If you think social media and networking starts and finishes with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, then it’s about time you took some time out to check up on some of the latest developments.
Because if you don’t, you’re going to get quickly left behind, and in an already highly competitive and still depressed market, that could spell big trouble.
Now that social media is here to stay as a marketing tool, people are looking at how far they can take it, and some of these ideas are pretty cool.
Mostly theyíre designed to establish you as an authority in your industry, improve the quality of your backlinks and ultimately make you more more attractive to the Google spiders next time they come a-calling.
This is a great site thatís still not being used to its full potential, but with more than 1.5 million visitors a month and rising it is definitely one that is on the up.
Ask and answer questions about subjects and things dear to your business heart. Answering the queries of others establishes your authority in the eyes of Google.
You can also incorporate links to other websites including your own, of course on topic-focused boards on your profile.
A smart way of increasing the number of people reading your tweets and blogs. By forming tribes with friends and professionals with similar interests, each tweets each others posts, thus spreading the word to all their followers as well.
So, if you have 100 followers, your blog or tweet goes out to all of those people. If 10 of those followers are in your tribe, and they have 100 followers each as well, thatís another 1000 people who are going to be able to read your message, without you having to put in any extra effort.
This is a community for small business bloggers to share useful and interesting blogs. If fellow members like it, they vote for it. The more votes you get, the more blogs you can share all the time increasing your online visibility.
That means it’s worth sharing only your best bits of writing. Itís another site thatís getting increasingly popular and, as you should already have the content to hand, it shouldnít take up too much of your precious time either!
This is an incredible website for boosting not only the retweets of your articles but also Facebook likes and Google plus ones. The system works on a credit basis, you can share other articles in exchange for credits and then other users share your posts to get credits for themselves.
There have been a number of other websites that have done something similar but they just havenít got things right and there’s usually been a quality issue but Just Retweet seem to have the idea locked down.
You can use this website no matter what niche or industry you work in but due to the current user base your posts will be more successful if they are about business or technology.
You may think that in certain un-sexy industries such as the packaging industry brands (such as Davpack for example) may struggle to build a social following but sites such as Packaging of the World have over 10,000 Facebook fans so it can definitely be done.
New social media sites are appearing all the time, some may work for you and some not. You probably won’t have time to engage regularly with them all, so keep an eye on what traffic they’re generating and react accordingly.
About the author: Sarah Hickson is a blogger for UK packaging suppliers Davpack, and is a regular user of social media sites promoting her local mums network in her native Nottingham.