Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top 3 Social Networking Sites


The very first Social Networking sites to get set-up on as a working professional would have to be Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook hands down. These websites are online tools that will mine online gold with your company's offline shovel. The reasons why these sites are important are very simple to understand. People are on them!

Let's take a moment and talk about Facebook:

* Facebook is now the 4th most visited site in the world.

* Facebook this week signed up their 200 millionth member.

* Facebook went from 100 million members to 200 million in just 8 months.

* Facebook has made $300-350 million dollars in revenue.

With these stats the numbers speak for themselves. Facebook is growing at a amazing rate and this is becoming a problem for many colleges due to the fact that more students are in lectures on their Facebook page instead of following the lesson plan for the day. Businesses are restricting the use of most sites including Facebook due to the fact that employees are using up company time to be on these sites and network with friends.

The world is changing and people are now going to their favorite Social Networking Sites to see updates on their friends and get current status of what people are doing with their lives.

Now let's discuss Linkedin:

* LinkedIn has 42 million members.

* LinkedIn has monetized $75-100 million dollars in revenue.

Linkedin is the virtual Rolodex for the 21st century. This Social Networking site is for the Business Professional to use as a tool to create discussions and interact with different professional groups designed around industry specific topics. Linkedin is one of the best tools for any Business Development/Sales position to add a online tool to the already active offline marketing tools these professionals are using.

I use Linkedin for Social Networking San Diego as well as train professionals how to use this site for business related needs. I have met with many other professionals from my linkedin connections and also have had other companies ask for direct quotes for my service from the interactions I've made on Linkedin. This is real and powerful for any company today!

By using Linkedin as a Business Development tool you will see an increase in potential prospects for your company as Linkedin becomes the new virtual lead generation system. If you are a Business Development person for your company and the pressure is on to bring in new leads to your firm you might want to think about using Linkedin as an online tool that will place more lines in the virtual ocean in hopes on reeling in that big fish, and with training on how to use Linkedin with all it's functions available, you might get a bite from that whale you've been hunting your whole career!

Finally, my favorite Twitter:

* Twitter has 14 million members.

* Twitter has 54 million monthly visits jumping membership by 76% in 3 months

* Twitter apparently has 0 revenue making it the People's Site!!

In other words, Twitter, with its small membership, is an extremely sticky service where its members are making more visits per person than the other sites, and more overall visits than to LinkedIn. You can understand the buzz around Twitter and why there have been rumors that Google is negotiating to buy them out.

It is, indeed, a mixed bag, but no one doubts the future potential here, and thus all of these companies have huge valuations regardless of these numbers.

Overall, the media is lumping social media together into one, but as you can see there are vast differences in terms of membership numbers, services, and growth, as well as demographics. Some sites show little if no revenue when compared to the traditional companies that we know about online.

In order for companies to monetize on social media, they need to understand the dynamics of each of the sites, become members themselves to understand the different functionalities that each site has, and then create and execute a plan to drive new business from these sites.

The strategy, as well as the tools employed, will have to be different depending on the site, and just the fact that it is USERS and not COMPANIES that are controlling these sites, there will have to be a lot of creativity employed in order to find benefit from either directly advertising or driving people to another site where they can sell them something. Social media will require businesses to consider a new and creative approach in order to monetize on them.

The solution to this problem is Social Networking San Diego. We consult and educate our executive level clients how to form a strategy using social media and social networking sites to increase traffic to company websites and increase sales.

More Social = More Search = More Business it's that simple!

Contact me to discuss how to formulate an Online Marketing Plan for your Business:

Keith Tacla
Vice President
Social Networking San Diego
Follow me on Twitter:
Direct: 760-500-6043
More Social = More Search = More Business


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