On Monday February 27th, SiteProNews featured Nancy McCord’s newest research paper called “A Real World Guide to Twitter and Facebook on their home page.” You can read the full article at SiteProNews. The SiteProNews newsletter is one of the preeminent publications to the webmaster professional community and reaches over 600,000 subscribers three times a week.
In addition to publishing Nancy’s research paper on their website and sending it out to their 600,000 subscribers, the SiteProNews Editorial Staff has asked Nancy to write more exclusive articles for their publication on a monthly basis.
We are excited that Nancy’s most recent research paper has gotten this exposure and will keep you posted when she publishes additional articles for SiteProNews.
One clients just left me this comment on the phone about my recommendation of Pinterest, and I think it is indicative of how many small business owners feel. “All I could think of is yet another social networking site I have to add to my work load. I am about ready to throw my hands up, I don’t think I can add one more thing in the social media area as I can barely keep up with what I am doing now.” These sentiments have been voiced by many as the online world is bombarded with new programs and platforms.
What social networks deserve your real attention as a small to medium sized business owner at this point?
- Get on Google+ and integrate your website and blog with the +1 button. This one is just too big to not have an early participation in. Why? Because it’s a Google property and Google is tightly integrating +1 votes and Google+ activity with its search engine.
- Make sure you are using Twitter. The viral nature and the ability to interact with a wide market is important to selling outside your local sphere. I’m watching sponsored Tweets very closely for small business and feel that in the long run activity on Twitter will be a key marketing strategy even for local selling businesses. Link sharing and interaction with others in your industry as well as prospects in a casual environment make this one of my top social networking picks.
- Make sure you have a Facebook Business page set up. Although right now I feel that businesses may want to have a minimal presence there due to poor fan growth, due to the changes Facebook made to how brands use Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2011, things could change, and change quickly. In fact, Facebook is announcing what changes they will be making for brands on Wednesday February 29th. This announcement may change my recommendations, but for now based on my research paper, I recommend a wait and see approach.
- If you are selling business to business or business to government, LinkedIn is the place for you to connect. Establish a full profile and then update your wall on LinkedIn at least twice a day. Get active in groups and ask questions. Not all businesses will thrive using LinkedIn, but many who cater to businesses and want to reach business executives should consider LinkedIn a top priority. I have not had success with LinkedIn advertising so steer clear of that for now.
- Pinterest is a hot new property, but unless you are selling retail fashion merchandise, I recommend you don’t take on this social network. Although you may check it out in the future, if you are strapped for time steer clear of this one for now unless you are selling retail jewelry or clothing.
I hope this helps you to decide which networks you should focus on, the bottom-line is get going on something and start building your network now. Social media will simply not get less important over time.
If you are overwhelmed by social media we can be your solution, with competent American college educated writers, we take on updating your profiles and pages; building your network for your future.
I’ve just released my newest white paper called “A Real World Guide to Facebook and Twitter”.
You can download the PDF file for free by registering to receive my monthly newsletter.
In this six page guide you will find my candid insights and recommendations on how frequently you should update Twitter and Facebook to grow your follower/fan base as well as my special insights on using both platforms.
To develop the insights for this guide, I watched 23 different Facebook and Twitter accounts for a period of three months and monitored over 2,865 status updates. I personally consider this a fairly small data set, but it is large enough to show some important trends that warrant consideration and further discussion.
As the clients that my firm writes for, are in diverse markets, purchase different service engagement levels, and have unique starting levels of follower/fans, it is impossible to state unequivocally how to specifically grow a social networking account from my data. However, there are some statistical averages and trends that I have found and wanted to share them with you.
I think that you will find this guide helpful, interesting reading, and insightful.
You’ve launched your new website and are waiting for the phone to ring with new customers wanting to place orders for your products and services, but nothing is happening. Then you go and do a number of searches on Google to see where your website is placed and your site simply does not appear, not even for searches on your own business name or for you domain name! What’s going on! How can you sell if no one can find you!
For newly launched websites, this is a huge issue; you are in essence invisible on the web until someone else links to your website. In fact, you may not even appear in Google’s search index until you have a few other websites linking to you.
Here’s what a newly launched website should do to counteract these problems:
- Although an XML site map is not crucial for your inclusion in Google’s search index, it certainly does not hurt to register one on new launch with Google and Bing. Just to make sure they know you are new and what your page URLs are.
- Make sure your web designer has linked to your website both in their blog and on their website to aid in getting search engines to know your new website exists. Spiders will follow links from your designer’s website to discover yours.
- Consider creating a Blogspot.com blog with a few blog posts talking about your new website and pointing to the home page as well as several inside pages. You don’t need to keep this off site blog updated, but are using it initially to just make sure you have some links from outside sources pointing to your new website.
- Make sure to set up accounts at Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Make sure to list your new website URL. Again you don’t have to keep these sites updated for more than several weeks if you don’t have the time, money, or desire, but they will be very important initially to search engine discovery right after you launch your website.
- Do a press release and send it out using PRWeb.com. I feel that this is one of the most important steps, although I have listed it last. By doing a press release to announce the launch of your new website, not only are you telling the world, but you are creating hundreds of links that all point to your brand new website.
Want to know more about how to promote your new website to get web visibility fast? Visit us at www.mccordweb.com to find out how we can help you.
If you can’t include an XML site map on your website for some reason will this hurt you with search engines? My unequivocal answer is NO.
Although we do recommend the creation and registering of an XML site map with both Google and Bing (by using their Webmaster Control Panels), to not add one is not a serious blow to your potential organic placement on search engines.
Search engine spiders do not need your created XML site map to spider your website. They will by their very nature spider your home page and then follow the text links in your home page to auto discover the other pages in your website. If your website navigation is not text based or is encapsulated in images or Flash then text links to your key inside sections as well as your own website HTML based site map should be provided on your home page. These links will typically appear in the footer. Doing so insures that you feed search engine spiders a way to travel and discover the pages in your website.
So if you can’t create an XML site map for some reason for your website all is not lost. Just make sure that you have created text links in your home page content that point deep inside your website.
Google is immersing themselves into market research with a new program they announced on February 10th called Screenwise. You can read the announcement here. Additionally it was reported on the web that Google has just recently bought some new domain names reflecting their strong interest in expanding Screenwise.
“Google said, “Through the new Screenwise initiative, US users aged thirteen and over will be paid up to $25 in Amazon gift cards to have their web site behavior monitored. Additionally, those panelists aged over 18 will be automatically entered into a monthly sweepstake, with a chance to win prizes such as a ‘luxury’ vacation to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or Cancun; a variety of electronic goods; tickets to events; or downloads.”
“Google says it will use feedback from panelists to learn how people use the Internet, in order to offer them better products and services.”
Interesting so now if you are willing to allow Google to watch your every move on the Internet, they’ll pay you a token amount. The information that Google will be gleaning from observing user activity will surely impact results and new service offerings. Much of the intelligence will be used to fine-tune social programs and AdWords advertising.
I’ll look forward to seeing what new products Google will roll out this next year as the feedback comes in.