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Updated by Hans A van Putten on Dec 19, 2016
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Top 10 Social Media Sites

Social Media sites have exploded in the last decade. Social media has been adopted by hundreds of millions around the world and is used by people and companies for many reasons. Personally I use certain social media sites and apps to stay in touch with family and friends around the world, other sites and apps to build my profile, portfolio and resume online (because you never know, right?) and other sites and apps to create an online presence for my business(es).
Not one site is perfect in my opinion. Every single one of them has advantages and disadvantages, restrictions and limitations, or features that are missing. But this list of top 10 social media sites must have done most things right as they are currently the most popular on the web.

2

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook was originally intended for college students, but today everyone can join this social network. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to connect the world and offer a platform where you can share almost anything, like status updates, photos and videos.

Personally I use my Facebook profile and wall to stay up to date with my friends and family in Europe, to share photos and memories. Although I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook I must admit that often while watching TV I roam the wall for fun posts. The ones I really like I share with my friends and get a kick out of the many like I get the next day. But...I detest the postings of people who need to update everyone with every step in their lives, from brushing their teeth to "cooking now"! One of the dangers of Facebook, which sometimes happens to me, and I have seen it in my children on occasion as well is that all the nice pictures of others can create a negative mood as in "they are having fun and feeling good....why can't I have the same? Forgetting of course that everyone has their ups and downs but won't post the "downs" on Facebook. So "FB in small doses" is my motto.

On the business side I use Facebook Pages to create an additional online presence for my brands. In the beginning I felt the Facebook Pages were useless, partly because originally Facebook was not picked up by search engines, so what was the point? Additionally, paying for Facebook advertising did not work for us. Although Facebook has the best target group information of all networks, allowing advertisers to specifically target the right audience, our level of conversion was not good enough, thus not creating the ROI we were looking for. We would advertise with a beautiful picture of a gift box full of chocolate, roasted nuts and more for the Holidays. People would click on our ads in droves, costing us a good amount. But the conversions lagged behind. Nowadays analysts have come to understand that this kind of advertising is "Outbound or Push Marketing" and basically "interruption marketing". I describe it as people use Facebook when they lie in bed or are relaxing otherwise and may click on an ad for delicious gourmet treats, but are really not in the mood and frame of mind to actually make a purchase. That's why "inbound marketing" has become the more important marketing philosophy....i.e. create relationships over time, create trust and be there when the need arises to make a purchase.

Anyway, that's my experience with Facebook. I would love to hear what yours is or has been. Feel free to leave comments or simply contact me by clicking here.

Facebook Unique Visitors per month to Facebook: 1,100,000,000 according to eBiz-MBA

3

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter was originally an internal tool for employees at Odeo but becam a public social media service in 2006. By 2007 early adopters and techies had started to use Twitter to get their message out. In 2009 Oprah boosted Twitter in a big way and the rest is history. For a full account of how Twitter came about read How Twitter Was Born.

Not long after the Oprah boost more and more celebrities, news-casters and politicos started using Twitter to communicate their ideas, thoughts and comments. Twitter is really nothing more than an endless stream of one liners. It's purpose and impact has improved however since you can add images. It has become a force as a social networking and micro blogging service for registered users to post and read short messages, and click on its links to read the full article.

Although as of Q1 in 2016 Twitter averaged 310 million active users, it is way, way behind Facebook with its 1.1 billion monthly active users. Why? Well, there are many opinions out there but I'll give you mine based on my experience with Twitter.

To start with, why would I want to Tweet about myself on Twitter in short sentences? I don't. If I want to communicate something to my family and friends, of course Facebook (outside sending en email or call) is the more versatile platform. Unless of course I am a celebrity, then you have a reason to Tweet what you are doing, wearing or liking because your fan-base is so obsessed with you that they will follow you to the moon and back. I have a small fan-base, my family and friends, and I can guarantee you that they are not waiting for me to Tweet that I am brushing my teeth right now.

The other side of the coin, i.e. not tweeting myself but actually reading what is going on online is a whole different story. And I am still talking from a private point of view. If I want to know what is going on today, what is trending, or what is #MaxVerstappen doing, I can go to twitter, do a search for him and with thanks to the hashtag (#) I get everything bout him. So Twitter, whether for private reasons or business reasons is a great platform to do research on what is going on and trending. So that is a small part of why I am on Twitter. The downside of course is that after a few glasses of wine, or when you are angry at something or someone, you may tweet something that is better left alone. So be careful.

My main reason for being on Twitter is for business reasons. In my Gillette days, when we were working with big budgets we would spend say $6 million dollars over 6 weeks on an Ad campaign to create awareness. At the same time we would have floor and counter dsplays in the stores with a great deal, say razor free if you buy 10 blades. People who walked into drugstores would see the display, hear in their mind the slogan "Gillette The Best a Man Can Get", which they had seen the night before on TV and connect with the promotion and make a purchase.

Not only do I, as a small business owner, not have the budget for a campaign like that, but the whole business model and marketing platform has changed over the last 20-25 years, largely due to the internet and the mobile movement shortening and already short attention span of potential customers. What the call now "outbound marketing" is basically pushing a message onto someone when they are not open to receive it. Advertising is "interruption marketing". So these two reasons are enough for the small business owner to seek alternative almost "guerilla type" marketing channels. And the internet with all its platforms can offer good value, cheap or even free ways to get your name out there.

And the key to using the internet is "getting your name out there" as often as you can, as wide as you can to create a big footprint that becomes noticeable to potential customers and is (preferably) a bigger foot print than your competition. And as there are millions of blog posts and web pages being published very day, you need to get your brand and your message out there as often as possible without doing a hard sell. In other words you don't want to become the annoying sales person who is asking every 2 minutes whether you need assistance, after you said "no" already a million times. You would not go back to that store.... the same principles apply to your presence and sales spiel online.

So for me, privately I really do not use twitter, I see no purpose, but for business reasons I can do research and get my brand, my interests, thoughts and comments out as often as possible in a very quick and dirty way.

Let me know your thoughts and how you use Twitter, and why you believe it to be worthwhile.

4

LinkedIn

LinkedIn
5

Google+

Google+
6

YouTube

YouTube
7

Instagram

Instagram
8

Pinterest

Pinterest
9

Tumblr

Tumblr
10

Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon
11

Reddit

Reddit
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