Top Social Media Sites & How You Can Benefit From Them

By . Filed in Web 2.0

For many, social media sites could be just a virtual place to express your voice or have some fun. For the enterprising ones, social media sites could mean serious business.

You probably do not have to move your mouth to talk to the right people but the good news is, they will still "hear" you. You would be amazed at the powerful connections that social media sites have. All it takes is a click and you could probably be publishing a very valuable piece of information for your prospective clients or bosses.

Here we have analyzed 5 popular social media sites based on the following criteria: Communication, Brand exposure and Traffic to your sites. You could find out which social media site best suits your purpose and which social media sites could bring your message to the right people better. A snapshot of our take on the 5 social media sites is shown through star ratings that would give you a gist of our recommendations and a quick estimation of their effectiveness.

1. FaceBook

Facebook is a fastest-growing popular online platform that enables customization of user interface, which also includes installing applications to personalize the experience further. Users are connected to their friends very quickly as they could receive notifications when someone in their network has made changes or updates to his/her current profile or status.

Communication: 4/5 stars
With the help of notifications, the convenient and simple platform allows the ease and swiftness of communication. Besides, accessing FaceBook with mobiles has become an increasing phenomenon. Users can share opinions, join groups, hold events and participate in contests conveniently.

Brand exposure: 4/5 stars
Definitely great brand exposure. Users are able to get to know about you as long as their friends are “connected” to you. Users are able to view the necessary information they need to get to know you. Advertising platform on FaceBook could also increase your brand awareness significantly within your target audience.

Traffic to your sites: 3/5 stars
Moderate traffic to your sites with the aid of “share” and “like” buttons. Will attract only people who are interested in your profile.

How can you benefit?

If you are intending to create a professional online portfolio for networking purposes and attract future employers, FaceBook could be a useful channel, but do keep in mind of the content that you are publishing. You future employers might not want to see you being "tagged" in an album "A racy party at John’s".

If you are searching for a convenient way to find friends, family or acquaintances and get connected to them easily, FaceBook is a appropriate platform.

If you are organizing public events or gatherings, FaceBook is a great way to send out invitations. Invited people are also able to invite their friends for the event, depending on the privacy level that you select.

If you are seeking for advertising to reach out to your target audience, FaceBook could spread the word for you as the advertisements would appear to those who have indicated the related interest in their profile.

Who should use it?

Freelancers, entrepreneurs, organizers, advertisers and anyone who wants to connect with people.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn‘s tagline “Relationships Matter” is very appropriate to show us what this social network does. Believing that people relationships is a valuable asset, LinkedIn serves to help individuals and companies to build and maintain them. This gives professionals an advantage to be more successful and productive in their careers by leveraging on as well as contributing their to own professional and trusted network.

Communication: 3/5 stars
Not spontaneous communication with others, but you could build an identity for yourself by answering enquiries related to your industry to demonstrate your expertise. A feature called Answers, is similar to a forum where users can post questions and contribute their related opinions or solutions.

Brand exposure: 5/5 stars
Certainly favorable for branding your identity for both individuals and companies. Users could get themselves connected to a people in the same interest of work and industry to build a network. Make the profile a complete one in order to leverage on this platform effectively.

Traffic to your site: 1/5 stars
Significant traffic might not be evident. Only potential clients and customers are more likely to visit your site.

How you can benefit from it?

If you are a fresh graduate, who is all ready to step into the working society, LinkedIn is a great starting place to prepare your resume and introduce your strengths and abilities to attract employers or recruiters to land in the profession you desire.

Also advantageous for job recruiters to seek for passive yet qualified job candidates to match them to the right job or profession.

If you are thinking of extending the web of your career network, LinkedIn is an excellent tool to facilitate you. Use the LinkedIn search to search for contacts in your email address lists who are already on LinkedIn. You would also be able to search alumni networks as indicated by your profile information to increase the chances of getting “connected” with the related people.

If you want to further develop and maintain professional relationships, LinkedIn definitely does more than what exchanging business cards can do. Provide necessary and extensive information in your profile and get yourself actively involved in the LinkedIn Answers or update your status to publicize your current project or work. Increase possiblities to get sale leads.

If you are looking for solutions for your current or interested industry, LinkedIn is a great place to search for serious and professional answers. Be sure to phrase your question in a direct and succinct manner as it would be more sound more authentic and people are more willing to share.

Who should use it?

Professionals in all industries. Also useful for job recruiters and headhunters.

3. MySpace

A large and diverse audience uses MySpace. Hence, it’s hard to tell who these people are. Available in 15 different languages, MySpace allows customization of profile and integration of features such and blogs, groups, bulletins, widgets. It seems to be widely used by the entertainment industry such as musicians, bands and comedians. Subsequently, it allows the rise of independent bands by providing a platform that bypasses the big players in the industry.

Communication: 2.5/5 stars
Similar to Facebook, users are able to send messages, add friends and comment on the profile page or find people from your email address. However, the pitfall of commenting on pages comes from a lot of necessary spamming.

