social mediaIn order for businesses to be successful today they need to have an online presence. It is imperative to be active in all the places your customers hang out online and connect with them in those locations. Social media amplifies your efforts to connect and the new word of mouth is media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. There are many others but let’s will quickly review these four sites, which every business should start with!

Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently and is the world’s largest social network with 800 million users worldwide. Founded in February 2004, the main social network of choice has become so big and prevalent it is hard to escape.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service for people to communicate through the exchange of 140 character messages called tweets. Founded in March 2006, Twitter has over 275 million users and averages 50 million tweets per day.

LinkedIn takes your business network online, giving you access to people, jobs, and opportunities like never before. Since its launch in May 2003, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 135 million members.

YouTube is the leader in online video providing a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe. Founded in February 2005, YouTube has become the second largest search engine with over 800 million users worldwide per month.

If your business is not on these social media platforms, now is the time. The magnitude behind the masses is a testimony that marketing online is no longer an option, it is a requirement.

Editor’s Note: Angel Soria is an Internet Marketing Consultant, entrepreneur, and currently obtaining her Executive MBA at Fresno State. For a free business x-ray report, email [email protected] Find her on Twitter @talk2angelsoria.