Larry BraunerFindability is the ability of brands and all their associated content to be discovered and interacted with by people.

More simply stated, findability is people’s ability to find and connect with content on websites. To find content, people need to be drawn to websites, and once on those websites, they require guidance finding the desired content.

Web promotion deals with drawing people, and website design with guiding them. Web promotion and website design — or usability — are the principal elements of findability.

Brands can maximize their findability by fine tuning the promotion of their websites and optimizing their websites’ usability, both important functions of a web marketing team or digital marketing agency.

Needless to say, developing high-quality and relevant content is crucial, but without findability, content has no value.

See also my other findability piece: What is Findability Convergence?

Now that you’ve found your way to the end of this findability article, please find the wherewithal to leave a comment about findability and to subscribe to my blog.  ;-)

Larry BraunerI consider traffic, along with time, expertise and influence, to be a basic element of social media monetization.

Traffic is monetized by placing ads or sponsored content on blogs, social networking sites or other types of websites.

For years, I have resisted the idea of monetizing my traffic with commercial ads. To a large extent, I regard my blogs as professional work samples. My concern, therefore, has been the possibility that monetizing my blog traffic with ads might to some degree sully my image.

Last week, however, I accepted an invitation from Technorati Media to join their publisher network and placed their ad tags on my blogs and my business networking sites. I was ready for this change and happy to be getting started with a company I knew and trusted.

Of course, I’m not going to get rich from my social media traffic overnight, but ads give me another income stream that I can grow over time.

I invite you to connect and network with me on my new business sites:

You don’t need your own business to participate.

Larry BraunerI launched my two new business networking sites with several objectives in mind. One key objective was to make available free social media marketing training, as well as other free and low-cost training to a wide small business and entrepreneurial audience.

Register now for free social media marketing training on the Small Business Networking site.

Subjects will include social media marketing, social networking sites, small business websites, blogging, SEO and web analytics.

There will be strong branding opportunities for expert instructors who wish to participate in this free social media marketing training initiative or others on the way. For free social media training, make Small Business Networking your training resource on the web. :)

Larry BraunerSocial media and other types of media revolve around the findability and value of their content.

You could use a newspaper to wrap fish or fragile belongings (ideal), a book as a paperweight (sad), a radio or television program as white noise (even sadder) or a blog to switch to, so that the boss won’t catch you playing FarmVille at work (hopefully not my readers).

Kidding aside, media are published so that their content will be consumed, and social media marketing can only succeed if its content is findable, and if the people finding that content repeatedly consume it.

Am I stating simply the obvious? Perhaps, but consider for a minute the large number of web sites with little traffic and blogs with little traction. Do you not agree that my concern is somewhat justified?

Value and findability of content to and by stakeholders are prerequisites for social media marketing success, and the optimization of each must be at the top of our social media marketing content lists.

Larry BraunerI started this blog, because I wanted to refocus the content of Online Social Networking on social and business networking, yet I still wanted to discuss other topics, such as New York business events, small businesssearch and social media.

Now that I’ve launched two new business networking sites, and both have blogging capabilities, I’m setting up a New York business blog on one site and a small business blog on the other.

In case this post has sounded so far like an Abbot and Costello routine, here’s a simpler breakdown:

You might be wondering whether this article is merely a shameless plug for my new sites. Fortunately for me, there is a takeaway. ;-)

Although we might hope to build a web presence one time and then coast along, adding a blog post here and a social bookmark there, this online strategy isn’t at all feasible. Over time the world, technology and we too change substantially. These changes need to find expression in our web initiatives.

Therefore, since real world and corresponding social media changes are inevitable, we must expect them, accommodate them.. and grow with them.

We must grow with the flow. :-P

Larry BraunerI’ve been working very hard the past couple of weeks and finally launched my two new business networking sites.

A unique aspect of these sites is that they’ll serve to connect offline networking groups, facilitating communication among their group members and attracting new group members online.

These are my new business networking sites:

You don’t need to have a business to join either site. You can join for getting business ideas, searching for a new job or whatever else might make sense.

If you’re interested in business social networking, I recommend that you subscribe to my other blog, Online Social Networking.

Larry BraunerI asked on Facebook earlier today whether every small business should have a blog. My Facebook focus group provided eight responses of which six were affirmative.

Fortunately, I’m not obliged to side with the majority on such matters, and although I praise blogs in 6 Easy Ways to Integrate Search and Social on Your Blogs and elsewhere, I see a blog as one of a variety of marketing tools at our disposal.

Starting a blog requires a commitment that is inappropriate for many small businesses.

You and I can talk about thought leadership, but when an entrepreneur is already wearing five hats in his or her small business, and there’s a family at home requiring attention, starting a blog could be the very straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Outsource it? That could be pricey and, in any case, I don’t know if that is thought leadership.

Back in April, I asked: Is Going Blogless Really An Option?

My answer: “Going blogless is an option. [With some creativity] you can accomplish with a standard website most of what you’d hope to accomplish with a blog.”

If anybody says your small business must have a blog, send them to me with boxing gloves on, and the two of us will duke it out. :-P

Larry BraunerThe Business Development Institute is holding a free webinar on August 12, 2010 at 2pm ET that will discuss ways in which financial institutions are embracing social media to achieve their marketing and communications objectives.

The webinar will explain how major brands are connecting with customers, partners and employees through social media:

The Business Development Institute produces top quality events and training. I’m already registered for this one. Reserve your spot now.