First… you’ll notice I added ‘networking’ to social media in this blog’s title. Social media in a general sense consists of all blogs, content aggregators and niche communities built around certain subjects. To this end, social media hasn’t even scratched the surface, but when it comes to social media networking sites that keeps a ton of this information flowing I feel that we’re down to three main players and I’m not sure there’s room for any more.
There’s LinkedIn, which has established itself as the standard for business networks. Facebook, which is the standard for personal networking, though consumer oriented businesses and some B2B players have made it work for them too. Then there’s Twitter, which is really a hybrid in a sense.
There will be plenty of other sites that come along and try to steal some share of the social networking pie, but at the end of the day I don’t think they’ll make much of a splash, and frankly that’s okay. There was Google Buzz and they’re not really around anymore. There’s XING… I get updates about my network which I’ve promptly ignored in favor of LinkedIn. There’s a new one I just checked out that I had not heard of before – Viadeo – which frankly I can’t even pronounce.
Social media is all about sharing information and content, and the best place to do that is through established networks, and those have already been built. Just look at the numbers… according to a recent MarketingProfs article, 26% of businesses are using LinkedIn as their social network of choice. Facebook has over 500 million users (that would be the third largest country in the world by the way). 1 in 13 people in the world use Facebook – in the World!! On Twitter… there are 140 million tweets sent per day and over 460,000 accounts created daily. These are big numbers and tough to compete with!
So these are the three to choose from… now it just comes down to which one, or combination, is right for your organization.