Types of Social Media II – General Networking

Got some feedback yesterday on my comment that you can set up a social network in ten minutes. I have to agree. Like many things, if everything goes exactly right, you can use software to setup blogs and social networks fairly quickly. However, customizing the look and functionality of your blog can take longer.

To today’s topic…. Let’s talk about general networking social media first. Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’ve heard of Facebook.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Facebook receives over 1 billion visits per month. According to an April 2009 comScore report,  Facebook has 67.5 million active users, an increase of 10 percent from the previous month. The forerunner to Facebook and still running neck and neck with them in number of users is MySpace.  The demographics of the two sites are somewhat different and I will focus my attention on Facebook. I’ll explain more about this in a later post.

Facebook offers a whole variety of functions. For the individual users, there are photo albums,  and places to post news of their activities. They can view the activities of their “friends”, find mutual friends and become “fans” of organizations and businesses.

For businesses the interesting options on Facebook are “pages”. Business are not allowed to have “friends” on Facebook but they can have “fans”.  A business can customize their “page” and can post news and events. Individual “fans” have “friends” and can help you promote your business by suggesting you to their “friends”.

Facebook  also allows groups that can be formed around a particular topic or interest or category. Groups can be searched and are also listed by categories such as: Business, Common Interest, Geography, Music, etc. Two examples of these are the No BC HST with 73,895 members this morning and the YES BC HST with 152 members as of 6:30 a.m. today.

The other really useful feature of Facebook is the ability to target advertising to a very specific demographic. You can even see how many people on facebook fit your demographic.  Here’s an example of a demographic for an ad to married couples who like to travel.

620 people
  • who live in Canada
  • who live in British Columbia
  • between the ages of 25 and 35 inclusive
  • who like travelling
  • who graduated from college
  • who are married

For this type of ad you can pay per impression (the number of times your ad appears) or for each click on your ad.

Other general social media sites are more popular in other countries; Orkut, Brazil; Cyworld, Korea. According to BlogCatalogue, the top social networking sites by country are:

Australia: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter

Canada: Facebook, MySpace, Flickr

India: Facebook, Orkut, Hi5 (Twitter is a close fourth)

France: Facebook, Skyrock, MySpace,

China: QQ, Xiaonei, 51

Germany: Facebook, StudiVZ, MySpace

Italy: Facebook, Netlog, Badoo

Russia: V Kontakte, Odnoklassniki, LiveJournal

Spain: Facebook, Tuenti, Fotolog

United Kingdom: Facebook, Bebo, MySpace

United States: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter

It’s not a trend that will go away anytime soon so learning to harness the new media is going to be increasingly important to the success of business.

Tomorrow, link sharing sites.

Have a great day!

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