In a recent post I outlined the 6 different types of social media. This week we will go more in depth on Social Networking.
As explained last week, a social network is a service that allows you to connect with other people of similar interests and background. Usually they consist of a profile, various ways to interact with other users, ability to setup groups, etc. The two most popular social networking sites are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Facebook is, by far, the most active social network on the internet with well over 700,000,000 members. It is the most sophisticated and cutting edge platform available. They are constantly adding new features and testing the best ways to allow people to interact.
If your tribe is made up of a mainstream audience, this is the place to be.
The biggest question that comes up when discussing Facebook with my clients is whether they should use their personal account or set up a separate Facebook page. In almost every case, you should setup a Facebook page for building your tribe. This allows you to use your personal Facebook account to connect with friends and family and keep the tribe building side separate. Facebook pages also provide tools like discussion boards, picture uploading, aggregating blog posts and other customizations that make it a great tool for building your tribe in social media.
LinkedIn is the business professional’s social network. If your tribe consists of marketing professionals, CEOs or some other business focused niche, you should spend your time on LinkedIn.
The first place to start is building up your connections. Go through your rolodex and contacts and find those people on LinkedIn and connect directly with them. From there, LinkedIn offers other tools such as Q&As, groups and “inMail” that allow you to connect with new people and build a following.
Other Social Networks?
There are, of course, many other social networks out there, however these are the two I recommend in most cases because of the popularity and focus of the sites. If you think there may be a better option for you, browse through this list on Wikipedia to get a head start.
September 13, 2011