Category

SEO, SEM & Marketing

List of Social Media Networks and Websites to Promote your Business

By | Articles, SEO, SEM & Marketing | No Comments

For a long time, we, at Oranges and Lime, have been meeting many of our clients through personal networks, actual (as in off-line) business events, business breakfasts, referrals and the like. The reason for this was that most small business owners were not yet active online. We found them to be technological laggards, meaning it was taking them some time to adapt and accept new technologies.

Times are changing however. Now, we are finding that many business owners have a Facebook account and they are browsing the Internet more to research the types of services we are offering. As Social Media Networks becomes more ubiquitous, because more people are using them, they are becoming a crucial element to any business’ marketing mix.

Here is a list of Social Media Networks or websites to promote your business, engage with your audience, with others in your industry and meet potential customers. We will sort them according to our preference. So if you only have time to target one social network, go for the first one. If you have time for two, target the first two and so on. Obviously, some networks might be more suited to your type of business and others may not. We will soon add the positives and negatives with each of these. We are continually updating this post and we use a lot more websites and social media tools, so bookmark this page and come back again for the latest updates!

1. Twitter

Twitter Logo

Follow us on Twitter

Twitter is built for quick announcements. From a Business Standpoint, that makes it a great tool to quickly update and share with your audience. Twitter is well embedded in many online tools, websites and mobile apps.

2. Google Plus

googleplus

We like Google Plus for its use for Circles. You can organise people in Circles and choose to share what you want to with those circles. We find the use of Circles a lot easier with Google Plus more efficient than the way Pages work on Facebook. There’s a few more about Google Plus that makes it a very good Business Platform. Having started Google Plus earlier when they challenged Facebook’s social networking supremacy, I can say, Facebook has copied a lot of the features they came up with.

Connect with Oranges and Lime on Google Plus.

3. Quora

Quora Logo

Quora is a website where users ask each other questions. It has a wide range of topics. I had a Quora account for a while. However, it’s only been recently that I have been engaging with other users there. I answered a few questions, less then ten, from other users asking me questions about business, starting up, entrepreneurship, web design and web development as well as science and religion. Within about a week, 3000 people have read my answers! I saw Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia answering questions there as well as Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and others. I remember seeing an Ashton Kutcher replying to a question.

The amount of clutter like irrelevant sarcasm, verbal ‘swipes’ and arguments are minimised. People seem to get straight to the point with this format. There are really thought-provoking questions there that start off interesting conversations, I find.

Follow me in Quora: http://www.quora.com/Marquez-Comelab 

4. Stumble Upon

StumbleUpon Logo

In our opinion, Stumble Upon is an under-rated power-house when it comes driving traffic to a website if done right.

Follow us in Stumble Upon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/orangesandlime

5. Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is free. It’s good for SEO reasons because since Google owns it, we can only suppose that Google index every page of it for advertising purposes. Like I said, however, it has its limits for a serious blogger who might eventually want to customise their blogs or might want to do more than just blogging.

As good as Blogger is for anybody starting out, we do not use it ourselves. I personally still have an old blog kept there for archiving reasons but t’s been a while since we used Blogger because for our professional purpose. As web developers ourselves we are used to having full control to our blogs and websites and so we came across limitations with Blogger pretty quickly. This is not a statement against Blogger because all the tools on this page would fall in the same category. The difference with blogging is that it is a big part of your business and website and its SEO. I, as a business owner would want it to be stored on a server in which I have control, and that I can modify it whenever and however I want. Secondly, I want my blog to be accessible from my company’s domain name. It looks a bit awkward for visitors to be browsing your website, click on your blog then all of a sudden find themselves in a slightly different looking website with a different domain name. It gives it that disjointed experience.

The main blog of choice for professional use is WordPress. Contact us, if you want us to discuss what is involved with building a WordPress blog for you, your business or your organisation.

6. Tumblr

Tumblr Logo

If you think micro-blogging is for you, try Tumblr. Topics are easy to find and the quality and context of writing is niched, personal and very casual type of writing. Keep the Safe Search setting option however if you do not want inappropriate search results to come up. We found it works great for promoting products using lots of photos of products. We’ll add Instagram Pinterest later but they’re good platforms for posts with appealing images.

