Is your business visible online?
In an increasingly competitive digital economy, it’s imperative that your company cast a wide net for prospective customers. Fortunately, there are dozens of highly trafficked websites, directories, and social platforms that attract millions of unique users each year. You’d do well to pursue as many as company resources permit.
These seven are among the most effective online platforms and websites for U.S.-based companies. Here’s what you need to know about each, along with some tips for maximizing each property’s return on investment.
By some measures, LinkedIn is the world’s most popular B2B social media network. It’s a powerful talent acquisition pipeline for recruiters and human resources professionals, an effective mouthpiece for executives and business owners aiming to develop their thought leadership credentials, and a highly visible directory site for companies of all types.
Setting up a LinkedIn company page is straightforward. Here’s what you can do to get the most out of your page without investing too much time or funds in upkeep and maintenance:
- Include a clear, concise company description that articulates what you do and what you stand for
- Republish company news and releases — Nike’s LinkedIn company page is a good model
- Encourage your employees to follow your page, automatically increasing your employee count and page visibility
Crunchbase is a popular platform for startups, investors and others interested in the early-stage business ecosystem. You simply need to create a crunchbase profile to list your business.
Even if you’re not actively seeking funding, it’s a cost-effective platform to communicate your company’s growth prospects and value proposition. Listing key executives and backers is also a great way to establish your company’s bona fides. For instance, computer repair firm Geeks on Site lists Miami-based entrepreneur George Otte, who owns several other successful companies, as its founder — emphasizing that the company is in good hands as it grows.
Angel.co is another platform for startups and early-stage small businesses. It bills itself as the place “where the world meets startups.” Like Crunchbase, it’s a highly visible directory for companies seeking funding, talent, and recognition for innovative products and solutions.
If you’re beginning to think seriously about exiting your current venture, you’ll be pleased to learn that countless Angel.co-listed companies have used the platform to draw corporate buyers and strategic partners — Ticketbis, acquired by eBay for $165 million in 2016, is a case in point.
Better Business Bureau (BBB.com)
BBB.com is an all-purpose business listing site that’s particularly useful for companies seeking to improve their visibility in local markets. Its highly regarded, closely watched grading system and accreditation guidelines impart credibility. Keep in mind, however, that a BBB.com listing isn’t without risks: Negative customer reviews can adversely impact your rating, underscoring the importance of hands-on maintenance.
Yelp is another great local marketing tool for B2C companies. If you seek to break into a new geographical market, make sure you’re listed on the corresponding Yelp page. Companies with multiple locations, such as restaurants and auto repair shops, can create individual Yelp pages for each location. This ensures that customers quickly find correct information for your most relevant shop.
Not all business decision-makers view Facebook as a proper “business platform.” However, no one disputes that Facebook is massively popular with consumers and decision-makers alike. No matter what your company does or who comprises its core buyer groups, it needs to have a comprehensive, lively, well-maintained Facebook company page.
Here are three simple strategies for boosting Facebook company page engagement:
- Respond promptly and respectfully to customer comments and complaints
- Ask followers for feedback, using small prizes and giveaways as incentives for short survey responses
- Judiciously employ Facebook ads to target likely buyer groups on a granular basis
YP.com is the digital successor to the “original” Yellow Pages, one of the most popular phone book brands of the 20th century. Every month, millions of U.S. consumers use YP.com to find service providers: doctors, dentists, plumbers, electricians, and more. If you provide professional or trade services, a YP.com listing can dramatically improve your market visibility without limiting your reach to subscription-based services such as Angie’s List.
More Platforms Mean More Impressions
These aren’t the only seven directory sites and social networks with vast readerships and enviable prominence in organic search engine results pages. HubSpot identifies some 50 platforms, including those already mentioned here, that provide valuable exposure for businesses seeking to market to local audiences.
Whether you seek to build an audience in your hometown or aim to reach buyers halfway across the world, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of as many such platforms as your resources and bandwidth allow.
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