Social networking and social sharing have become full time positions in businesses across the land as more and more industries realize that the way to succeed is to connect with the people of the world. Large corporations have the money to hire individuals to oversee, manage and interact on every social network in the park, but small businesses are small businesses because of their ability to survive with a certain number of employees and usually, a social media manager isn’t on the payroll. With limited resources and limited time, small and medium business owners need to know where to focus their social energy for the most reach for their time.
While you could set out to conquer all social networks, you will likely find yourself strapped for time. There are just too many social circles to participate in and once you factor in the time you need to be a true participant on those networks, you will soon realize that it’s better to put your eggs in a few social baskets rather than trying to spread yourself too thin. There are some networks that are just plain worth your time more than others.
Without a doubt you knew I was going to mention Facebook and Twitter. These two social giants have had the market cornered for some time and their popularity has not wavered. Facebook has over 850 million users and Twitter has over 200 million users. For obvious reasons these are two great places to start building your social status. Remember to be real, post often and answer comments and tweets promptly.
Right behind Facebook and Twitter you’ll find two newer social networks. These are Pinterest and Google+. While Google+ may seem like an empty classroom it does play an important role in Google search results and maintaining a personal or business identity is definitely in your best interest. Pinterest gained almost instant popularity because of its extremely simple usability. In a short time it has gained close to 10 million users. Be sure to pin helpful and informative information to attract followers in this network.
The next sites that are of great importance to be a part of are LinkedIn, Ryze and Ecademy. These are more of professional networking circles than the more casual encounters found on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn reaches close to 150 million users and with LinkedIn you can participate in groups of people who share the same interests as yourself or your business. Ecademy has close to 17 million users and allows you to start clubs and connect with like minded businesses. And while Ryze is not booming with membership it is still a very effective social network to join.
The last suggested site to join is StumbleUpon. This is a social network that is all about spreading the content love and distributing your content should be the ultimate goal of any social campaign. There are around 20 million users on StumbleUpon and although it takes a pretty big time investment, the connections and ability to distribute your content are great for your website and your reputation.
As you can see this is not an exhaustive list of social networks. Once you join these mainstream networks with the greatest reach potential, then you can start to look at smaller niche networks to join and become a part of. The important thing to remember when going social is to not rush. Developing quality relationships on social networks is the key to social success. Wondering how people will know which social network to find you in? Get the free Social Follow button for your website. You can link to all your social profiles from one nifty and clean button.