media is a large asset for their company, as well as an added lead source to their business, typically end up hiring a company to manage their social media.
Before we list social media sites that every business needs a presence on it’s important to remember that social media is like school. It doesn’t matter how well you do in school today if you don’t show up tomorrow. What I’m trying to say is that you need to stay consistent and you shouldn’t take on more than you (or your company) can handle. A social media website that is not updated frequently and is not being used to engage with its audience will hurt your company in the long run. (Think of having several different store fronts – but the door is locked and no one is there to open it and take orders.)
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Now that you understand that social media is about consistency, let’s take a look at 35 social Media Sites that Every Business Needs a Presence on. We’ve broken down each social media site by category – to help you focus on the social media platforms that can best help your business grow. Enjoy.
- Reddit: Upload stories or articles on reddit and drive traffic to your site or blog. If you submit items frequently, you'll gain a loyal following and increase your presence on this site.
- Digg: Digg has a great following online because of it's great usability. Visitors can submit or browse articles from specific categories such as business, technology, website design, promotional products and more.
- Del.icio.us: Start social bookmarketing your web to better business with this great site. Invite users to organize and publicize interesting items via tagging and networking.
- StumbleUpon: Businesses gain a great online presence and new audience by adding the StumbleUpon toolbar to their browse and "channel surfing" the Web. You can connect and share discoveries with your friends and meet people with similiar interests. It's like the networking from industry specific tradeshows, minus the traveling.
- Technorati: If you want to increase your blog's readership, consider registering it with Technorati, a network of blogs and writers that lists top stories in categories like Business, Entertainment and Technology.
- Ning: After hanging around the same social networks for a while, you may feel inspired to create your own, where you can bring together clients, vendors, customers and co-workers in a confidential, secure corner of the Web. Ning lets users design free social networks that they can share with anyone.
- Squidoo: According to Squidoo, "everyone's an expert on something. Share your knowledge!" Share your industry's secrets by answering questions and designing a profile page to help other members.
- WikiHow: Create a how-to guide or tutorial on wikiHow to share your company's services with the public for free.
- YouTube: I'm sure you heard of Youtube, but did you know that it is the second largest Search Engine following Google? Another question, do you have videos on Google about your business? From fashion to technology to funny children videos - Youtube has it all. Make it a point to have company overviews, testimonals and any other related content that you can place on the social sharing site!
Sign up with these great online networking communities as a company or as an individual (typically doing both is needed or at least recommended) You'll be able to connect with other professionals, take advantage of recruiting opportunities, cross-promotional events and more.
- LinkedIn: Arguably one of the best social media platforms for business. Create an account to connect with professionals, alumni, business associates and more.
- Ecademy: Ecademy prides itself on "connecting business people" through its online network, blog and message-board chats, as well as its premier BlackStar membership program, which awards exclusive benefits.
- Xing: An account with networking site Xing can "open doors to thousands of companies." Use the professional contact manager to organize your new friends and colleagues, and take advantage of the Business Accelerator application to "find experts at the click of a button, market yourself in a professional context [and] open up new sales channels."
- Facebook: Unarguably the most popular social media site to date, what started out for college kids has grown into a social platform for students, parents, grandparents, businesses and more. Create a personal account and then create a business account and start networking!
- Care2: Care2 isn't just a networking community for professionals: It's touted as "the global network for organizations and people who Care2 make a difference." If your business is making efforts to go green, let others know by becoming a presence on this site.
- Gather: This networking community is made up of members who think. Browse categories concerning books, health, money, news and more to ignite discussions on politics, business and entertainment. This will help your company tap into its target audience and find out what they want.
- MEETin.org: Once you've acquired a group of contacts in your city by networking on MEETin.org, organize an event so that you can meet face-to-face.
- Tribe: Cities like Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Chicago have unique online communities on tribe. Users can search for favorite restaurants, events, clubs and more.
- Ziggs: Ziggs is "organizing and connecting people in a professional way." Join groups and make contacts through your Ziggs account to increase your company's presence online and further your own personal career.
- Plaxo: Join Plaxo to organize your contacts and stay updated with feeds from Digg, Amazon.com, del.icio.us and more.
- NetParty: If you want to attract young professionals in cities like Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando Fla., create an account with the networking site NetParty. You'll be able to connect with qualified, up-and-coming professionals online, then meet them at a real-life happy-hour event where you can pass out business cards, pitch new job openings and more.
- Networking For Professionals: Networking For Professionals is another online community that combines the Internet with special events in the real world. Post photos, videos, résumés and clips on your online profile while you meet new business contacts.
Niche Social-Media Sites
Every social media site is not for every business. Use these social media sites to narrow down your businesses target audience. You'll find other professionals and consumers who are more interested in what your company has to offer.
- Pixel Groovy: Web workers will love Pixel Groovy, an open-source site that lets members submit and rate tutorials for Web 2.0, email and online-marketing issues.
- Chime.in: Chime.in is a social network based on interests, where people share, connect with others, build communities around their favorite topics.
- Small Business Brief: Become a contributing writer and post information that can be helpful to businesses or your clients. Gain exposure, new customers and more.
- SEO TAGG: Stay on top of news from the Web marketing and SEO (search-engine optimization) industries by becoming an active member of this online community.
General Social-Media Sites
While these social media sites don't fall under a specific category, they still provide excellent opportunities for businesses to advertise, promote specials, events, services and more.
- Wikipedia: Besides creating your own business reference page on Wikipedia, you can connect with other users on Wikipedia's Community Portal and at the village pump, where you'll find professionals enthusiastic about news, business, research and more.
- Newsvine: Feature top employees by uploading their articles, studies or other news-related items to this site. A free account will also get you your own column and access to the Newsvine community.
- 43 Things: This site bills itself as "the world's most popular online goal setting community." By publicizing your company's goals and ambitions, you'll gain a following of customers, investors and promoters who cheer you on as you achieve success.
- Twitter: Twitter is without a question one of the top social sites that has taken the business world by storm. Twitter allows you to post short status updates called tweets, share photos and more.
- Yahoo! Answers: Yahoo! Answers is a social Q&A service where users ask questions and anyone can answer. Search for questions related to your industry and offer answers, advice and tips. Don't forget to link your answers to your company's website and you'll be sure to have a new following soon!
Job Social Sites
While many businesses want to connect via social to gain more business - it's also important that you keep your business stacked with talent. When your in need of another taleted pair of hands, check out these job sites to post your job and find the best candidate.
- CareerBuilder.com: Reach millions of candidates by posting jobs on this must-visit site.
- CollegeRecruiter.com: If your firm wants to hire promising entry-level employees, check CollegeRecuriter.com for candidates with college degrees.
- Monster: Post often to separate your business from all the other big companies that use this site to advertise job openings.
- Freelance Switch Job Listings: Freelance Switch is the freelancer's online mecca and boasts articles, resource toolboxes, valuable tips and a job board.
- Yahoo! Careers: This site is often one of the first places that job seekers visit. Post open opportunities and check out informative articles and guides to gain insight on the hiring and interviewing process.