Big List of Social Media Sites

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At this point, even the most inexperienced Web marketer is aware of the vital role that social media plays in promoting a brand on the Internet. Of course, almost everyone has a presence on at least one of the major social destinations, mainly Facebook and Twitter, but what many people seem to overlook are the seemingly endless amounts of smaller, alternative social networks at their disposal.

In addition to the "Big 5" social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Tumblr), there are a wide variety of different places that users can go to be social on the 'Net. Some of these sites are aimed at specific lifestyle markets, some provide specialized services like user reviews or checking in, and some are simply older or smaller takes on the social network platform that we all know and love.

There are obviously many ways for marketers to approach social media. It would certainly behoove everyone to make their presence felt on Facebook and Twitter, because the number of users and levels of engagment on those two sites are so astronomically high compared to their competitors, but beyond that, the sky is really the limit for companies trying to optimized their Web profiles.

This issue becomes more difficult to address when you consider the very broad defintion of "social media." For some, social networks are only those like Facebook or Myspace that are built around the idea of users having their own unique profiles, which are the focus of the site. Others define social much more loosely, referencing any site that gives users a chance to share and interact with content. Because of this, the opportunities for social media marketing are, in a way, limitless.

Local businesses probably want to seek out services like Yelp or Foursquare, which give users a chance to write reviews or check in to local shops, respectively. Companies that operate in more niche markets by offering products or services most useful to a specific group can seek out social networks that serve the interests of these unique customers. Other businesses have the opportunity to market themselves in unique ways, such as in pictures or video, by jumping on board with specialized social networks that focus on these types of content. Here's a list of some of the best social media sites on the Web today that covers all of these areas and more.

"The Big 5"

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Tumblr


Athletes

As someone who runs (or, in my case, has befriended runners) will tell you, it is a very social activity. This website takes the communal nature of the sport to the next level, by allowing runners to share their experiences with like-minded athletes around the world.

 

Athlinks


Education

The first is a great site geared mostly towards college and high school students to work together and seek help in their schoolwork without having to plagiarize or turn to the unreliable Wikipedia for answers. The second provides a network for teachers to share and get ideas.

Cramster

Teachers Recess


Music Lovers

To many users, the Web and music go hand-in-hand. One of the most popular uses of the Internet for many people is to listen to, share and discuss music with others, making it a natural move to create social networks based around the idea of, surprise, listening to, sharing and discussing music with others.

 

Last.fm

iLike


Finance

Everyone's always seeking financial advice and/or business information, so why not turn to the Web?

 

Tip'd

Jigsaw

Wesabe

 

Seeking Alpha


Pet Lovers

People love pets, and for those people who really love their pets, these sites offer a place to turn to get advice and share stories about their favorite four-legged creatures.

 

Dogster

 

Catster


Gamers

The classic stereotype of "gamers" is that they're all very anti-social, but with the advent of online gaming over the last decade, it has become one of the more social hobbies in which one can particpate. These sites allow users to connect with other gamers while sharing their individual accomplishments online.

 

Raptr

 

gamerDNA


Food and Cooking

Yum! This is the digital-age equivalent to your grandma sharing recipe cards with her friends.

 

FoodPals

 

BigOven

 

Bakespace


Artists

This popular art-hosting site has become a haven for those wanting to share their original content with the world.

 

deviantART


Travel

Social networks based around travel allow users to seek out information about potential destinations based on actual user feedback, which provides practical information for trip planning.

 

TripIt

 

Dopplr

 

TripAdvisor


Avid Readers

Another group that isn't usually seen as the particularly social, readers now have a variety of places to visit online to share with like-minded individuals about what they're reading and what they've read, as well as get recommendations for new books.

 

GoodReads

 

Shelfari


Film Buffs

Like music fans and readers, those among us obsessed with movies also love to talk about them and share ideas and recommendations, and this site allows users to do just that.

 

Flixster


And more!

There are plenty of other great social destinations that offer a variety of options and services for users, as well as great opportunities for marketers to spread their message on the Web.

 

YouTube

 

Friendster

 

MySpace

 

Xanga

 

A Small World

 

Pinterest

 

StumbleUpon

 

Instagram

 

Bebo

 

Foursquare

 

delicious

 

Flickr

 

LiveJournal

 

Yelp

 
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11 comments

Andrea Butje 12-02-2011 2:48 PM

This is fantastic, thank you!!

Dante Monteverde 12-02-2011 3:21 PM

This is a great list. For those that are unfamiliar a "UV" is a Unique Visitor.

SEO Bounty 12-03-2011 1:24 PM

You have to feel sorry for friendster and myspace looking at the traffic levels and they should serve as a warning to other site's to never forget the importance of "user experience" in your marketing plans.

ClayG 12-03-2011 4:41 PM

This is really helpful for planning marketing for my new website. Thanks.

Indrawarman 12-03-2011 11:52 PM

awesome list...... Thanks for share

GopiM 12-05-2011 11:20 PM

Nothing for Health?

Physicians? Patients?

Michael Garrity 12-06-2011 8:21 AM

Thanks for the feedback, everybody! Hopefully this list helps you all out in some way.

Gopi - Good idea, and it's honestly an area I hadn't really thought of when compiling the list. I did some snooping around on the Internet and found some sites that may interest you.

For healthcare professionals: Try MedicalMingle.com or Sermo.com.

For patients: checkMD.com is a good source for finding the best professionals and/or hospitals, and RevolutionHealth.com is a site built upon helping users manage their own wellness programs.

BillieB http://billieshelppageforpainunderstanding.org/ 12-09-2011 11:50 PM

I will vote for Twitter but like so many places there is too much Spam.  Thank You

BillieB http://billieshelppageforpainunderstanding.org/ 12-09-2011 11:50 PM

I will vote for Twitter but like so many places there is too much Spam.  Thank You

ElyseD 04-13-2012 11:24 AM

This list was very helpful and its amazing how many "social media" communities there are for any and everything you can think of.  A few things were surprising though.

I agree that a lack of healthcare/medical, art/entertainment and legal websites were surprising.  As well, I thought there would be more sites regarding food and cooking.  Third, I believe that YouTube will be considered one of the major 5 sites in the near future.

JacquesF 05-15-2013 11:13 AM

Wow, that's a cool list. I would not have expected so many successful social networks. STill, I do find that many of them are quite identical or simplifications of Facebook.

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