What are the Best Social Networks to Grow Your Business?

May 2, 2011

Social media is an ever evolving environment. A few years ago, it seemed like MySpace was an essential part of any successful social media marketing campaign. Not yet halfway through 2011, it is obvious that MySpace is all but dead and that all your focus should on using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. If you want to use social media to boost your exposure and create more leads– and you should– you have to know which are the social networks to use to grow your business.

So here’s a quick rundown of the best social network to use to create leads and sales for your business.

1. Facebook. The web is becoming a giant social network that connects all threads of our daily lives. And Facebook is building a monopoly on social networking. While using Facebook is not enough to use the Internet to grow your business, you won’t reach your potential if you don’t have a dynamic presence on Facebook. The launch of Facebook Deals signals yet another new level for Facebook. It is quite clear. Facebook is only going to play a more central role in our lives. So it is essential for your business to have a high profile on the social network.

2. Google. This may seem like a trick answer. After all, Google isn’t a social network. Except that it is starting to become one. First, there was Gmail, which incorporated instant messaging. Then there was Google Buzz. Although Buzz was a failure, it signalled Google’s commitment to competing with Facebook in an attempt to use its searching power to create its own social network. And now Google is launching +1, which shares your web activity on Google with other connected users. While Google’s social network has not yet fully emerged, it is clear that the company is using all its search power to build its own community. This means that it’s as important as ever to achieve and retain high rankings on Google for your chosen keywords. Yes, social networking reinforces Search Engine Optimization.

3. Twitter. Twitter has become one of the pillars of social media and it has now officially pierced mainstream culture. This means that it is here to stay and has to be part of your social media strategy. The reason is simple. We all consumed information constantly throughout the day in bit-sized pieces. Twitter is the perform medium for this sort of quick, pithy communication. You need to be a part of a daily communication on Twitter to build an online community, promote your brand everyday, and create leads.

4. YouTube. YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, behind only Google. In fact, Google owns YouTube. Since over 53% of all web search are for videos, and YouTube users spend more time on YouTube than any other website, you really should use YouTube for two purposes: 1) create your own marketing videos and post them on YouTube for free; and 2) optimize your videos with Video Search Engine Optimization. If your create your own videos and optimize them, you’ll better sell your business with low-cost marketing videos and you’ll also improve your exposure by having your videos rank high on Google and YouTube for your chosen keywords.

5. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great resource for B2B companies. This is because it’s a social network that helps you get found by fellow business professionals. So, yes, LinkedIn is very beneficial for certain businesses. And if you’re part of a B2C company, LinkedIn can help you promote your business through other professionals. However, if you’re a B2C company, LinkedIn doesn’t really help you create more leads and sales directly. We’re not saying don’t use LinkedIn. You should because it will put you in an important business community. But LinkedIn does NOT offer the powerful ways to create leads and sales like Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube.

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