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Social Networking Overload: Which Social Network’s Could Help Your Business Grow the Most?

With so many social networks online, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to determine which site to update with what, or whether to create an account on a lesser-known or new site, such as Google+ or Tumblr? Check out our summary below to help you determine which site(s) would be the most beneficial to your business.

  • Facebook is good for both photo and text postings. Also it has the largest user base, therefore the largest potential target base.
  • Twitter, on the other hand, is more for text postings, although you can still post images, however users have to click on a link to see the image. Also, the 140-character limit makes advertising a bit tedious. For businesses that can get away with microblogging without appearing annoying, Twitter was created with you in mind.
  • Google+ is a combination of these two, although it is slightly more and slightly less than both. You can post both images and text, however, the extensive privacy controls sometimes create confusing situations as far as commenting on posts or images. This is especially true on the Google+iPhone/iPad app. Also, since Google+ is still the beta stage, and therefore remains an “invitation only” social network, potential users have a very high susceptibility to being turned off. Also, businesses have been advised to wait to start pages when Google+ rolls out the business pages.
  • Tumblr is a relatively new microblogging site, created in 2007, with a cross-platform format. The ability and easiness to post images, video, text, audio, quotes, as well as hosting your own blog, let’s a multitude of diverse users utilize the site in different ways. With a user retention rate of 85%, it is increasingly being seen as an alternative to Twitter, which only holds a 40% user retention rate.
  • MySpace is an exception in its own right. One of the first social networks to go online, the company that started as a social networking site in 2003 is now almost defunct in that sense, and is instead one of the foremost destinations for social entertainment, such as bands, musicians, actors, etc. that are just starting out. After being overtaken by Facebook in 2009, MySpace is down to just 400 employees, pushing it into the backseat of social media.
  • LinkedIn is a professional networking site, allowing professionals and business to network with each other. Colleagues or friends can write a letter of recommendation on your profile, which is then visible to anyone who views your profile. With more than 120 million users as of March 2011, this network spans across 200 countries and is available in a multitude of languages. Users can post their resume’s on their profile, which can then be downloaded at the click of a button in Word, online, or PDF format.
  • YouTube is a video-sharing site, that was created in early 2005 by three former employees of PayPal. YouTube allows users to record, upload, and share videos with both users and non-users alike. Videos such as TV clips, movie clips and trailers, music videos, video blogs, etc. have transformed the way we interact with each other and the world around us.
  • Foursquare is a very new location-based social networking site. It is one of the only social networks that is exclusively used on GPS-enabled mobile phones. When users “check-in” a list of nearby stores, restaurants, and other venues appears, allowing users to explore the area around them. This application is also an excellent way for small businesses to advertise for free. By offering tips, specials, and other content, users and businesses can interact with each other on an almost personal basis.
Speaking of the iPhone/iPad app, this another consideration to take into account. Does the social network you are considering have a smartphone app, and if so, is it available on a wide variety of softwares? Businesses utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Fourquare, and Youtube still have the biggest advantage to reach their customer base via smartphone apps, especially since society in general is increasingly mobile and continues to transition to smartphones. With the above information about some of the most popular social networks, you should now be able to make an accurate assessment as to which social networks would most benefit your business.
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Is Tumblr a Useful Social Media Platform for Your Business?

With the global explosion of social networks in the late 2000’s many businesses wonder which social network is the most beneficial for engaging with their customers. Facebook and Twitter are recognized as excellent platforms to promote businesses and interact with potential clients. What about Tumblr? Can Tumblr be useful for businesses as they engage with customers and potential customers?

As with most things, the answer is relative. What type of service or product does your business offer? What is your targeted demographic? Does your demographic use social media? If so, does your target audience prefer posts that are text-intensive or image-intensive, or a combination of both? These are the types of questions you should be asking  yourself as you design your social media strategy.

Before you decide either way, let’s explore exactly what Tumblr is, how it is used and who uses it:

  • 56% of monthly users are under the age of 34, 52% of these users are male
  • About half of Tumblr’s 14 million daily posts are image based
  • Allows users to post text, images, links, quotes, audio, and video

Tumblr was created in 2007, by David Karp and Marco Arment, as a micro-blogging service that would allow users to easily post video, text, images, quotes, links, and audio, as well as their own existing blogs. As of 2009, Tumblr had an 85% retention rate of users, compared with only 40% for Twitter. That retention rate, alongside the nearly 15,000 new users everyday, Tumblr is seen as a definite rival to Twitter in the near future.

Businesses looking at long-term goals for social media marketing should realize Tumblr is an up-and-coming social network, such as Facebook was in 2006-2007. Its cross-platform usability is appealing to many types of businesses as a way to best engage with customers. Check out these blogs here and here for information on whether or not Tumblr is right for your small business.