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There was a great blog on Dialaphone's blog not so long ago about the whole 'Social Networking' thing with a breakdown of some of the top social networking sites. I thought it would be good to look over how many of our clients had utilised social networking sites to push their brand further.
The result was quite disturbing; with very few of our clients having taken the plunge to push their profile via the likes of Facebook, MySpace, You Tube etc. I have to say it doesn' bode well for me as I have been nagging a number of clients to get moving in these mediums to increase their visibility.
Of the clients I checked only one was actively promoting MySpace from their site. Sheargold Music, the Piano, Guitar and Musical Instrument Specialists have a direct link to their MySpace profile page from the home page of the Sheargold site. In fairness, Sheargold's has a direct synergy with MySpace because of its musical connection; but not having a musical connection should not stop you using MySpace.
Any activity in which you can increase the visibilty of your online business has to be assessed. We all have friends, we all have friends of friends, we all have friends of friends of friends. Being networked by the likes of Facebook and MySpace is a sure way to increase your overall visibility. Getting involved gives confidence you are out there and active on the web.
I use the likes of MySpace and Facebook to promote my personal blog; I continue to build the brand of my blog through these mediums, it is part of my overall strategy. Brand recognition is vitally important, if at some stage a web user has come across my brand via a friend or through a group I have joined, they are more likely to remember my brand when viewing search results in Google simply because they may have across my site before in another medium. This form of brand repetition breeds trust; people are more willing to trust a brand they have seen on numerous occasions as against a brand they are unfamiliar with.
The same goes for any commercial outfit. We are all up against stiff competition no matter what industry we are in, so why not give yourself an edge and increase your brand awareness through some simple social networking? Here's the best bit, you don't need an SEO to get involved in social networking. You can build your own profile on the likes of Facebook and MySpace and from that you can build trust and an independent traffic stream.
That said do not cram a social network full of links, what I am saying is build your brand, let your friends, relatives, business contacts and customers/clients help push your corporate identity and use their contacts to widen your appeal and create further trust and potentially increase the stock of your online business.