Is your business sufficiently visible online?
Even if you’re fortunate enough to rely on repeat business and word of mouth for a substantial share of your revenue, it’s unlikely that these streams alone will be enough in an increasingly competitive, increasingly digitized marketplace.
In other words, your business may no longer be able to afford to remain invisible to social media users and those using online search engines such as Google and Bing.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six social media sites and online directories that offer an ideal combination of free or cheap visibility, high rankings in organic search, and impressive active user figures.
LinkedIn isn’t just the world’s most popular professional social network. It also offers among the highest marketing ROIs. The secret, per marketing expert Josh Gallant: unlike most other social networks’ users, LinkedIn users tend to be “actively looking for valuable content to read.” In other words, they’re already engaged and primed to convert.
Despite its reputation as a directory site for early-stage tech enterprises and investors, CrunchBase has carved out an effective niche in other industries. Trawl Crunchbase long enough and you’ll find everything from international finance firms to eco-friendly startups. The secret lies in Crunchbase’s unusually impressive organic search visibility, coupled with its detail-rich listings and value-added social features.
Yelp probably needs no introduction, at least not to U.S.-based consumers who’ve completed local searches in the past decade.
Even if your business operates on a national or multinational scale, Yelp’s local search function is still incredibly effective for targeting promotions to specific audience slices and capturing motivated search traffic across geographies. This remains true even if your business lacks brick-and-mortar locations or does not assign territory to said locations.
The “BBB” stands for “Better Business Bureau,” and that aptly sums up BBB.org’s mission: to ensure that accredited businesses serve their customers’ best interests.
Over the years, BBB.org has attracted a raft of listings from U.S.-based investment firms, local service enterprises, B2B solutions providers, tradespeople, and a host of other business types besides. Just pay attention to your BBB rating — too low and your BBB.org listing may actively harm your corporate reputation.
Twitter is a popular social platform that’s ideal for generating organic conversation and targeting promoted messages to specific slices of your audience. It’s also a useful brand amplifier: this U.S. banking giant uses Twitter to deliver seasonal value propositions, such as a Christmastime drive to fight hunger in its core markets.
Pick Your Platforms
There are quite literally hundreds of social media sites and online directories with products and tools for businesses seeking exposure. As a matter of practicality, your business is unlikely to be able to create and maintain profiles or listings on them all.
Indeed, the first step in your social marketing strategy may well need to involve a culling — that is, paring down the number of candidate directories and social sites until you’re left with a manageable list of high-visibility properties aligned with your audience and product strategy.
After you’ve picked your platforms, the real fun begins. Here’s to better online visibility.