Unless you’ve done a Rip Van Winkle and have sleep walked through the last 5 years you’ll be aware that the social and business landscape has evolved, utterly.
The plethora of social networks has compounded rapidly. We are reaching a point, if not of saturation, definitely a stage of potential overload.
There must come a point where hard choices need to be made and energies focused. A few years back, anyone who was cool needed to be a Myspacer- I was never quite cool enough!
Most of the literate global population now has a Facebook account. They may only use it at Christmas or Thanksgiving in order to connect, but it seems almost old fashioned not to at least have an account.
Below is a link to 191 Social and Business Networking sites. If you have the time and energy to engage, you can dive in and network 24 hours a day. Obviously this is not practical. So what is practical?
For a more comprehensive overview of 40 of the more popular networking sites for business entrepreneurs click HERE
As a business networker you need to establish what your primary objective is. Personally I go against the grain somewhat in that I don’t believe that those with the most connections WINS!
Internet Marketers are probably familiar with Frank Kern who I believe is pretty inactive in this arena.
My goal is engagement. I have lived in big cities, such as London and have felt less connected than in small rural towns. Don’t get me wrong I prefer city life, but massive geographical connectedness does not equate to real engagement.
This is not a pulpit speech about the merits of connections and engagement, but rather to pose the question: Which forums provide the best return of investment, of your time, energy and perhaps money.
I have provided a couple of links to sites that I think do justice to reviewing some of these sites and let you judge where you believe best matches your aspirations.
Below are about a dozen social networks that I have experienced with my brief thoughts. As with all things in life, we all have different expectations and my thoughts will totally contradict many others, but anyway here we go.
lINKEDIN: Content rich dialogue. Can be a bit dry and less social than other networks and seems geared mostly toward business job seekers. Pretty low on the fun scale
MY SPACE: A bit yesterday? this will upset some adherents and it is still a very relevant hub, but the lustre has worn off a bit.
TWITTER: Ubiquitous and almost a compulsory forum for online connections. I particularly like the fact that you can LIST groups that appeal to you and you can really get a feel for what someone’s all about by checking out their tweet History
FACEBOOK: Doesn’t really require a review, and who doesn’t know about this monster? Some people are becoming concerned with some privacy issues, but is still the Big Daddy of networking
YOUBUZZ: founded my Internet Marketer Darren Gaudry. Geared towards online promoters and fairly easy to navigate, but I disliked the promotion of the dislike icon. It’s a little too easy to attract mean spirited types with an agenda and makes it less social in my mind.
ECADEMY: I joined this Site after having read and reviewed Penny Powers great book on social networking -"know me, like me, follow me". To tap into the real conversation requires a modest investment of $5 per month. The jury is still out on this one.
There is a bit of a bias toward UK networkers and I found the navigation a bit messy. I did observe though that an article that I submitted to Ezine Articles that had attracted just over 200 views, attained over 500 views on this forum. Some similarities to Linkedin, in look and feel.
SWOM: I did a short review on this monetized networking site awhile back. Personally I gave it the flick quite quickly. I was continually inundated by barely coherent and inane pitches with negligible content value.
YOUTUBE: This is virtually a must for any online business promoter. It is becoming really user friendly and there are so many friendly online forums to assist in educating yourself on its benefits.
AAACHOO: This promises to be a true monetized social/business-networking site. It is geared heavily towards those with an MLM mindset. (I’m not an MLMer but many of my business colleagues are) Its promoted as a legitimate latest generation network, with a FREE and paid for component and a 3 x 9 matrix.
After studying the program and talking to those who have been in it for awhile I'd suggest avoid like the plague! The marketing plan with its spillover is misleading and members get no updates other than reminder of recurring fees. All gloss but no substance
What’s the best? Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it depends on what you are searching for. I’m biased towards those that offer the maximum potential for engagement and would love to delve into many more especially Squidoo and Hub Pages – but you know what? There’s only so many hours in the day and at some point you’ve got to make some decisions and I’d recommend focusing on just 3 or 4, unless you want to outsource. Don’t get me started on what I think about outsourcing on social networks!!