Top 4 Social Networks for Business

There are hundreds and hundreds of social networks, and they offer different services. Some I like better than others, and some just ARE better than others. So I’ve listed my top favorites out, along with my reasons for this, and any down sides that I know of, to help you understand the differences between them.

Facebook – My all-time favorite social network. You can have a profile using your actual first and last name so your friends and family can easily find you. But you can also create a business page that’s a separate profile just for your business. Alternately you can just create a business profile without a personal one. But if you have both, people can search for either and find you. There are thousands of groups, a ton of great functionality, ability to invite people to events, post photos and business-related links. Much less spam and fewer phony profiles than Myspace. Millions of members. Supports iPhone and Blackberry.

Downside – They have changed their interface a few times now over the years, each time with the intention of making the user experience better and more intuitive. And that’s true, but it’s also difficult and confusing getting used to each new change. Newest version is a little buggy still.

Myspace – Myspace has been around for many years and is a very well-established, well-known social network. It has many millions of members, more than any other social network, and the capability for you and your business to reach those millions. There are groups you can join, the ability to invite members to events in bulk, and the ability to search members by keyword. Supports iPhone and Blackberry.

Downside – There are a TON of phony profiles that spam you, rock bands, etc. that try to befriend you. Harmless, just annoying. Very annoying.

Twitter – The talk of the town, and the internet, and tv and celebrities and politicians and Shaq. EVERYONE uses Twitter. You can get a little 140 character message out to thousands and even millions of people all at once. You can also do this from your iPhone. There are a lot of tools people have created to make the Twitter experience more organized, more intuitive, to add more features etc. And this continues to expand daily.

Downside – 140 character limit. But there’s even an application which bypasses that. Also a lot of talk and not so much listen by users, but it’s a really great way to get a quick communication out to a lot of people, and to get your business known throughout the internets rapidly.

LinkedIn – A social network specifically for business contacts and networking. Has groups you can join, a place for testimonials, and other specifically business-type functionality. Good site to find business contacts, jobs or even staff for your company.

Downside – It’s membership is not quite as large as the other 3 above, but it is continuing to grow and everyone who IS on LinkedIn is on there for business reasons, so you don’t have to wade through rockbands to find business contacts. It’s less fun than some of the others for personal social networking, but it’s a business contact social network so it’s not where you go to find out where all your friends are going tonight. It just has a different purpose, and it does succeed at that purpose and can get you staff when you need it, or jobs when you need them, etc.

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