The revolution in online social media has changed the way many things are done. One of the most profound aspects of social media is how it has greatly enhanced the efficacy of “word of mouth.” Whether it’s a picture of a cute cat, an interesting article or a new product, social media has made it much easier for people to share things with their friends, co-workers and relatives. If you are not using this valuable tool in your google places optimization plan, you are penalizing yourself greatly.
Benefits of the Social Media Revolution for Small Business
When it comes to social media, Facebook is the reigning king. So many people use Facebook, it’s difficult to find someone who isn’t on the site. To take advantage of everything Facebook has to offer, your site absolutely has to have a Facebook “Like” button prominently displayed. Think of this tool as a self-contained marketing genie. For every person who uses the button to share something from your site, your page has just been exposed to hundreds or thousands of more people. As those people share, the growth becomes exponential. Search engines pay close attention to what is happening on Facebook and will see these “likes” as a sign of your site’s popularity.
Twitter is the social media queen. Though not as popular as Facebook, Twitter may actually be better in an Google Local Optimization context. The short snippets can take great advantage of keywords, without an overuse penalty. Make sure your site has a Twitter feed that highlights what is happening on the site and showcases other information related to your site’s content. You can also add a twitter feed of people following your site, which will enhance your site’s exposure and rank.
Allowing customers to contribute their own content is another way to get help in your Google Local Optimization. Create a blog that allows people interested in your area to contribute. These may be customers, interested parties or experts in the field. This will add to the diversity of your site’s content, which will add to your credibility. Also, people are more likely to spotlight things that they themselves have contributed. Once again, the social aspect comes into play.
Creating Community on a Facebook Page
Another good way to do this is to create a community page on Facebook. Community pages allow other Facebook users to post on the page and share with other visitors. Think of this as letting your followers do some of the Google Local Optimization work for you.
Another way of directly engaging visitors is through the use of a message board or a question and answer feature. Some sites benefit greatly by using a feature found on Facebook’s competitor, Google plus. The video “Hangout” feature allows you to host video conferences where visitors can participate.
Google Places Business Optimization is a continuous battle that constantly changes. One thing that will not change is the widespread use of social media on the Internet. Any well-developed Google Local Optimization plan must incorporate social media as much as possible. With the market share that sites such as Facebook and Twitter have, any mention of your site on one of these platforms is extremely valuable in demonstrating the popularity of your website. Start sharing!