Published on 1st Jul, 2008 in Online Marketing

Ranking Social Networking Sites: Which Ones Make the Cut?

By: Shama Hyder Fellow blogger and reader, Mark Salinas, asked this question: “I have yet to explore the world of Facebook or Myspace for that matter. I guess with so many different avenues or options if you will…..what are the advantages of Facebook vs. any other? Does it have a stronger presence with Google, is an easier interface to navigate through, is the infrastructure reliable (unlike Twitter)?” Mark-Thank you for the fantastic questions. These questions keep coming up in my presentations and speaking engagements as well. They have led to this article! LinkedIn- *** Pros: A professional crowd, great place to get and give recommendations, allows for an interactive online resume. Cons: Too static-can’t make out a person’s personality, can’t reach out with ease, level of interaction between members is fairly low. How to Use it: LinkedIn gets 3 stars. Not a great marketing or relationship building tool. Use it to build a “professional resume” online and get feedback from colleagues, clients, and bosses. Spend no more than 30 minutes a month. MySpace- ** Pros: Well established, huge number of users, flexible. Cons: Lot of musicians, kids, and hippies (okay, so that’s an exaggeration and not necessarily a con-but it’s not a perfect B2B market.) Lax security. My inkling is that most users are looking for relationships-and not to network for business reasons. How to Use it: 2 stars here. Use it ONLY if 1) you already have a profile, etc. 2) Your target market uses MySpace. Don’t use it if you are in the B2B market or need to target professionals. If you do use it, make sure your profile is very professional and shows no signs that you are looking for more (read: romance)…unless, ofcourse, you are. Twitter- ** Pros: Easy to setup and use, lots of marketers and PR folks use it Cons: Experiences lots of down time, can be addictive How to Use it: 2 stars here. Setup a profile, and follow people you care to listen to and share with. Write a new blog post? Hosting an event? Share it on Twitter. Just don’t spend more than 15 minutes a day on it. Facebook- **** Pros: Flexible, clean interface, lots of applications, easy to interact, build community and market Cons: Spammers are now catching on to the coolness of Facebook, applications that you wish were never created (i.e., buy your friends, virtual zombie bites…this list is long). How to Use it: Definite 4 stars! Setup a profile that conveys your brand. Add friends. Network. Find JV partners. Build community. Read: Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Market your Business for Free.