Guest post by Rand Fishkin
Founder & CEO, SEOmoz
Facebook has had an incredible run for the last six years — see the graphic above. Twitter has had a remarkable four years under its belt, now reaching 200 million members.
The growth of these twin networks has brought new discipline to the practice of traffic generation, branding and customer engagement on the Web: social media marketing. But for those of us who participate in the practice, there are clear signs that Twitter and Facebook aren’t enough.
Plenty of recent facts and figures have helped to hammer this point home:
- Social media spending is estimated to be 10% of marketing budgets in 2011 (source: CMO Survey by Duke University)
- StumbleUpon, despite having less than 1/10th the US users of Facebook and about 1/100th the engagement, sends more outbound traffic (source: Statcounter via The Next Web)
- Quora, the social Q+A site, is nearing 500,000 users and momentum is growing (source: TechCrunch + FastCompany)*
- StackExchange, a platform for Q+A sites, already exceeds 650,000 registered users (source: StackExchange)
- Reddit grew 230%+ and now receives nearly 1 billion page views/month (source: Reddit via Mashable)
- LinkedIn has likely passed 100 million users; they were at 85 million in November, adding about 1 million/day (source: CNN Money)
- Tumblr just entered the top 40 US sites (source: Financial Times)
The long tail of social media packs a punch
If your job includes the monitoring, management and/or promotion of a company’s brand through social media, I’d strongly urge you to consider educating yourself about and participating in all the platforms that might matter to your company. The following are my personal recommendations for the average social media marketer to consider, grouped by users:
100 million+ users
25 million+ users
10 million+ users
There are dozens, possibly hundreds of others sites worthy of your attention as a social marketer (and possibly helpful to those focused on social as a channel for SEO opportunity). So, please, let’s be cautious about an overly narrow definition of social media marketing – your clients/managers/bottom line will thank you.
As a startup guy and technologist, I’m excited to see even more sites enter the social media playing field in 2011. Unlike search, where Google has a near-monopoly worldwide (excluding China, Russia, North Korea and the Czech Republic), social media offers a myriad of unique platforms for opportunity.
Do you have a favorite social media site? Have we overlooked an up-and-comer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
* I’m a fan of Quora, but this quote made me gag a bit: “Cheever dismisses the notion that there is a direct competitor for Quora.” Hubris, I understand, but blatant disregard for the truth is unbecoming.