SM for Business
Whether you’ve mastered your social media outlets and are conversing with thousands or not interested in checking out Facebook and Twitter just yet, you’ll want to take a look at these three sites.
More importantly, you’ll want to make sure your customers are looking at these sites:
Yelp is currently the most popular online review site, from restaurants, to convention center facilities and everything else. If a business or facility exists, someone can write up a review on it for others to see. I’d recommend that anyone who has friends, family, colleagues or business partners that have visited one of our managed locations be asked to post their remarks on the site.
While this site is a little clunky to those who don’t constantly explore the world of all things Google, every time a location is mapped via Google Maps you have the option to review the facility. For example if you mapped the San Jose convention center, you can select on the highlighted space “A” and choose “Write Review” from the information bubble that pops up.
This site is my least favorite of the three, but may be a place some of your clients may already frequent. While all reviews on this site have to be complimentary to the business in order to be posted, it’s still worthwhile, especially if you’re looking for people you may want to contact for testimonials.
Niche Social Media Sites for Business
While many Social Media sites will talk about why you should be using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I wanted to bring attention to a few minor niche sites that are specifically geared towards businesses and their owners.
The first is Merchant Circle; a site I find very promising. While its user base has only recently broken the million member mark it offers businesses a place to connect with other local businesses in their area. More than this though, it gives you the opportunity to connect with customers in your neighborhoods and allows for Q&A’s from those looking to learn more about your business. A great social media tool that really helps to qualify your followers rather than just hoping that the exposure you have is really interested in you.
Another one you may already be familiar with is Plaxo. While my personal preference is LinkedIn as I believe it offers more tools and definitely has a larger user base to connect with, many people enjoy Plaxo as it offers the same professional networking, but with a smaller pool of people. It’s definitely easier for those starting out in the social media world to get noticed here.
Another site similar to LinkedIn is Fast Pitch! Networking, which focuses more on user profiles promoting their business rather than just their expertise in certain areas. Because of this, the site includes a lot of built in marketing tools for its users to use including press release, classified, event and video pages for your profile. I really think this site has a lot to offer and I’d keep an eye on it, even if you aren’t ready to join just yet.
I’m a big fan of free resources, and I believe there is much you can do with the online resources available that do not come with price tags. However, if your budget has room, the two following sites may be something worth looking into.
The first is QAlias, which allows you to create an online profile for your company, you and your employees. While this alone doesn’t justify the $9.95 a month charge, what they also include are Google Ads for your profiles. This can help whether you’re already running a Google Adwords campaign or don’t have the time to set one up on your own.
The next site is BizNik, which is strictly for Business to Business networking. While they offer a basic membership that is free to create your profile and connect with other businesses, you’ll find you won’t be able to really network with anyone until you pay for their “Pro” or “ProVIP” services which start at $10 a month.