How To Use 6 Common Business Directories & Social Media Platforms

There are dozens of high-profile business directories and social media platforms available to firms that wish to improve their visibility online. Listing your firm on every relevant site may be impractical, but some platforms offer too much potential value to ignore. These directories and platforms are among the six most fruitful beacons for businesses in a wide variety of industries.

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a key platform for businesses in virtually every industry. Firms that successfully harness LinkedIn’s features and strengths tend to engage directly with followers, connect widely with employees and contractors (see Boston-based growth solution HubSpot’s profile), publish engaging content that core followers are likely to find informative, and maintain accurate contact information to capture inquiries and leads. If your company is not already on LinkedIn, take an hour this week to create and build a profile.

2. Crunchbase

Crunchbase helps firms connect with prospective clients, industry thought leaders, and investors. Among other use cases, it is a highly reliable source of basic information about listed firms. Asia Pacific financial firm Asiaciti Trust’s Crunchbase profile offers a good illustration, with a succinct, engaging company description and accurate, up-to-date contact information. If your firm has successfully completed public or private funding rounds, Crunchbase is a good place to organize and systematize a detailed summary as well.

3. Twitter

Your company’s Twitter account is a high-visibility vessel for timely information, such as company announcements and releases. It is also a good place to share high-value original and third-party content that relates to your firm’s industry and areas of expertise. And, although it is important to maintain proper decorum at all times on Twitter, the abbreviated format makes it a useful vehicle to engage directly with followers who have questions or concerns about your company.

4. Facebook

Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform. Use it to engage consumers and thought leaders with relatively short, timely posts. Facebook is also a great nexus for contests, giveaways, and other promotional efforts. Snapple UK and Ireland’s weekly Facebook contests provide testimony to the platform’s efficacy in this area.

5. Merchant Circle

Merchant Circle is a directory-style platform that caters to business-to-consumer firms seeking visibility among local customer groups. If your business is location-dependent, Merchant Circle is an excellent complement to other directory sites such as Yelp and Manta.

6. Google My Business

Google My Business is a free directory platform that augments your firm’s existing organic search visibility. Like other local directory sites, Google My Business is an excellent resource for firms prospecting in tightly defined geographies. Its visibility makes it an excellent outlet for limited-time promotions as well.

What’s Your Most Fruitful Business Platform?

It is entirely possible that your most valuable business directory or social media platform is not on this list. For instance, many consumer-facing firms find visual social media properties such as Snapchat and Instagram to be critical marketing and outreach tools. Business-to-business firms have a host of business-first directories, such as BBB, to choose from.

If you are unsure whether a particular online property is worth pursuing, perform a competitive analysis of other firms in your industry. Prioritize properties that appear to generate sustained prospect engagement for your competitors; put those that appear to be of limited value aside.