Social Networks

People spend a large percentage of their online minutes interacting with social networks. These networks can contain important commentary on brands, products, and services. There are a large number of sites that qualify as a social network, some of these are more obvious to peope than others. MySpace, Facebook, and sites like that are the most obvious examples of social networks. Most of these sites give the users some ability to create groups or list interests, correlating users by the products they buy, and media they consume. Furthermore, sometimes use groups as virtual petitions, “1,000,000 Users against the new facebook” and similar groups try to affect change by using social media to speak directly to the company. Other forms of social networks are less obvious. Craigslist, YouTube, Yelp!, Squidoo, Digg, and Flickr are all large social networks that may impact your business. Many business owners can be easily overwhelmed by the number of these networks, and by interacting with computers or the internet in general. While, I find it totally unnecessary to recommend to clients that they actively be involved in all of these networks, I do recommend that they spend some time to become constructively aware of them. By taking the time to write down a list of the sites you wish to search, and a couple of terms for what you do or sell and the name of your business, it becomes manageable to make a spreadsheet of places online communities about your product or service exist. From there you can identify communities as either places to participate, places to monitor, or places you’d rather not deal with or aren’t suited to your business. By doing this, you’ll have a firm handle on what the world is saying about you and your products. You can also gain some important information and ideas about how to create quality content and backlinks to your website.

Utilizing Your Website

There are many valuable ways to utilize your website.

  • New Customers – Search Engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing are the first place many people look for services and products they need when are making new purchases, or researching better purchasing options.
  • Increasing Customer Value – Location and service based industries such as lawyers, gyms and doctors may provide updated information of changes in law, workout and health tips, or medical news and healthy living advice on their website as a means of bettering their clients. Products offer support, and information.
  • Finding Employees – Frequently overlooked in website design is a page dedicated to employments and career information. Outlining the benefits of your company, and the area your workplace is located in, or special perks of employment is a great way to attract quality people.
  • Catering to Investors – Providing some brief information about the ownership or structure of your company, as well as some idea of your plans for your market space can be a great way to lure potential opportunities to the business.
  • Creating a Point of Contact – Just like a phone number, a website is a great piece of contact information to give someone in a social setting, virtual or in person. Having a website gives you the ability to provider someone with a reference to more information about yourself, your company, products as well as possibly more than just one phone number or e-mail allowing a client or customer to select the most appropriate means of contact from a list of options.