Social Media NetworkingSocial media is all around us. From the twitter posts of presidential candidates to the #hashtags throughout Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. But social media is also very useful for business promotion and development. Lets start with Facebook. Facebook is the most prominent social media, and a valuable tool. Virtually everyone has one and checks it everyday. Having a business page on facebook allows you to create events and promote products or even a certain sale you may be having. For every “like” that you have, that is a person who gets updates of the statuses your business posts. And if they share, your post will be visible to all their friends, and so on. Imagine the possibilities! Next is Twitter. When twitter was founded in 2006, exactly 10 years ago, it enabled users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets. They can also re-tweet your posts which will allow their followers to see them. Many people will tweet hourly, or even every few minutes. These short messages lets a person give their audience a glimpse into their message (without getting too lengthy) and then take them to where they can read more about it. As a business owner, twitter lets you add images, videos and a url linking to your website. Not to use up valuable character count, it’s good practice to use tinyURL, which is a shortened version of your full url and connects your followers directly to your business’s website. Another interesting aspect to tweets are hashtags. Hashtags are usually placed at the end of a post and can be clicked on. Clicking on a hashtag allows someone to see all posts with the same hashtag. If you always use the same unique hashtag for a subject matter, this will bring your followers to a page with all your old postings on that subject matter. Using your business name is a good solution in addition to a common hashtag such as #WebDesign. LinkedIn is the network dedicated to professional social networking. LinkedIn allows you to create a profile which functions almost as an interactive resume. This serves less on the customer level, and more towards connecting you to others within your industry. LinkedIn is now a commonplace for professionals and definitely worth your time if your not connected with this network. Instagram is a social network that allows you to post images with a comment. So for a business, this becomes almost like a photo gallery. Imagine you are a restaurant or a bar. You can post images of your food, Drinks, staff, etc. Now this is where hashtags become vital. If you tag your image with a hashtag #Bar, #Coctails or #HappyHour, not only will your followers see your posted image, so will everyone that loves to go out to bars! Cool ha? Another often ignored benefit of social media is its benefit towards your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The internet being a complicated network of links, content and algorithms. Search engines take a multitude of variables in account when displaying webpages. Naturally, your social media pages use your business name in multiple places. These tags are all linked back to your website, and give you authenticity and credibility and establish you as an expert in your field with search engines. This is only a small facet of proper SEO, but definitely convenient bonus of social media. Another benefit of having a social presence is that your social profile will almost always show up in a higher position than your website. This allows people to see your profile and click into your website even if your website does not show up on the top pages of the searches. So today, in 2016, just having a webpage is clearly not enough to promote your business. It’s vital to take advantage of all available networking to not only engage your audience, but also attract new visitors to your website and improve your search engine rankings in order to take your business to the next level.