There are a ton of social media tools available to users and businesses. But lately I find myself pushing businesses towards Twitter and Facebook only. I could write a long post of why but I’m more of a bullet thinker:

  • Critical Mass Twitter and Facebook have millions and millions of users. Some if not most of your potential customers are there.
  • Adoption Most companies have begun to accept and use these tools. See your favorite news media outlet CNN woodtv wzzm foxnews BBC etc.
  • Functionality These sites make it easy and addicting to use. They are successful at bringing in and keep users glued to their tools.

So what’s wrong with all the others? Or what’s the bullet list of benefits/problems with the others. Linkedin for example is huge, perhaps larger than Twitter. My list follows but please understand some or most of these problems can be overcome with the right strategy… perhaps I need to devote more time explaining a good business strategy on these.

linkedin Linkedin

  • The Bad
    • No good place for businesses
    • No good way to search
    • No good way for businesses to connect with users
    • No place for content generation from a business
  • The Good
    • Tons of users
    • Business Focused
    • Professional (opposite side of spectrum from Myspace)

youtube YouTube/Vimeo

  • The Bad
    • Too many people?
    • Too much noise.
    • Tough for businesses to create strategic videos
    • Businesses need camera, concepts storyboarding etc
  • The Good
    • Aids in Search Engines Rankings
    • Easier to connect with potential customers on heart level
    • Great way to re-purpose content from traditional media

wordpress Bloging

  • The Bad
    • Businesses find it tough to keep generating content
    • Tough to generate dialog on a new blog
    • Not for bringing in new customers
  • The Good
    • Perfect target/resource for SEO efforts
    • Great for customer retention/Brand positioning
    • Feeds all other forms of Social Media

delicious Delicious

  • The Bad
    • Businesses have a limited number of websites to link to
    • Businesses don’t have the time to surf and find the sites worth linking to
  • The Good
    • This could be used to show customers what great info is available to them online
    • Another venue for customers to see how your business is the authority in the market

digg Digg, Stumble Upon, and Reddit

  • The Bad
    • Tougher to build a network
    • Need to support other websites/businesses on order to be considered viable
  • The Good
    • Can drive a large volume of traffic to site/blog
    • Large, well documented communities and processes

bebo Bebo

  • The Bad
    • Not enough users in the states
    • Small user base compared to Facebook (similar tool functions)
  • The Good
    • Popular in Europe
    • Similar in functionality to Facebook
    • If users left Facebook this might be where they’ll go

myspace Myspace

  • The Bad
    • Users leaving or left for Facebook
    • Terrible visuals
    • Too much noise to get message across
  • The Good
    • Sorry, I got nothing

yelp Yelp

  • The Bad
    • Not able to have dialog
    • Currently focused on larger metro areas
    • Tough to spend more than a couple days with it
  • The Good
    • Great for localized businesses
    • Great for Search Engine Results
    • Great for having your Brand evangelists recommend you

ning Ning

  • The Bad
    • Self focused
    • Lacks integration with other sites
  • The Good
    • Customer retention not acquisition
    • Good for an existing community

friendfeed FriendFeed

  • The Bad
    • Critical Mass of acceptance has not been reached yet
    • This is an aggregater the content is created on other tools
  • The Good
    • Comments and dialog do exist here (content created elsewhere)
    • Could be the next up and coming thing, as it offers a nice way to tie all of your feeds into one place.

These tools all have their place and it’s be best for your business to have a presence at a minimum on these. The exercise of doing this post has brought me to some interesting business applications for these tools. I need to go call a couple of clients.