Yesterday I kicked off a series of blog posts dedicated to choosing the best social network based on the needs of a business. For small and medium-sized company owners, there is no certainly no lack of choices to be made when selecting which social sites to operate on. Many SMBs tend to lack the sort of SEO experience and social media awareness to really take advantage of each network's full capabilities. Fortunately, each site can be boiled down to a few key attributes that can make picking the right one an intuitive, and even enjoyable, process.
In my previous blog post, I discussed social networks that emphasize the importance of location-based sharing above all else. Although those sites provide excellent marketing opportunities for small companies with only a handful of physical locations, sometimes it's a massive audience that holds more appeal for business owners. While I'll be announcing the most popular and farthest reaching social networks tomorrow, for now let's focus on another category: the up-and-comers. The following websites are growing fast and may soon capture a considerable amount of social media market share.
Pinterest: Image Sharing made Quick and Easy
If you're a frequent visitor of any SEO-focused news or community website, you've no doubt heard of Pinterest. Although it is currently in an invite-only beta testing phase, Pinterest has quickly grown to become one of the most talked about social media sites today. Based on the simple premise of sharing popular images with friends and strangers, this site encourages a more passive approach to social networking. Many Pinterest users effortlessly collect dozens of images and share them with other users every day, ultimately passing along content hundreds of times. It's this sort of media sharing habit that SMB owners should focus on.
While getting involved with Pinterest does take a bit of time (due to its beta state, some companies have to wait weeks for an invite), businesses can generate a lot of site traffic for themselves by becoming involved with the site both actively and passively. Although the team at Pinterest doesn't want people advertising directly on the network, that doesn't mean a SMB owner can't publish images of their business or staff and drum up a friendly following. At the same time, one can also look into putting Pinterest sharing buttons on the pages of any products one may sell. Amazon and eBay have already done so and see a lot of conversion rates from Pinterest on a daily basis because of it.
Google+: Gaining Steam at a Decent Clip
I know what some readers may be thinking. It's true, a lot of people in the SEO community are outspoken about Google's social network and many consider it a failure. Although it doesn't stack up to Facebook (but really what network can?), Google+ is something that more business owners need to consider for their social media marketing purposes. It's a topic that I've visited before in the past, but it belongs here as well: SMB owners need to look at Google+'s relatively small user base as a chance to get the edge on the competition.
Over the past few months, there has been a significant amount of growth on Google' social network. As many businesses have yet to establish a presence on the site, there's also plenty of room for small businesses to get involved here and now. A few moments taken to set up a profile and a bit of initiative in maintaining a social media feed on Google+ could be massively rewarding in the future. Social media sharing buttons for the G+ service are also recommended for those SMB owners who consistently see regular visitors on their site that may share their content through Google+.
Tomorrow I'll be going over my top two picks for the strongest social networks of 2012. For now, I recommend that readers look into social media optimization and organic SEO services that can make a major difference in the web traffic they see. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any questions that need to be answered.