Brand exposure: 3/5 stars
Branding could be done through customization of profile or adding videos (your own or others) to show your personality and interests. Blogging would help to build your brand awareness. Therefore, come up with witty yet insightful posts to reveal the true side of you. My SpaceAds also helps to run an effective online marketing campaign.

Traffic to your site: 1/5 stars
It could be difficult to get traffic to your site unless your name is very much sought after. This also means that you have to work on the branding of your name and identity. Focus on a target audience. Remember to moderate your comments page to avoid spamming and include genuine comments from the fans of your music.

How you can benefit from it?

For musicians, you could create your portfolio or repertoire of your own original music, not forgetting uploading of pictures, videos and playlists. Users could conveniently play your songs via the music player. Creating your video channels also helps to sustain your presence. For developers, you could create applications that can promote your web site.

For music producers who are on a search for new talents, you could learn more about uprising independent works and their popularity online.

My SpaceAds helps to run an effective online marketing campaign. You could design your own advertisement, choose who is able to view it based on profile characteristics such as listed gender and locations, and pay based on the number of clicks the advertisement receives.

Who should use it?

Independent bands. Cast aside the thought of sending in your music CDs and tapes to the recording companies for a moment, how about creating an online name or music identity? MySpace is a great place for you to get started and allow your music to be known to the rest of the world.

4. Twitter

Twitter is a popular microblogging system that enables users to send messages of 140 or less. It first started as a means to communicate within friends, family and coworkers and has evolved into a powerful social medium as a great and extremely fast way to disseminate information. Talk about the grape-vine. Twitter indeed illustrates the meaning. Even the 44th U.S president Barack Obama tweets.

Communication: 5/5 stars
Twitter allows spontaneous interaction in real time. Twitter clients on mobiles are getting popular and enables quick and easy communication. You would be able to track what people are saying about you or your related business competitors.

Brand exposure: 4/5 stars
Twitter allows engagement with people in a viral way. Loyal and satisfied customers or clients would “retweet” messages that they would love to recommend. Through constant and vital tweeting, your brand awareness would be enhanced. A short, sweet yet sufficient message would serve as a great marketing gimmick.

Traffic to your site: 3/5 stars
There is a fair amount of potential to garner traffic to your site, but it depends on how you promote or sell your website on Twitter. Under or over promotion can both turn your followers off.

How you can benefit from it?

Twitter is a practical and useful way of disseminating information of your organization online. Offer useful information such that target audience and your targeted customers or clients would be “following” you. To attract attention, use catchy and intelligent copywriting when tweeting. You could also follow related people who are in your area of business and interest and you can be assured of landing in the right network.

Who should use it?

News organizations, marketers and advertisers.

5. Digg

Playfully named as Digg, it is indeed a platform to dig for good stuff and release breaking news. Discovering and sharing websites is basically what Digg is about. Users “digg” for web content and submit links to Digg. These contents include from anything from technology to sports. Subsequently, Digg becomes a system that allows the internet audience to drive the type of quality of information on the web. The main repercussion is that there’s no editorial monitoring, so we must be careful when it comes to collecting data and information.

Communication: 3/5 stars
Communication might not be the the primary means in Digg. Users seldom use it as a form of communication. Readers could comment on the Digg page though.

Brand exposure: 4/5 stars
You would certainly able to leverage on the Digg website to create and sustain brand exposure. To create excellent brand exposure, be sure that your titles of your articles do not sound too much like advertisements but provide sufficient information to get readers interested and hungry.

Traffic to your site: 5/5 stars
Definitely drives traffic to your site as interested and hunger-driven Digg readers would click on the title that links to your site.

How you can benefit from it?

Digg creates the trend or the talking topic online as the Digg users discuss or vote for the topic that best interests them. For business entrepreneurs, you could search for popular and interesting topics that dominate over a period and decide for a niche market to enter. For advertisers and marketing, you could watch out for trends and headlines or content that cause users to get excited and vote for it.

Digg also serves as a valuable tool to keep track of news of business competitors. Any press releases about decisions made by business competitors and would eventually involve the consumers would likely to be “digged/dugged”. Hence, it is useful as a tool for PR monitoring.

Who should use it?

Online publishers, bloggers, marketers and PR personnel.

Conclusion

It is definitely not an exaggeration to say that social media websites are evolving to be (or are already) an integration into our lives. Especially for the younger generation, they are growing up in a world that seems smaller because communication has become much easier as compared to their grandfathers’ time. Interaction with a complete stranger from another side of the world doesn’t seem that strange after all.

The key is to remain competitive is to bring the resources to your advantage. Identify your needs to attain effective communication and then choose the right channels to broadcast your message.

With more advanced technology, better accessibility and better user experience are made possible. We can definitely expect a proliferation of social media websites and applications. People are interdependent and vital networking with others is definitely an asset.

Author:

Kelly is a new media consultant from Singapore. She specializes in the video media platform, and has a keen interest in digital media design artworks.

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