Similar to Blogger, I would not use it as my main Blogging platform to represent my company’s official blog. It is a good tool to engage people who are already in Tumblr.

Contact us, if you want us to discuss what is involved with building a professional blog for you, your business or your organisation.

7. Facebook

Facebook Logo

With Facebook, you create a Business Page for your Business. Depending on your personal Facebook network and the type of business you’re in, Facebook Business Pages might work for you. If you have a business selling directly to consumers, then that’s when your personal network — your friends and family — can really help you out. If you are however in Business to Business, like us, we find other channels more effective.

If you want to use Facebook, expect to pay advertising dollars before you can grow your audience, especially if you are in a niche that is not really popular to your personal contacts. In such cases, we would recommend using Google Plus, Twitter and Stumble Upon and others. If you are willing to put in the time to be active in those other networks, you will find it easier to bring traffic to your website.

If you are like us and are not planning to be as active on Facebook as you would be in other marketing activities, we would still recommend you have a Facebook Page for your business, and post when you can. The ‘SEO Juice’ is worth it and rightly or not, people usually expect businesses to have a Facebook page.

Like our Facebook Page

Which Social Media Networks do you use for your business? Are they working for you? Why do you think that is? Send us your answers so we can share your ideas too.

Google’s Panda 4: What does Panda mean for your website?

By | SEO, SEM & Marketing, Web Design & Development | No Comments

What does Panda mean for your website? Panda 4 is the latest update Google made to the way it ranks pages. Panda is designed to reduce the ranking of pages and websites that have duplicate content and/or short content.

As a website owner, this is what you can do to ensure you keep up your page rankings with Google:

  1. Avoid duplicating your content
  2. Create your own content
  3. Articles might benefit from being longer
  4. Use unique title tags and meta descriptions

Quite ironically, this post is likely to be too short for Panda. Sometimes, there’s just no use intentionally padding up every article to suit the preferences of an algorithm.

Have you noticed any changes to your website due to Panda? Keep an eye on your Google Analytics report in the next few weeks or months.

Do Facebook and Twitter help your Google Rank?

By | SEO, SEM & Marketing, Videos | No Comments

Ryan from Michigan asks Matt Cutts from Google: Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm? How much do they matter with regards to Google Rank?

Conclusion: Matt Cutts seems to say, that for the moment, “No”, links from Facebook and Twitter are not considered into Google Rank. I point out that so long as Facebook or Twitter continues to add the rel=”nofollow” tags to links then the links won’t count for Google Rank. This is not to say that sharing content has no use because it is still effective in driving interested people to your website.

How To Use Social Media Networks to Promote Your Business Online

By | SEO, SEM & Marketing, Videos | No Comments

We were building a website for a Shopping Centre recently, and many of the businesses owners there wanted to know more about how they can promote their business on the Internet. So how indeed does a business owner promote his/her business online?

There are many ways to do this. In this video, Marquez talks about Social Media. It is amazing how many businesses have not yet signod up for an account with Facebook, Google or Twitter. They have heard of these Social Networks but it is all still very vague in terms of what they are supposed to do. So here, in three simple steps: How to use Social Media Networks to promote your business online.

TRANSCRIPT:

Hello. This is Marquez from Oranges and Lime. Oranges and Lime is a Digital and Web Company helping business owners do business online.

We were building a website for a Shopping Centre recently, and many of the businesses owners there wanted to know more about how they can promote their business on the Internet. So this is our topic today: how indeed does a business owner promote their business online?

There are many ways to do this. In this video, I just want to talk about Social Media. I chose this as my topic today because it is amazing how many businesses have not yet signed up for an account with Facebook, Google or Twitter. They have heard of these Social Networks but it is all still very vague in terms of what they are supposed to do.

If you’re a small business owner or a start-up, you can start by signing up for an account on any of the Social Media Networks around like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. You then invite people to join your network. You follow their tweets, you like their Business Pages on Facebook or in Google Plus. Get interested in what they’re doing, post comments and engage.

Once you have a small network, the next step is to start sharing items to them too. What sort of items should you share? Well, think about your audience. What kind of people are they? What are their interests? If you own a business selling jewellery for example, then it would be obvious that your audience is following you because they want to know more about jewellery – especially if they are following your Business Pages with Facebook or Google Plus, or your Business Account with Twitter. For a business selling jewellery I would also recommend joining Pinterest, because it has more of a visual focus. There are lots of people sharing photos of things they find beautiful from shoes, clothing and handbags to jewellery.

