It used to be that a rolodex was your
most important asset as a business
professional. And that’s still the case,
but now it’s called your “social
graph.” This collection of our online
connections to our colleagues, friends
and business partners is changing
how we communicate and the ways in which we consume
and produce information. Don’t believe it? Look no further
than Google — recently released Real-time and Social Search
indicates the significance online networking will play in every
Web professional’s business moving forward. Social media,
or media developed by those within your social sphere, has
changed not only how we interact with friends and colleagues,
but also how businesses market themselves and, in
some cases, operate entirely. That’s forcing many to change
how they think and act on the World Wide Web.
A recent study by Business.com found that webinars,
podcasts, user ratings and reviews, and corporate profiles on
social networks were the most popular social media resources
used by professionals to gain information.
Facebook was the most popular social networking site for
business owners; with 83 percent of business-to-consumer
(B2C) organizations maintaining one or more profiles on
Facebook (only 45 percent do so on Twitter). Business-tobusiness
(B2B) companies, on the other hand, have profiles
on both sites in more or less equal proportion — 77 percent
on Facebook and 73 percent on Twitter.
So what does all this mean to you? Social media is not
simply a fleeting curiosity. Participants using social media in
their day-to-day jobs visit company or brand profiles on social
sites 62 percent of the time and 55 percent of them search
for business information on the social sites. It must be understood
then, that using available resources across the social
media landscape will serve you well.
What you might find most interesting in Website Magazine’s
Top 50 list of social media outlets is the variety of resources.
While Facebook tops the list and Twitter secures a
respectable fourth spot in the rankings, there are many other
notable resources (e.g. LinkedIn at #7 or FriendFeed at #32)
that might offer your Internet-based enterprise an advantage
in gaining greater brand exposure and website traffic. The
tools that help Web professionals facilitate this socializing
have also generated some attention. Ping.fm (#41), Tweet-
Deck (#48) and even ClipMarks.com (#33) might fly under
the radar, but remain an essential part of many professionals’
day-to-day use on the Web.
ABOUT THIS RANKED DATA: Website Magazine’sTop 50 rankings are a measure of a website’s popularity. Ranks
are calculating using a proprietary method that focuses on average daily unique
visitors and page views over a specified period of time as reported by multiple data
sources. The website with the highest combination of factors is ranked in the first
position. Conducting research, making formal comparisons, and talking to existing
clients and users before making purchasing decisions is always recommended.