1-LinkedIn-While LinkedIn is known for its business networking profiles, the site has recently added more features that allow your networking activities to go even further. While traditional elements such as uploading your personal resume and background info are essential, more and more people are now also using elements such as the “update my status” tabs, as well as elements such as LinkedIn today; a customizable tab that posts industry related topics and useful content to your page. You can also join group, post or apply to jobs, and use LinkedIn Events, a nationwide listing of events posted by LinkedIn members.
2-SBA-The Small Business Administration is often overlooked when it comes to starting and running a business. However, the government supported agency has a plethora of information for planning, starting, and managing your small business. With articles, forms, and tips on various business related topics, the SBA website can essentially drive your business for you. Sections of the website contain question and answers on various topics, information on taxes and federal regulations, funding sources, online training sessions, and ways to find mentors in your area.
3-Facebook-While generally thought of as an entertainment portal for young people, Facebook has become a must-have tool for business success. Nowadays at any networking function people will automatically ask “are you on Facebook?”. 2012 has seen a surge of Facebook Business Pages after the company decided to beef up their campaign to appeal to a wider audience by conducting nationwide seminars on how to use Facebook for business. This FREE website allows you to potentially reach hundreds of thousands of clients if done properly. New features include the Facebook Marketing page, which gives tips on business branding and hosts webinars and in person branding sessions, as well as features such as online ads, surveys, polls, and new page layout options.
4-Mashable-Known as THE guru of social media, Mashable is the web’s best kept secret.
No business savy professional can deny that social media has taken center stage in the world of business. Mashable covers all of the current trends in social media, marketing, and tech innovation before they even come out of the frying pan. Some of the featured posts on the site cover social media tips and navigation step by step, tech startups, development and gadgets, as well as lifestyle and entertainment. The site is a symbol of the changing nature of Corporate America, as its articles and slideshows deliver a nontraditional approach, often with a hint of humor or sarcasm.
5-Twitter-Simply put, ENGAGE. Twitter is an excellent way for you to engage with other like-minded individuals. Upon setting up your Twitter page, be sure to include the proper keywords in your profile that will allow people to find you based on your expertise. Post information about your product or brand, as well as pertinent articles related to your brand. Also, be sure to comprise lists that separate people you are following based on their expertise. It will allow you to quickly search for info and tips from industry leaders. One word of caution; be disciplined, Twitter has a bevy of information so it is easy to get distracted and engage in information overload.
What websites do you use to help your business grow? Do you have any tips for maximizing success on the websites listed above?