Okay, here’s the deal. You need to be at least somewhat active within your social media circle to be considered “the real deal” in your niche. It is something that I struggle with, but also something that I’ve promised to work on. There are several popular social networking sites out there that are perfect for marketing yourself, and getting your name out there. The goal with this post was to not focus on social bookmarking sites, such as Digg; but to name sites where interaction (and thus building trust) is the primary goal. You have likely heard of most of these sites. But, keep reading. Because the bottom 3-4 are ones that you may have never heard of.
Let’s start with the obvious ones:
Everyone should know what Facebook is, even if you don’t have an account. The benefits of using Facebook, the most popular social media site, are many. First and foremost, you already know people that are using it each and every day. Chances are good that you know hundreds of people that use it, and are likely addicted to it. If you blog, you can use this to your benefit because you can promote your blog to your friends. And, if you’re really lucky, they will also promote your blog to their friends. This can be a never ending cycle, and before you know it, you have a viral Facebook fan page that people need more of.
This is another of the most obvious social networking sites. If you haven’t heard of Twitter, you’ve likely been living on Mars. The nitty gritty, is that it is a micro-blogging site. What this means is that you need to get your point across in as few words as possible. You can also include links back to your content for promotion, as with other sites. The only problem with tweeting, is that it is always on the move. Literally, your tweets will get lost among the thousands of others that are posted each and every day. But, there is an unwritten Twitter code that says, if someone re-tweets you, you do the same for them. So, the key here is to make friends, and you’ll get taken care of. It can be a powerful tool.
This is a baby when it comes to the most popular social networking sites out there for the blogger to use. And, admittedly, not one that I use on a regular basis. Shame on me. Because, even though it is one of the youngest, it is one of the most powerful ones out there. Why, you may ask? Because it is connected directly with Google, the guys you’re trying to impress.
I know of people who spend hours searching the countless pictures of random stuff on Pinterest. This, by far, is one of the most powerful marketing tools available today, for free. The only problem, is that you actually have to know how to use it the right way to drive traffic. I’m still dabbling here, so I don’t want to get to far into it. But I can say that if you aren’t posting your pics on here, you may not be serious about succeeding in the blogosphere.
This is less of a blog networking tool, and more of a professional networking tool. You should have a Linkedin account, even if you don’t use it regularly. It is powerful in that people look for jobs and to fill positions within their company from it. If your blog is your resume, linking it up with LinkedIn is the perfect opportunity to get hired.
Stop laughing. Seriously. Myspace is still around, and kicking. In fact, a recent study shows that it is still ranked in the top 5 free social media sites. It has something that Facebook never had, and that is the chance to fully customize a page that tells people who you are. You can’t do that with FB, and it doesn’t look like you ever will be able to. If your goal is to show off, a Myspace account can only help you achieve that goal. They apparently also just upgraded their site, to be more like Pinterest–instead of competing with FB. About time. And as a bonus, I can all but guarantee that you already have friends on here, as well.
This is one of the lesser known social media sites (when compared to FB and Twitter), but it is on its way up in popularity. The way it works is simple, people ask questions, and talk about stuff. You can either answer those questions, or ask your own. It is a great way to prove that you’re an expert on something, and then even gain followers because of how awesome you are.
This is an out of the ordinary, up and coming social media network. They focus solely on your privacy. In fact, they have a bill of rights to prove that they are not about your information, what or who you know, what you like or anything else about you. With privacy becoming a huge concern these days, it is just a matter of time before the bigger networks begin to lose people to sites like this.
This is a social site that allows you to connect to people in your local community. It is a bit slow off the starting line, but the key is that you need people in your community to join. If you don’t have 10 other people join within a certain amount of time, the whole project gets scrapped. If your focus is on locality, then this is definitely a good way for you to go. My town does not have a network set up, and I tried to do it. But, I ran into an error and decided that I was too busy.
Finally, Empire Avenue is one of those game changers. This up and coming social network allows you to invest in other people (like a stock market), and post missions for others to complete. Missions run anywhere from a simple re-tweet to commenting on a blog post. You can also participate in those missions to earn what are called “eaves”. “Eaves” are Empire Avenue money (with no actual value outside the site). This site takes a little bit to get used to and figure out, but it is totally worth it. If you join no other sites on this list, I suggest this one. It seems to be very powerful.
There you have it. Those are the most popular social media sites out there today. Some of them are obviously more well known than others are, but they all share the same intent: to help you move yourself, or business forward.
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