Many people when starting out with a business online confuse social networking with spamming. The simple option is to simply find every forum, discussion group etc. and “link drop” your website with words like “check out the great offers on my site”. Almost every person new to the Internet does this (I admit I too made these mistakes early on).
Social networking is really like normal networking – you find people that you can work with to enhance both your and their business. There is a lot of bookmarking going on at times, but many people share information and collaborate on projects. Also, by building trust in a community you can more easily promote your service – people will check out your profile if you appear to be an expert in your field – so you do not need to ram it down their throats!
There are so many social networking sites out there, here are a few of the most common ones.
Top 10 Social Networking Sites That Can Promote Your Website
- Google+ – The newest social network on the block, the fastest growing and the one with the most potential for website managers.
- Facebook – probably the most well known today. Strict rules on spamming. They run their own advertising program. But you can set up company pages and promote events.
- LinkedIn – General but mainly business networking, great for finding people in your geographic area.
- Twitter – more of a mini-blog, but you can set up Twit feeds from your site if you use WordPress and build many followers which is good for brand building and getting returning visitors.
- Bebo – popular amongst the younger crowd, so if this is your target audience, a good place to start
- Flickr – a photo sharing website, but if you are promoting anything media related this could work well for you.
- MySpace – like Bebo, most popular with the kids.
- Orkut – This is owned by Google and very popular in India and Brazil. Unlike other sites, you can drop links quite freely. Search engines will not find those links though, but some communities have huge numbers of readers.
- Ecademy – another business networking site, like LinkedIn. Great for finding people in your area, or with similar projects to collaborate with. Many people use it to source contractors too.
- BlogCatalogue – another place to share your blogs.
Remember there are thousands of web forums which are great places to get your site mentioned. One tip is if the forum allows signatures, use this space to advertise. Do not “spam” though.
Something simple like “My blog: Webologist” in the signature line will suffice, as it is subtle and does not try to sell anything direct. If people trust you, or are impressed by your market knowledge, then they will check out your site.
Also finding other popular blogs that allow comments can work well, as you can also build up trust. The best blogs are fully moderated though, so again, be polite, add value to the articles, and hope that your comment is approved.
Social networking is mostly about brand building. Be professional. Even if you are new, act like you are already a leader and expert in your field.