Small Business: The Importance Of Your Social Networking Profile

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Social Network Marketing can be viewed as branding a business and associating it with keywords on Social networks.

Blogs, forums, microblogging are all effective ways to share information with your clients or customers. Smart business owners will leverage these networks and efforts by using keywords and structuring their message appropriately so that search engines and search functions on other websites will direct traffic (and targeted prospects) to the business website without additional advertising expense.

It is for this reason, that the profile you create on each of these sites that your business interacts on becomes important. These profiles effectively become the internet version of a business card and should be created to be compact, informative and keyword rich.

The key to creating an effective social profile is to use the chosen keywords for the company and product, at key points in the text. Much like creating an effective headline for an article, your keywords should be used at the start and scattered throughout the balance of the profile. Be careful not to overuse the keywords – aim for approximately 1 keyword for every 100 words.

Your profile is almost a mini sales-letter – it should be enticing and include a call to action for existing and new contacts.

For example; “Smith and Son’s Office Supplies” may be an accurate title, but it is only that and fails to describe what the business really does. A more effective mini-profile would be, “Office Supplies For Your Small Business: Smith and Son’s Office Supplies is the supplier of choice for small businesses in the Vancouver area.” This wording puts the keywords in the key position, provides the business name and gives some depth to the target audience.

Linking back to your company website are essential – although you should take care to ensure that you follow the guidelines and Terms Of Service (TOS) of the social networking site. Make sure that each link leads to the specific information for your profile – you may have a different landing page on your website for each of your social profiles.

Let’s expand on our example; “Office Supplies For Your Small Business: Smith and Son’s Office Supplies is the supplier of choice for small businesses in the Vancouver area. We provide free delivery to your office and warranty service for multiple name-brand office equipment. Call us on 1800 876567 or visit our website http://www.smithandsons.com today and discover how you can reduce your office supplies costs.”

This simple set of sentences, along with a web address and toll free number, can be put on Facebook, Linked In and multiple other networks to send traffic to your business. The advantage of “staking out” a presence on these networks, is that your business can interact directly with the Target Audience. The disadvantage of social networking can be the volume of work required to maintain the profile and connection requests. This is where a Virtual Assistant becomes an invaluable resource.

If you add a status update announcing a new product or a promotion, the link should send visitors directly to that information on your site. Sending visitors to the home page is more likely to annoy visitors than anything else.

Whilst the concept of networking online can seem time consuming and overwhelming, done properly social networking provides a powerful toolset that makes your marketing dollar stretch a lot further.

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