I was following a discussion in chat area on the member site Networkers United Worldwide www.NUOpen.com I am an officer and advisor on that site, and found this question, which I have pasted below. I feel stronly about Social Networking and Social Business Structures, but we can talk more about that later.
“Anyone here find that Social Networking sites have become a dime a dozen? I have had a hard time determining which ones have the best programing and potential to do what all the other claim to do. Any feelings strong or otherwise about this one?”
Social Networking sites are tools. As with any tools you can use a butter knife as a screwdriver or a rock as a hammer, but if you need to pound lots of nails or are using a phillips head screw you may need a more specialized tool.
I belong to LinkedIn, Xing, Ecademy, Naymz, Plaxo and on and on…. Which one do I use the most? Which one am I willing to pay for? LinkedIn. Why? Well it suites me and what I am trying to accomplish.
I am also on Facebook and MySpace, but as a business man in the field of mainly commercial real estate, I don’t want to nudge you or send you beers and hugs.
I do a lot of work in the humanitarian field. I work with http://www.FEED333.org as they help feed thousands of families in the U.S during the holiday season. I am the blessed and honored Los Angeles coordinator of Miracle on South Central and this last year we fed around 4000 families around 40,000 meals in cooperation with the Salvation Army, Feed the Children, The NBA Players Association, Humanity Unites Brilliance (HUB) and others. I also started a e a group of over 1100 of us that feed, get water, education and micro loans to around 3000 families in Africa a month. These are very important to me and so I promote those on Facebook where I might just nudge you or send you a hug ♥.
In order to get a better web presence I believe you should join many of the free sites because when you get googled and you have a website you want people to go to, or a product project or service to promote, it will show up all over the place and that is how the Internet works for the most part.
I do also believe as the founder of 6 of my own networking sites and as an officer of this site, that as you become good at networking and are looking at using the site to increase your business or monetize it in some way, that you need to look at a niche audience.
An Example: A CPA may elect to join a CPA Association. This is cool for keeping up with the industry, but if he is looking for clients that group would be no help at all. He would have to join say a business site where business owners come to find resources. Would the large groups like Facebook work fine for growing your business? Yes, and as mentioned you need presence their, but remember you have to wade through so much to find the people you need. While on a niche site, most of the people there may be exactly who you are looking for. There is a difference.
This is interesting
If you take the number of total sites out there then you can say Holy Cow… this is madness. I get a count of networking sites on Yahoo at over 3 Trillion!!! Although you may be into Naturapathic Healing and love bowling as well as play in a band on the weekends, if you are looking for a way to promote and grow your commercial real estate business, then you can negate music sites, Natural Healing Sites, Bowling sites and so on. Now search on commercial real estate networking sites at first on Yahoo I got a count of 139M of those and as I broke down my search pattern by using quotes (If you do not use quotes on Yahoo or Google searches you are taking much more time than you need searching. Find out how to use them….) I get my count down to 4M. If I start refining my search I can get this number down much further until I have a number I can comfortably go review to see if it meets my needs. So you see you need to know what your goal is. If you define what you are trying to accomplish then the daunting number of sites is not so daunting.
Another thing I notice is that though I have started over 6 networking sites you can never tell when one will take off by fulfilling a need for someone. I have groups that are over 3500 members and some that have no more than two. What did I do different? Nothing. I promoted and built them the same way. People are looking and you never know what for. If you build it they might come if they feel a need or an interest. I have seen some sites that make me scratch my head only to see huge memberships…. Huh… I don’t get it and am not running to join those sites, but it will prove the point that there is always room for one more.
By the way if you are looking for a great commercial real estate site check out mine at www.crepig.com