Category Archives: LinkedIn

What Social Network is right for your Business?

social network

If your business is yet to tap in to the social networking market then perhaps it’s a matter of picking the right site for your business.

Despite its advantages not every social networking site will be suitable for your business, whilst bigger brands may be able to spread time and resources over several sites, a smaller business may be looking to concentrate on one or two sites that are relative to their business model.

The key for smaller business is to devote as much time as possible finding it which site is right for them, luckily we’ve prepared some info that should help you decide.

social network

Facebook:

With one billion active monthly users Facebook is still the dominant force in social networking, despite other sites making inroads in the market.

Good for;

  • Connecting with your current customers
  • Sharing visual information
  • Communicating with the largest audience in social media
  • Business to consumer companies

Negatives;

  • Hard to build a reputation without brand identity
  • Customers will usually only ‘like’ trusted brands
  • Not as contextually focused as other sites
  • Difficult to break in to social circles

research tools

Twitter:

Twitter is Facebook’s main rival, making the most significant impact on social media in recent years experts suggest that this site is better prepared for the future as far as the mobile market is concerned.

Good for:

  • Sharing contextually related information
  • Quick, real time, microblogging
  • Targeting a relevant demographic
  • Building a following quickly

Negatives;

  • Followers have to click through to images
  • Limited to 140 characters
  • Easy to spam your audience

google+

Google+;

Google+ is a newcomer to the social networking sphere but it already has 400 million users, its presence is only going to improve with the search engine giving precedent to its own social network, Google+ is set to become an SEO ranking factor.

Good for

  • Business Communities that allow discussion on relevant topics
  • SEO Rankings
  • B2B businesses

Negatives;

  • Not as popular for B2C
  • Social Media newcomer
  • Not as widely recognised as others

linkedin

Linkedin;

Linkedin is rapidly expanding, adding millions of new users every month, the site is becoming a must have for any business looking to network.

  • The most highly targeted B2B site on the web
  • Extremely professional
  • Serves as a directory for businesses

Negatives;

  • Difficult to network, require permission to connect with other users
  • Not as ‘social’ as other sites
  • Difficult to make connections without brand recognition

Pinterest

Pinterest;

Pinterest can be a very good asset for a business that can share products and visual imagery and was the fastest growing social network in 2012.

  • Great for B2C businesses
  • Excellent for advertising products
  • One of the most visually targeted social media sites

Negatives;

  • Unsuitable for B2B businesses
  • Difficult to market without a visible product
  • Not so effective for service based businesses
  • Difficult to share text based content

So there you have five major social networking sites on the web, as you can see not every site will be suitable for every business, this largely depends on your product and the nature of your business but each site has distinct advantages.

How Do You Judge a Business?

how do you judge a business

Let’s say for instance you’re searching for an Online Marketing consultancy service, you’re certain to go through all the usual steps, Google searches, Online Directories etc.. but how do you judge a business based on their online identity alone.

This can be applicable for any kind of business query, whether you’re searching for an outsourcing company or a plumbing service.

Before the dawn of the digital age you’d find yourself wading through a yellow pages style book, with no real idea of what you were getting.

When you’re faced with pages and pages of choices online, how do you select what potential business partner is the right one for you? You essentially need to get in the mindset of the consumer or your potential client.

This is what we’re attempting to find out, there are numerous aspects to consider as far as a business’s online presence is concerned.

SEO

Perhaps the most important aspect of finding a business, is their place on a SERP (Search engine results pages). After all, you don’t need to be a web wizard to figure out how important Google is for finding anything from businesses to the meaning of life.

The fact is the higher you rank for a specific search term, take the phrase “online marketing agency” for example, the more interest you’ll attract to your business.

As far as the user is concerned, is a business’s ranking relative to its success?

Getting on to Google’s front page is a potential goldmine as far as businesses are concerned, and it’s the chief purpose of the SEO industry, if you offer SEO as part of your business it’s essential that your business lives up to its name and is optimised accordingly.

The Website

Whether you’ve been recommended a website via word of mouth or through Google’s results pages, clicking the page is the next step. Your website represents your online presence and your overall brand, this is why major brands dedicate a massive amount of their budgets for web design, content management, web hosting services and blogging.

First impressions are crucial when it comes to your website, that means that the style, colour and usability of your website are all taken in to consideration.

Having an outdated website can instantly turn away visitors from your business and can give your competitors the edge.

Of course it goes without saying that the content on your page should be informative and relative to what your business offers too, if a user takes the time to read your website make sure they’re aware of your business set-up, your personnel and the services you offer.

Social Media

how do you judge a business

How important are followers when judging a business?

This one of the most recent and intriguing questions asked by SME businesses, one thing is for certain your Social Media presence is becoming increasingly important in twenty-first century business.

We aren’t talking specifically about businesses related exclusively to Online Marketing here, having an effective or at the very least an active Social Media marketing campaign signals to potential clients and customers that you’re a modern, dynamic business that’s able to react to technological and cultural changes.

Having an engaged, loyal ‘fanbase’ lets other know that you’re a trusted business that’s likely to deliver good product/service, creating a unique selling point for your business.

Other contributing factors

Locality; Being local is a determining factor for some businesses, if your potential business partner is based close-by then you’ll have more of an opportunity to meet face to face.

The proximity of your business relates back to SEO, optimising your website so it targets your local area can be beneficial for many businesses but restricting for others offering a global service.

The importance of locality does depend on the nature of the business, particularly in the digital age. It’s now possible to communicate with almost anyone in the world seamlessly over the web, so this can be considered a minuscule issue when it comes to outsourcing companies and online marketing agencies.

Who runs the business:

Don’t be surprised if a user does some research in to the identity of the business owner, highlighting the importance of business profiles. Linkedin accounts in particular offer a glimpse in to your professional working life, how many connections you have, your previous work experience and even your endorsements can be taken in to account.

If you run a small business your online identity has to convey an impression of trust and effective results.

In Conclusion

In this day and age almost every aspect of a business can be taken in to account if you’re offering a service or a product the user has to be fully confident that your brand can deliver.

All of these aspects to pose an interesting question as to what is the most effective way of judging a business?

Linkedin Closes Two Of Its Services

linkedin

Linkedin Answers and Linkedin events have been scrapped, these are a couple of changes to be aware of if you use Linkedin in for professional purposes, particularly if you use the social networking site for business to business marketing.

It seems there was no official statement by the company over the closure of Linkedin events, the information was actually released in the company’s “help centre” menu.

Linkedin Events actually closed in November if you weren’t already aware, this service provided an easy way to organise events through social media but evidently it has not received demand for the company to continue investing in the service. Clearly the company believes it’s no longer relevant enough to continue as a service, instead it’s supposed that the company wants to fully focus on developing company pages.

Linkedin Answers closes at the end of this month (January 2013), the service was created to provide expert answers to business related questions though clearly this service is also not worth the time and resources relative to its demand.

The company did release an official statement for this closure stating;

As of 31 Jan 31, Linkedin Answers will be retired from Linkedin. We will be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across Linkedin”

It’s suggested that part of the reason for the closure of the latter service is due to the high levels of spam on the answers forum.

Either way the two services are no longer active, Linkedin users will have to find other ways of organising business events as well as finding business related answers.