The top social networks this month, MySpace still dominates..

You know, we don’t talk about MySpace the way we used to. At least I don’t. Perhaps because there are so many great social media stories out there since MySpace came on the scene. One thing though you cannot ignore is MySpace traffic.  the bottom line being that MySpace receives a massive amount of visits; In addition to receiving over 25% more visits-per-visitor a month than Facebook, the site jumped to 72 million unique visitors in June, generating over 1.3 billion total visits. That, my friends, is a lot of traffic.

With that being said, lets look at the numbers as compiled by our friends over at Compete these numbers might seem a little out of whack, but they base the rankings on amount of attention as well as traffic. Thats why some might appear to have more traffic than others. the bottom 10 have more of an ethnic diverse, niche like quality than the top 10 as well.

But given the rush to crank out a social networking group these days, being ranked anywhere in the top 20 is not such a bad thing. It may actually mean you’re making money!

  1. Myspace with over 72 million visitors per month.
  2. Facebook with 22 million visitors
  3. Bebo with 3.5 million
  4. Tagged with 3.3 million
  5. BlackPlanet with 1.9 million visitors
  6. myYearbook with 2.89 million visitors
  7. hi5 had 2.98 million visitors
  8. Classmates had 11 million visitors
  9. Friendster had 1.3 million visitors
  10. Xanga had 3.7 million visitors
  11. Orkut, intrestingly enough had 460,000, but was ranked 11th.
  12. Asiantown came in at 147,949 visitors
  13. Flixter had 3 million visitors
  14. Migente had 1.2 million visitors
  15. Reunion tracked 6.2 million visitors
  16. Quepasa had 177,000 visitors
  17. Tickle had 2.1 million
  18. Piczo had 660,000 visitors
  19. Multiply had 656,000 visitors and last but ceratinly not least and somewhat surprising is
  20. Linkedin at 1.4 million visitors

How many of you have been to these sites and have given them a test drive? Which user interface makes sense? Which do you see continuing to grow and which do not have a snowballs chance in hell? Personally, I may check out Multiply, the rest I am somewhat familiar with, with the exception of the hispanic sites. I am surprised as well by where Orkut is. With summer being a time when we spend more time outside than in, lets regroup in September and see where we’re at.

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Are social networks good for society?

Some claim that being in a social network closes us off from the rest of society. To a certain degreee that might be true. In this freakonomics blog post find out what 6 distinguished social media observers feel are the pros, the cons, the good the bad and the ugly of what social networks bring to the table.

Business Social networking experiment part 2.

Well ecademy was certainly interesting. Priding itself with the tag line; “Successful business people join ecademy to do more business”. After the relatively pain free login, I was taken to this page that had sooo much information for me to read and soo much information that they wanted, that I became somewhat discouraged and I’ve decided to move onto the next site on the list. Not a good start for a business social networking site. It shouldn’t be so hard! One note, I keep getting lots of unsolicted emails from users welcoming me etc etc.. The only difference is their names aren’t Mandy, Ashley, and Monique…

Next on the list entremate and I have just clicked on the darkest, most illegible eula/t&c I have ever encountered. God knows what I just agreed to. Time to edit the profile. Not much here to be honest, and it seems to be essentially a bbs. Now how far is that going to get me?

Next up was Friendly Favors, I’m going to give them a second chance on a first impression since I was getting database errors for the better part of yesterday.

Konnects, I liked, it was fairly intuitive and easy to set up and the influx of emails wasn’t too bad. That’s one bad aspect of Ecademy, they like to spam with people essentially “there” to help you. But we’ll see. Here is Konnects pitch: Do more with Konnects Get your own professional space online:

  • Grow your business
  • Find a Job
  • Access 1000’s of communities
  • Centralize your network
  • Join discussions
  • Let others find you
  • and much more.
  • Something to remember is that with all social networks, it doesnt happen overnight and with each network that you are in, you have to get your bearings and contribute and share and grow your page and your presence. With that being said, When I logged in to Networking for Pros, they essentially said, screw the advertiser model, we want your money to use our site. So I said to Networking for Pros. screw you, I want free. And Off I went.

    Real contacts touted itself as a social networking site but really its the old Monster jobs site model. Its employers connecting with job seekers and nothing more, so I was outta there. And on to Ryze I went. I signed up and was fully expecting quite the expereince given all of the back slapping it gave itself. But to be honest, I didn’t think there was much under the hood. You know one of the things that a lot of social networks assume is that you are able to or want to,”invite your friends”. Has it dawned on anyone that maybe you don’t have any friends or maybe you don’t wanna invite anyone within your circle? That might be why Facebook has a leg on all of these. They allow you to look for your group and just join. Then it’s up to you to connect within the group.

