Real-time and social searching significantly impacts how web professionals do business – for themselves and their clients. A recent study by Business.com confirms that corporate profiles on social networks, webinars, podcasts, and user ratings/reviews are the most popular social media resources used by professionals to collect information. Facebook is the post popular for business owners. 83 percent of business-to-consumer organizations maintain at least one profile on Facebook while 45 percent do so on Twitter. Business-to-business companies maintain profiles on both in pretty much equal proportion (77% on Facebook and 73% on Twitter). According to Business.com, participants using social media on-the-job visit company or brand profiles on social sites 61% of the time, with 55% search for business info on social sites.
What does this mean to you? You need to have a presence among the social networking crowd and you need to keep it fresh, relevant and real. Website magazine’s list for 2010 of the top 50 social media resources are as follows, in order of popularity:
Facebook.com, youtube.com, myspace.com, twitter.com, flickr.com, photobucket.com, linkedin.com, digg.com, ning.com, yelp.com, tagged.com, squidoo.com, scribd.com, stumbleupon.com, hi5.com, bebo.com, reddit.com, myyearbook.com, technorati.com, kaboodle.com, friendster.com, flixster.com, xanga.com, epinions.com, plaxo.com, mybloglob.com, yuku.com, metafilter.com, blackplanet.com, care2.com, getsatisfaction.com, friendfeed.com, clipmarks.com, cafemom.com, newsvine.com, omgili.com, gigya.com, ballhype.com, current.com, revver.com, ping.fm, tribe.net, magnify.net, diigo.com, dzone.com, xing.com, faves.com, tweetdeck.com, ecademy.com, twine.com.
Which one(s) should you use? The answer is: spend some time on the most popular sites learning what other businesses similar to yours have a big presence there. Then decide whether you are willing to commit the time necessary to see how well you fare on that site. Remember, test, test, test. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You will find the right fit if you “just do it.” Remember, if you “just think about it” your results are certain. No testing necessary. :~)
Now go socialize!