The 6 Types of Social Media Sites

Postvakjes ("Pigeonholes") by Photocapy
Postvakjes ("Pigeonholes") by Photocapy

In introducing social media sites and tools to business people, I’ve found it helpful to group sites into categories based on what they do best and how a business or organization might find them useful.

Here are the categories I use, and the strengths I see in each:

Blogs and podcasts primarily value passion and interestingness. For business, they are most useful for thought leadership, feedback, site quality/search result ranking.

Group networks (like BlogHer) primarily value community and discussion. For business, they are most useful for understanding or targeting a community or market segment.

Social networks (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn) primarily value connections and newness/freshness of information. For business, they are most useful for targeting and cultivating community, and for conveying humanness.

Media networks (YouTube, Flickr, Picasa) primarily value popularity, interestingness, and availability of content. For business, they are most useful for distributing content to an interested audience.

Bookmarking sites (Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon) value popularity/change in popularity and archiving. For business they are most useful for trend-spotting and news-spotting, curation/edition/thoughtleadership, and knowledge-sharing within a group or organization.

Twitter (which I put in its own category) values freshness/speed and linking over depth. For business, it is most useful for capturing and responding to feedback, and for communicating one-to-one.

Categories are useful but also controversial: Each person sees things in different ways and places emphasis according to his personal world view. I’m pretty sure that categories are second only to ranked lists in creating flame wars.

But a little controversy keeps things lively, don’t you think?

Do these groupings match how you see the social media landscape? What groups have I missed? What strengths or weakness did I leave out? How do you explain this online world?

20 Presence Management Chores *for Business* You COULD Do Every Day

Garden hand
Photo credit: enviziondotnet

A few weeks back, new media marketer extraordinaire Chris Brogan shared ideas and suggestions for maintaining a personal presence online. (“19 Presence Management Chores You COULD Do Every Day“) The list is dense and ambitious, but the time you put into this kind of effort pays off.

If you’re charged with maintaining the social media presence of a company, the list still holds great value, but it might need a bit of translation. When you speak for your company or for a brand, you’re stepping outside your individual persona, and your actions should reflect that. This is also true if you maintain separate online presences for your personal self and your work self.

Here’s my take on key online presence management chores for a company or brand. Continue reading