Start Here: Using Social Media

UPDATED 11-14-11 The reason to START HERE is because many of the directory listings you will need to submit to give you the opportunity to provide links to your social media pages.  Some of them give you the opportunity to promote additional business websites or a blog.  Even if you do not have time to fully complete the social media sites I recommend below, go ahead and claim your pages and bookmark the URL, so you can copy and paste it into the directories, such as which allow you to list your other sites.
One of the first things I do when I start out with a new client is I setup their social media sites.  If you want to do it yourself, the ones I would setup are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube.  Sure, there are many others out there (anyone remember when Myspace was the big deal?) but those four are the big ones.

When I saw the social network, I was super excited to get home and get to work on my internet marketing business.  The vast power of the internet is something I talk about often and I really enjoy taking advantage of its connective power to re-introduce old friends, meet new friends, and promote business in ways we never dreamed of before Mark Zuckerberg was born.

Today, it is estimated that 50% of Americans have a Facebook account.  Some people are addicted to it and others (like me) use it as a tool for business and to find and be found by old friends.

So, it begs the question:  Do I need a Facebook Page for my business?

The short answer is "No".  But I recommend it, if for no other reason than it gives people one more way that they can find your business online.  Facebook, like Google, is part of our culture, especially those of us born around the time Saturday Night Fever hit movie theatres.

Here's my short list of why to setup a Facebook Page for Business:
  • Instant connection to friends/people you email
  • Stay top of mind with those following you
  • Setup events, run promotions
  • Creates valuable back links to your main website
  • Lets fan interact with each other in discussion areas
  • Auto-update via RSS from your blog/website
  • Facebook pages sometimes outrank website pages
The list goes on.  It's better if you setup your own Facebook fan page because Facebook will automatically search your email contacts (if you let it), to jump start your connections.  I can set up your page for you, if you like.  Either way, I recommend using your brand as your Facebook Fan Page, so those who want to find you, can.  Plus, it's a good way to protect your brand.  (I wouldn't want someone creating their own Mike Munter SEO page and just posting a lot of garbage!)

Ditto this for Twitter, LinkedIn, and your Youtube Channel.  As a small business SEO specialist, I really see the long term benefit in having lots of other places on the web all pointing back to your primary website.  Think of all these other web properties as funnels, with each one leading potential customers right back to your money site.

Your social media sites (except Youtube*) do not have to be a lot of work.  For my purposes, I like to set it and forget it.  That means I take the time to setup the sites and then get them linking to each other and get my blog auto-posting to them and then I don't mess with them too much.  If you ran a retail business, though, you might want to be a bit more active, setting up specials and running surveys.  It's all up to you.

One more thing - several directory sites allow you to connect to your social media sites - moreover, many other sites allow you to login by sharing your Facebook credentials.  All the more reason to go for it, get connected, and expand your internet marketing web into the monster social media network.

A Word About LinkedIn

 (How to optimize your linked in page - coming soon)

*Youtube Channel

Posting Youtube videos and getting them ranked is a great way to generate leads for your business.

(How to optimize youtube videos to drive traffic - coming soon)