So, exactly how many social networks are there? Ok, I’ll admit there is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a social network. While new social networks pop-up daily, there still remains a handful of major players.
Facebook still holds the title as The Big Kid On The Block with over 1 Billion users.
The texting inspired network, Twitter is over 140 Million user strong, communicating in 140 characters or less.
With over 166 Million users, LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional contacts while sharing career highlights and accomplishments.
While kids from an Ivy League school did not start Google+ it was started by the world’s largest search engine, Google.
Also owned by Google, YouTube serves as the second largest search engine it actual classifies itself as a social network with 490 Million users.
Pinterest is a highly visual network that uses virtual pin boards to share interests, projects and pictures with their 20 Million users.
The location-based social network Foursquare has 20 million users checking-in and sharing their activity with friends.
Instagram currently holds the title as media darling; the mobile-based picture-sharing network with over 80 Million registered users is a rising star especially among young adults.
How do you know which one is right for you?
I am often asked by clients which social network should they be on? As any good strategist should tell you, that depends on your goals. By the way, who said you should limit yourself to JUST one?
Below are questions you should ask yourself before choosing a social network.
- What is your desired goal?
- How comfortable are you with sharing?
- Do you blog or have interest in blogging?
- Does your employer use social media?
- Are you looking for new career opportunities?
- Do you have a product or service to promote?
- Do you have a specific niche or target audience you desire to communicate with?
- Is your interest personal or professional?
- Do you enjoy people and have an interest in learning and growing as a person?
- And, are you ready to have lots of fun?
Professionally, if you are a small business owner then check out this post that shares thoughts from Steamfeed authors on tips to getting started.
Some thoughts on how to narrow down the choices for personal use:
- If you are a recent graduate, looking for your first job, a new job or wanting to change careers, I highly recommend LinkedIn.
- If you want to reconnect with old friends, family or classmates then Facebook might be the social network for you.
- If you enjoy crafts, home projects, recipes and you prefer pictures to words then I’d say go with Pinterest.
- If you fancy yourself as an amateur photographer, enjoy playing with camera filters and your smartphone is never more than 3 feet from you, you are all about Instagram.
- Do you enjoy creating content and have an interest in blogging but you have not yet committed to a style, take Tumblr out for a spin.
- Do you work for Google, use Gmail or are you passionate about technology? Google+ may be right up your ally.
- Do you like sharing your movement around town, are into checking-in and recording your whereabouts? Give Foursquare a shot.
- If you are into making, watching or sharing videos then you need to check out Youtube.
- If you can communicate in 140 characters or less, like meeting people with similar interest and you have content to share then you my friend need to head over to Twitter.
As an advocate for social media, my first goal is to make clients comfortable with the medium. I want my clients to value the benefits social networks offer both individuals and businesses. I can only encourage usage so much; at some point you either love it or leave it. Here’s to you finding the right network(s).
What is your favorite social network and why do you love it so? Please leave a comment below!