Now, you might be asking: where will I get the content to share to your network of people? Well, you can get content from other websites and share their articles, photos or so. But why not create content yourself? Write an article about jewellery-making or about the rarity of gems for example, take pictures of your products or of your jewellery-making process. Then you post this article, or a video or a podcast on your website. Then you share the link to that content with your Social Media Networks. When people click to view your post, they go to your website. If they like your content, they might be compelled to share it with the people they know. Pretty soon, you have lots of people visiting your website looking for more useful, fun or informative content they can entertain themselves with. If you have a catalogue or a fully functional e-commerce site, they might just start looking through your products and make a purchase. That’s what you want.

In a nutshell, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Sign up for an account with Social Media Networks and build up your network. Create content and share it. If people like what you are sharing they visit your website, they email you, they ask you questions and they buy from you.

This is pretty much all from me today. If you have questions about this topic, send them through to us. We may even make a video, a podcast or an article about it. Until next time, it’s Marquez here from Oranges and Lime.

Does Facebook provide less Social Mobility than other Social Network Platforms like Twitter, Google Plus or Linked-In?

By | SEO, SEM & Marketing | No Comments

 

Oranges And Lime Web Design | Social Mobility

In this article, we discuss an interesting take on Social Media by John Herrman of : That Social Media can be divided into two groups: 1) Those that simulate social mobility and 2) Those that don’t.

From my understanding, he is saying that the first type can transform you into something you aspire to be (I take this to be what he means by Social Mobility). The second type merely tries to replicate who you are in the offline world. The second type is the type that is likely to keep you bogged down with old and existing social networks, and this somehow limits you from a personal, professional or business standpoint.


John Herrman of Buzzfeed.Com has an interesting take on Social Media. He writes that Social Media can be divided into two groups: 1) Those that simulate social mobility and 2) Those that don’t. From my understanding, he is saying that the first type can transform you into something you aspire to be (I take this to be what he means by Social Mobility). The second type merely tries to replicate who you are in the offline world. The second type is the type that is likely to keep you bogged down with old and existing social networks, and this somehow limits you from a personal, professional or business standpoint.

To a certain extent I agree with John Herrman. Building a following for a Facebook Page seems very limited to your existing offline networks of people, many of whom do not share your enthusiasm for whatever topic that page is concerned with.

However, in another sense, I wouldn’t probably be too quick to say that Facebook is not a tool for ‘social mobility’ because of how it does things because I think all Social Media platforms are tools with equal potential to be used for ‘social mobility’.

The reason why Facebook is being looked at as something that ‘bogs you down to your existing real-life social networks’ is because it happens to be the most popular social network platform that most of our family, friends and work colleagues have bothered learning to use. Because of this, Facebook evolved to become a hub where we can stay in contact with what our offline contacts are doing. As a result, the types of content and comments we post on our Facebook account is different to what we post on our other social accounts, like Twitter or Google Plus, specifically made to attract people from specific interests, most of which we do not know in real-life.

On Facebook, I tend to post content for entertainment and a little of what is happening in my real life, because that is what most of my friends on Facebook would be interested in. Personally, not a lot of the people I know in real life use Twitter and Google Plus accounts and if they do, they are not active members. My Twitter and Google Plus accounts have evolved to be for people who share similar interests with me. Therefore the type of posts and comments I make and the conversations I get involved in on those platforms tend to be more passion driven, because they are what I am interested in. This is what I think is great about Google Plus and Twitter. They seem to open up the world to more people beyond our existing real-life networks.

To summarise, I do not think that Facebook provides less ‘Social Mobility’ than other Social Media Platforms. If it does seem as though that our growth — be it personal, professional or business — is stuck or limited with our interactions on Facebook, it may not be because of the Platform itself, it may only be because our Facebook account is more connected to friends and colleagues we know offline. Which Social Media Platforms provides more Social Mobility would be another discussion altogether.

[Related Article: The Two Types Of Social Network by John Herrman]

[If you are reposting this article on your blog, website or elsewhere, please include the paragraph about the author below and a link to this website: www.orangesandlime.com.]