Facebook is the king of the social networks, and it seems that every company or website out there that it trying to make a name for themselves is using Facebook to grow some kind of social presence or following online.
But what if Facebook just not your cup of tea, or what if you have maxed out your brand’s or website’s effectiveness on Facebook? There are plenty of other social networks out there that you can utilize to draw more folks to your brand or website. Below is a list of four of these types of sites that you can use.
Microblogging sites are social networks that are just what they sound like – you tell the world what you want to say in very small pieces. Twitter is of course the main example of such a site. You make a statement or a comment in 160 characters or less, and the people on Twitter who “follow” you willbe able to see it. You can also reply to other people on Twitter and have a conversation with them.
Twitter is great for businesses, as it is expected that companies and websites, while they should offer helpful information, will be largely self-promotional with their information given out on the social network. So, your site or business can use about as many shameless plug as you want on Twitter, as long as you do not get too overbearing!
There are other microblogging sites besides Twitter, but it is really the 800 pound gorilla of the microblogging world. If you have not used it before, it is very simple to get signed up and started right away. You can start sharing links to your new blog posts or other helpful information and following people who might be interested in your niche right away.
Blog sites, such as wordpress.com, tumblr.com, and others, make great social networks for companies and websites to join. These sites are simply blogs hosted at different websites that you can use to update information about your website, about your company, etc. You can even get creative with it and highlight different staff members, customers, etc.!
With one of these blogs, make sure you have it linked to your main site so that people can find it. Also, ask questions of readers and customers and encourage conversation. The more comments you get, the better!
Another tip for blogs – make sure you update them regularly with good content and have a way for people to sign up for notifications about updates. This way, your followers can come back knowing there will be new quality content on your site regularly. Make sure that your content is helpful and something that people can really use
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites are a great way for internet users to share their favorite content on the web. A few popular social bookmarking sites include Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, and Del.icio.us. It works essentially just like a regular bookmark in your browser, except it is public, and other people can “vote” on your submission. The great links that get shared and voted on by the most people go on to end up on the first page of the social bookmarking site, and can actually end up getting a lot of traffic!
These social networks really require that you submit some exceptional content to get noticed and voted up by the users of the sites, but they can be very powerful. Not only can you submit and vote on different websites, you can even “friend” people like you can on Facebook. If you add to your list of followers on these sites, you may see some traffic from the people who follow you, as they will be notified when you upload new content.
Another great benefit of these sites is search engine optimization. When you submit a link from your site on one these social networks, you are actually helping your SEO by building a high quality link back to your site! So you get the social networking and the SEO benefit all in one shot.
Finally, our last (but not least) set of social networks is video sites. Video continues to grow in popularity and in numbers online. People are even watching video on their mobile devices and tablets these days as the internet and processing speeds on them get faster and faster. Video now seems to be incorporated into almost every site that you visit, and it is said that YouTube is now is #2 search engine after Google. In other words, people are using YouTube to find answers to questions just like they would any other search engine.
With YouTube and other video sites, you can add “subscribers” to your video channel, which are similar to friends on Facebook. This is a great feature for businesses, especially ones that plan to upload videos regularly. Subscribers to your channel will receive a notification when you upload a new video, so you can get regular eyes on your offers or websites just by uploading good videos regularly. Outside of YouTube , you can try out Vimeo, Dailymotion, and a host of other video sharing sites out there to get more exposure for your video content.
While you will need some expertise if you want to create your own videos, it has never been easier to create and upload videos to these social networks. If you do not want to create them yourself, you can easily find someone online who will create them for you for a small fee.
While Facebook may be the largest player, by far, in the sphere of social networks, as you can see, there are plenty of other options when it comes to growing your follower base online. If you focus even on one of the four above, you are very likely to see some increases in traffic to your website, which will hopefully turn into an increase in sales for your website or business!