    So I came away from Ryze with a shrug of the shoulders and a “oh well” attitude with zero expectations. I liked Spoke, it had a nice interface and essentially asked for the same ole same ole in regards to the information it was looking for, but it might be worth going back and building on the intial info that I have provided them. The last one in the group is Teng which is is a professional community of selected Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, vice presidents and directors of technology with organizations ranging from startups to the global Fortune 100, from non-profits to government agencies. The interface sucked so I’m not sure if it’s just a source site for someone to collect names. I went through the initial steps, so I’ll let you know.

    Ok, so I have gone through all of the sites that were on the list and for now I’m going to focus on 3 of them for now. Those will be Spoke, Konnects and Ecademy. Those 3 seemed to be the best of the bunch and may have the most potential for something. I’ll try and go back and contribute and share and upload and do the things we do in social networks, but for now, you’ll just have to wait and see. One more thing, I did not include Linkedin and Plaxo, which were suggested, because one is clearly THE business social network at the moment and the other is more of a tool for sharing contacts.  So I wanted to look beyond those. especially the ones that I can get something from without shelling out any coin. Have I missed one, that we should evaluate?

    Customer Acquisition in Social Media Marketing

    After reading this entry in Top Rank Blog about tips for marketing with social media, something crossed my mind. Though there were some great tips on things that people can do to use the power of social meda to bolster marketing, I was not seeing THE sure fire way. It was gray. I think it’s still gray, and I’ll tell you why.

    Lets take for example Client A. Client A wants to use social media, has heard about social media or at least has heard about blogs for example, and wants to use it to drive traffic to his or her sites, increase sales and or use it for branding purposes. That seems to be a safe assumption for most companies.

    Well those are all well and good, but first things first. Where does the client go? You have consultants running around out there claiming to know how to do it, but by the looks of the tips. I saw nothing that was a “business process”. I saw a here try this, or this works, or a you might want to try this or I have seen that…..Get the point? A client needs to know what are you going to do, how are you going to do it, how long is it going to take, and what will I get from your efforts, amongst other things.

    The problem is, with social media, though you can measure traffic to a certain degree, the “process” or the initiation of a social media campaign is not an overnight phenomenon. there are some instances of it occurring from a viral marketing standpoint but It’s a process that needs to be cultivated. The issue that most clients have with this business model is that they don’t have time to nurture their presence in social networks. Their businesses require immmediate results and returns.

    Businesses know this and need to know this: 1) Here is my customer I know what it takes to acquire this customer via this form of advertising, sales and marketing and channel. 2) Here is my customer, what is it going to cost me to acquire that customer through social media? And what are the steps that you are going to take and what are they going to cost me for you to achieve that? After you first explain to me what social media is…

    After they ask you “Is it like Myspace”? 

    If you the social media marketer come to me and say, “We’re going to create a Facebook group for you, A couple of blogs, maybe a bbs, a couple of microsites, and we’re also going to Twitter and use Stumbleupon as well as a handful of others.” I’m first going to say, “Huh?  and then “ok, what is that going to do”? And you’ll say, “We’re branding you, and we’re driving traffic to these sites and pages and they’re finding out more about you”!.  To which I will say, “Thats great, how many sales can I expect? What kind of conversion rates can I expect from social media???” At that point I better get a really good answer or another plan that perhaps uses a widget or two that is placed in strategic social media sites that can drive traffic and convert sales.

     That’s the real question, or rather one of the many questions. Here they are and you might want to use them as you are approached by social media marketers or companies who will claim to know what they are doing.

    • What is your social media plan?
    • Do I need sales, leads or traffic
    • What types of social media do you plan to use and why those? and why not these?
    • What will be the upfront costs? What ongoing costs can I expect?
    • What will be the costs of customer acquisition? A cost per acquisition model certainly applies here!
    • How long will it take to roll this plan out
    • What kinds of deliverables can I expect and when
    • What is your track record
    • Have you ever worked with this type of product or my type of company before?
    • How successful have you been
    • What will it take to manage it on my own
    • Lets focus on some deliverables
    • Lets set some benchmarks with incentives
    • What is your plan to integrate this social media plan with our other marketing plans
    • What if you fail
    • What guarantees do I have
    • References

    The key here is alot of agencies are starting to add social media as it’s own division within their companies. Though there are very few companies and agencies who have done it right over a sustained period of time, because of the “new-ness” of it all. It’s up to you to figure out who can deliver what, and in what time frame. The last thing you need is for someone or some company to experiment with your brand as they muddle their way through figuring out just what works and what doesn’t work with social media marketing.

    Lastly what companies and businesses and people need to realize is that social media marketing is a moving target. It’s changing and morphing into something different every day. The reason is, marketers are figuring out new and unique ways to leverage the media to the advantage of the client. Some are proven, some are loopholes, some are brainstorms and some are just plain strokes of genius. Though you still need a concrete strategy as you go forward. It doesn’t hurt to have someone who is willing to take a chance or try something different on your behalf. Keep that in mind as you work your way down the bulleted list. The first of many steps will be finding someone who knows social media marketing and actually has a business model wrapped around social media marketing. As it is a moving target, I’m sure that there are some differring opinons on this. What do you think?