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50 Social Sites You Should Know About

intro

Change is upon us, from cooler weather to politics! Change is good (repeat after me, “change is good”). When it comes to change, you can immediately affect change in how your business is presented online. And it is easy, free and yes, even fun!

In this issue, we examine expanding your online presence by getting your business on Social Sites... all while stoking the search engine fires.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Send us your stories, ideas, tips and hints... drop us a line. All thoughts and requests are welcome! We are always interested in what you have to say!

Enjoy!

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good to know

In every issue, we provide proven ways to make your website, email marketing and promotion activities more effective.  This month, we take a look at how participating on social sites can really boost your business's online visibility, not only for the search engines but with potential customers and contacts.

The Top 5 Reasons to Participate on Social Sites and the 50 Social Sites Your Business Should Know About

By Morella

OK, so this is a “two-fer” and I will dive right in with why it is important to start participating on Social Sites.

When it comes to marketing on the internet and increasing your site's visibility, social sites provide you with great opportunity to network and get your word out while creating inlinks back to your site. The result? Reaching more potential customers, business partners and contacts, not to mention increasing search engine visibility!

5 Good Reasons Why (you should get your business presence going on social sites):

1. Interested groups are just waiting for you

There are smaller niche “microcommunities” that consist of people interested in what you offer. Because these communities are already focused on a very specific topic, they're more likely to respond to your marketing message.  How do you find these highly focused online communities? The same way the users find them... through searches, other blogs, and word-of-mouth.

2. Become an expert and build referrals

The temptation with social media marketing is to directly promote your product or service. Instead, be an expert, a source of advice and open a conversation with consumers about their wants and needs. A good rule of thumb is 90% relationship building, 10% sales. Having a friend recommend a product or service via word of mouth is much more effective than an advertisement. Let the consumer be a referral engine for you!

3. Build a community to extend your reach

The relationships you develop online are a communication must; the people you touch can promote your brand and increasingly become a voice for your company. Many want to build community around the products or services they love. When they "feel the love", they will promote your community because they feel supported, valued and important.

4. More people are participating in social sites

The recent Cone Business in Social Media study indicates:

  • 93% of Americans believe that a company should have a presence on social media sites
  • 85% believe that these companies should use social sites to interact with consumers Of the study responders:
  • 60% of Americans regularly interact with companies on a social media site
  • 43% of consumers say that companies should use social networks to solve consumers' problems
  • 41% believe that companies should use social media tools to solicit feedback on products and services

5. Marketing via social sites is free and targeted

What could be better? Growing your online presence by participating in Social Sites is easy to do. The ability to speak directly to the people that are interested and want to be in your community, at no direct cost, is Awesome!

What Social Sites are out there and which ones should I participate in?

There are different types of social sites and identifying the appropriate sites to establish your business presence is key. The following list is a breakdown of the different types of social sites. A full list of the “Top 50 Social Sites Your Business Should Be On” can be found on our blog.

Social-Media/Social-Bookmarking Sites

Be an expert with potential clients and your customers by commenting on newsworthy articles and writing or uploading your own. Always create a member profile that directs traffic back to your company's web site and include pertinent links back to appropriate site pages in each article.

Squidoo: According to Squidoo, "everyone's an expert on something".

YouTube: Shoot a behind-the-scenes video to give people an idea of what you do each day. Get your commercial on YouTube.

Professional-Networking Sites

Sign up with these online networking communities as a company or as an individual to take advantage of networking, recruiting opportunities, cross-promotional events and more.

Facebook: is no longer just for college kids; businesses vie for advertising opportunities, event promotion and exposure on Facebook.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a popular networking site where alumni, business associates, recent graduates and other professionals connect online.

Niche Social-Media Sites

Consider linking up with one of these social-media sites to narrow down your business's target audience. You'll find other professionals, enthusiasts and consumers who are most likely already interested in what your company has to offer.

Mixx: Mixx prides itself on being "your link to the Web content that really matters." Submit and rate stories, photos and news to drive traffic to your own site and meet others with similar interests.

BuzzFlash.net: This one-stop news resource is great for businesses that want to contribute articles on a variety of subjects, from the environment to politics to health. Visit BuzzFlash.

General Social-Media Sites

The following social-media sites provide excellent opportunities for businesses to advertise; promote specials, events or services; and feature published, knowledgeable employees.

Yahoo! Answers: Start fielding Yahoo! users' questions with this social-media Q&A service. Search for questions in your particular areas of expertise. Provide useful advice and link your answer to your web site... you'll quickly gain a new following of curious customers. Yahoo Answers!

43Things: This site bills itself as "the world's most popular online goal setting community." By publicizing your company's goals and ambitions, you'll gain a following of customers, investors and promoters who cheer on your success. 43Things

Job Sites

If you want to secure high-quality talent during your company's next hiring spree, you'll need to maintain a strong presence on popular job sites like the ones listed below.

Yahoo! Hot Jobs: Often one of the first places that job seekers visit. Post open opportunities and read informative articles and guides to gain insight on the hiring and interviewing process. Yahoo! Hot Jobs

CareerBuilder.com: Reach millions of candidates by posting jobs on this must-visit site. CareerBuilder.com

TIP! ... Drive traffic to join your newsletter
Every where you can, especially on social sites, make it known that you send a monthly newsletter or periodic email. Get people to join where ever and whenever possible.

View a complete list of the "Top 50 Social Sites Your Business Should Be On" and peruse our blog at blog.pepperstation.com. Learn more about starting your own blog at our site.

See you next month,
Steve

Stephen Sayre
President
PepperStation.com

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