What Social Media Hangout is Best for Your Business!

There’s no arguing it anymore… if you want your business to thrive, you must have a social media presence.  Consumers now have an expectation of interacting with brands online and they love to share their experience of a brand on their social sites. And if you are not out there, your consumers will feel let down. But this is exciting news. After all, where else can you get this kind of consumer attention and interaction? And, where else can you reach your audience for a pittance compared to traditional advertising? Social media has given small business the opportunity to compete with the big brands. How can you beat that?

Achieving and maintaining a presence in social media doesn’t have to be costly, or even extremely time consuming. Yet most social media newbie’s are overwhelmed with where to begin, what to do and how to maintain. And even business owners who have created their Facebook page, Linkedin profile and twitter page don’t always know what to do once they get there. You’re not alone; social media is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you truly understand where to focus your social media efforts your strategy suddenly becomes much simpler. If you’re currently interacting on all of the key social sites, you may be spreading yourself too thin to experience success.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the most popular social media sites. From here you can decide where to invest your resources so that you are not working so hard to master them all.

Consider twitter a place for quick, simple chitchat and sharing of resources. It’s like a cocktail party where you can meet people and share tidbits of information. You don’t get into deep, meaningful conversations on twitter because you can only use 140 characters to get your point across. It’s friendly -  and basic.

Facebook is more like the backyard barbeque. More information is shared here, longer conversations can take place and you can even include polls, questions, videos and links. As a business owner you want to set up a fan page and/or take advantage of low-cost Facebook advertising to drive traffic to your website or your fan page.

Linkedin is the boardroom. It’s definitely a more conservative environment consisting of corporate employees, CEO’s, business owners, and sales professionals. This is a great place for you if your product or service targets businesses rather than consumers.

YouTube has become a very important player in the social scene. Google owns YouTube and websites that have a strong presence there will index better on Google. Adding video to your website really gives you a leg up in your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. In other words, your audience will see you before they see your competition in a Google search if you use video and your competitors don’t.

Google+ has come onto the scene and it’s not to be taken lightly. Yes, Google obviously owns Google+ as well and with the recent release of Google’s Search Plus Your World, your social engagement will factor in significantly in a Google search.  Google is now referencing Google+ in their new algorithms, so a lack of presence there may actually hurt your SEO. Currently, the Google+ scene is filled with the diehard social media folk but it would be naïve to say that it’s not going to change. Hopefully, Google will play fair in the future and begin to reference Facebook, twitter and other social sites in their algorithms. At this point in time, Google+ seems to be a good place to reach some consumers, but most certainly it’s a great place to reach techie-types and social media experts.

As you can see, it’s important to assess where your audience is hanging out in the social media scene.  If your product falls into the categories like lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, food, or other “sexy” topics – and it sells to consumers, then Facebook and twitter are best for you. If you sell business to business, focus your efforts on Linkedin. For bloggers, technical solutions and social media consultants, Google+ is certainly the place to hang out. Again, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to post your blogs and other relative resources on Google+ just for the SEO juice.  And YouTube is your new best friend!
Marla Tabaka is a life & business coach who inspires entrepreneurs around the world to attain what she calls, The Million-Dollar Mindset. As a result, many of her clients have achieved – even surpassed – the million dollar mark in annual revenues and are living the life of their dreams. In addition to running a thriving practice, Marla is a columnist for Inc. Magazine on-line, and hosts two international on-line radio shows, The Million Dollar Mindset and Million Dollar Mindset Tapping. Marla wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie May.com (http://www.debbiemay.com/), an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.