Social Networks, another marketing avenue – is there one for your business?

social-networking-blitzSocial networks have been around for a while. Recently, there has been a mild explosion of these social sites. Take a look at the below list and decide if there is one that will meet your business marketing needs.

Top Social Networking Sites – General Interest

  • MySpace: Started in 2003, MySpace was a driving force in popularizing social networking and still maintains a large userbase. Over 263,920,102 registered users
  • Facebook: Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was designed as a social networking site for Harvard students. After spreading from Harvard through the university ranks and down into high school, Facebook was opened to the public in 2006. Over 250,000,000 registered users
  • Hi5: A fast-growing social network with a strong base in Central America, Hi5 has over fifty million users worldwide.
  • Ning: A social network for creating social networks, Ning takes the idea of groups to a whole new level.

Top Social Networking Sites – Niche Sites

  • Flixster: With a tagline of “stop watching bad movies,” Flixster combines social networking with movie reviews.
  • Last.fm: Billing itself as a social music site, Last.fm allows members to create their own radio station that learns what the person likes and suggests new music based on those interests. In addition to this, you can listen to the radio stations of friends and other Last.fm members.
  • LinkedIn: A business-oriented social network, members invite people to be “connections” instead of “friends.” Linkedin is a contact management system as well as a social network, and has a question-and-answer section similar to Yahoo! Answers.
  • Xanga: A social blogging site that combines social networking elements with blogging. Members earn credits for participating in the site and can spend credits on various things such as buying mini-pictures to post in the comments of a friend’s blog.

Business Social Networks

CompanyLoop is a business social network aimed at workers in the same company. By restricting access to only co-workers, CompanyLoop allows you to connect with your fellow employees and share knowledge specific to your business. Not only can you stay up to date with your co-workers, you can find the people you need to get your tasks done faster.

DoMyStufff is a social network designed to connect people who want stuff done to people who will do it. DoMyStuff allows everything from household chores to business tasks to be outsourced to thousands of assistants bidding on the jobs. An alternative to hiring a temp agency to fill short-term needs, DoMyStuff is also a good site for people looking to do odd jobs.

DOOSTANG is a business social network marketing itself as an exclusive career community for top young professionals. To become a member, you must either be at a company that is hiring or have an invite from a current member. While the idea is to raise the level of talent in the job seeker pool, whether this is actually true is open for debate.

Fast Pitch connects enterprising professionals to other professionals and is a great way for job seekers to become involved with potentially their next boss. It also provides tools for businesses to market themselves and helps drive traffic to the business website. In this way, it is a great business social network for entrepreneurs.

Konnects is a business social network aimed at the young professional who wants to start building a network of contacts. It is also geared toward the new business looking to start their own community and offers the tools needed to promote the business.

LinkedIn is the most popular business social network and one of the most recognizable social networks in the world. Focused on helping professionals maintain their list of connections, LinkedIn also provides invaluable information on companies and is a great resource for job seekers and for filling job vacancies.

PairUp takes a step away from the standard business social network by focusing on the frequent business travel. Providing the tools to share travel plans and alert colleagues that you are arriving in town, PairUp is a great resource to cope with changing itineraries.

Ryze  Founded in late 2001, Ryze was one of the first social networking websites. With the ability to set up company networks, Ryze is a great destination for businesses wanting to get more done on the web. It is also great for professionals who want to create their own business networks and connect with other professionals.

Spoke is a business social network that specializes on the recruiting aspects of social networks. Unlike many other social networks for professionals, Spoke is an open-ended network that allows businesses to search through the database and tailor their recruiting efforts to a specialized audience.

XING is one of the oldest business-oriented social networks. With over six million professionals using the service every day and conducting business in 16 different languages, XING is a world leader in business networking. An excellent site for keeping track of your business contacts, XING can also help employers fill job vacancies and help young professionals land their fist big job.  The list of the social sites could fill a book. The above list represents only a few.

These lists were part of an article by A List of Business Social Networks for Professionals by Daniel Nations, About.com

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