It doesn’t take an expert to see that Google search no longer has the same reach that it had just a few years ago. Sure, Google still controls more than two-thirds of American search, but it isn’t the only platform by where people connect online. Thanks to social media, your customers may be just as likely to find you on Facebook or some other sites as they are using Google search. Here are five social media strategies (websites) for 2014 that every company should consider.
Facebook — What are you using Facebook for? Hopefully, your business has its own page there, perhaps multiple pages for different and distinct products that you sell. Facebook can no longer be ignored: there are more than 1 billion global users engaged. Use it post new information about your company, to elicit feedback from your customers, and make special promotional pitches. Encourage people to “like” your pages and to reshare your information.
Twitter — There are many ways to approach Twitter, but it should be approached with care. The site still attracts an overwhelming share of spammy posts, but it is also being leveraged by businesses to reach out to their tribe. Where Facebook is about telling your story on your page, Twitter is a collaboration that benefits all. Moreover, you’re considered a more constructive user if you shout out (retweet) other helpful and useful posts more than your own. Through that effort you’ll attract more followers and loyal ones at that.
LinkedIn — The most popular website for businesses is LinkedIn. And your customers will be there especially if they are also other businesses. Even if your business model doesn’t include the typical LinkedIn user, the site is very useful for people that need to connect with other businesses such as suppliers, end users, and competitors. LinkedIn also allows you to share a post, reaching an audience that may not be found on the other sites.
GooglePlus — The youngest, but one of the fastest growing of the large social media sites is Google Plus. You might think that Google is hedging its bets with this site as it sees people devaluing search in favor of social media. That’s a correct assumption too. Google Plus allows you to connect with people by circles and stay in touch with them. You can reach a broader audience or narrow your updates to your core group, an especially useful option if you have a strong following and want to limit sharing your information with your closest followers.
Pinterest — If you cannot reconcile Pinterest with your business model, do not lose heart. After all, how can pinning photos online attract people to your business? It can if those pictures are unique, interesting, entertaining and valued by other users. People that use Pinterest are quick to like and share the photos that they find. The great thing here is that one repin can generate a lot of traffic as the photo links directly to your website. Check your web analytics and you may be in for a surprise too as Pinterest sends people to visit your site.
Beyond the five, there are other sites that may work out well for your business model. Instragram is popular with some, providing yet another way to share pictures and short videos. Digg, Reddit, and a handful of others are also highly engaging sites for certain businesses. What it comes down to is finding your areas of strengths and weaknesses, and directing your sources accordingly. You’ve suspected that search was just one way or reaching your customers and these five social media sites prove it.
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.