Top 10 Social Networking Sites for Business.
The most popular social networking sites can be defined by how many registered users they have. This article will look at the top 10 social networking sites for business, which are the most popular sites used by consumers, looking to buy products or services from a business just like yours.
If you thought social networking was just a fad, take a look at the number of registered users for the top 10 Social Networks:
- Facebook – 908,000,000
- Twitter – 500,000,000
- Google Plus – 400,000,000
- Linkedin – 187,000,000
- Bebo – 117,000,000
- Tagged – 100,000,000
- Instagram – 32,000,000 +
- deviantART – 24,000,000
- Pinterest – 20,000,000 +
- FourSquare – 20,000,000
That is a total of 2,308,000,000, or just over 2.3 billion registered users of social networking sites world wide.
Facebook is the top social networking site word wide. It was launched in 2004, but was only really used by people at Harvard University, a few campuses in America and a few Universities in England. It wasn’t until 2006 that Facebook was open to the general public; if you were over 13 years of age. Facebook changes constantly, with its ‘Timeline’ the most significant recent change to the way your profile page looks.
Facebook is about connecting you with friends and promotes user recommendations with a ‘like’ button.
Also launched around 2006, Twitter has become popular because of its ease of use, and is often called the SMS of the Internet. Messages are referred to as ‘Tweets’ containing a maximum of 140 characters long. To give you an idea of the growth of Twitter, there were around 1.6 million tweets posted for 2007, 400 million in 2008, and in 2012 it was estimated that Twitter users tweet 140 million tweets per day.
Twitter is also popular for sending direct messages to each other privately on mobile phones. Twitter has a ‘Tweet’ button that allows for a recommendation and link to a website page.
Ranked third for registered users, Google Plus, or Google+ is the search engine giant’s most recent attempt to break into the social networking arena. With a ‘G+1’ button, users can recommend links in the same way Facebook does with its ‘like’ button. There are many similarities to how Google have set up their social networking site, compared to Facebook, but also quite a few improvements; noticeable better privacy controls and the way you include people into ‘circles’ of friends. Although Google says they have over 400,000,000 registered users, the number would be skewed due to the integration with all of their other products. As a stand alone product there are about 100,000,000 active Google+ users world wide, however with Google being able to integrate into their search results; unmatched by Facebook and with an unrivalled range of other products, it has come along way, fast since the 2011 launch, so watch this space!
For people serious about search engine optimisation, Google Plus is a must because Google Authorship linked via your Google Plus Page is now a factor in Google’s search results.
Launched in May 2003, Linkedin was popular amongst business people and professionals as a way to create a network of ‘connections’. At the end of 2012, it is estimated that two business, professional people were joining Linkedin per second world wide.
The main thrust of this social networking site is to allow users to maintain a list of contact details of people they have some level of interaction; what Linkedin refers to as ‘connections’.
Registered users invite people; whether registered or non registered users to become a connection.
Bebo, launched in 2005 puts your life online, on a ‘timeline’ in chronological order with images, video and stories you create and load up. Roomers of Bebo shutting down circulated in 2012. Bebo offers shopping online, music and is a dating site too. Time will tell if it continues to grow, or loses users to the other social sites.
Tagged launched in 2004 and focuses on finding new friends, rather than most other social networking sites which focus on existing relationships. With Tagged, you are on the road to social discovery, meeting and socialising with new people from the 24 million registered users in 220 countries throughout the world.
Instagram is a way you can share what’s going on in your life with friends through pictures. Used by people with smart-phones that have an in-built camera, you can take a photo of something and by choosing a ‘filter’, transform the image into a memory that will be kept forever. The Instagram concept is to document your life through pictures in real time.
These pictures can be shared on other social networking sites such as Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
There is also the option that allows for specifying a location with the photo and Instagram will check you in on FourSquare.
deviantART was developed to be a social networking site for artists, that allowed artists; whether established or not to showcase their artwork with art enthusiasts. Launched in 2000, deviantART is the largest social networking site for artists, with 65 million new visitors going to the site each month.
Pinterest is a way you can organise and share what you find on the web. You create ‘boards’, allowing others with similar interests to see what you like. The site is not about getting friends but rather to display who you really are, sharing recipes, planning a special event in your life, renovating the home etc.
FourSquare is a free ‘app’ or application that is about sharing your geographical location when you visit places. You are linked to other users; who are your friends, so can recommend and be recommended to visit a place you are near. You can promote a restaurant with special offers, or a car yard that you got a good deal on a car with, it’s up to you.
It would be impossible to keep up with writing content if you joined all of the social networking sites, even just these ten, so you are best to target your efforts to the top 3 social networking sites for business, which at the moment are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Others can be used for personal use, if you would like to share and interact with people who have invited you to join their network.
Just a word of caution though, social networking can become very time consuming and can take you away from focusing on your core business.
It is advised that you actually read the terms and conditions that these, and all other social networking sites have and make you agree to when you sign up to understand what rights you are assigning over every time you load content; text and images to them. Most say that you are handing over the copyright rights to them, meaning that your images are now owned by them, to use how they see fit for their own purposes.
Thinking IT can keep your social networking sites updated by linking them to your website, so every time you add new content to your website, the social sites get updated too; saving you time and money.